ACT: A Contemporary Theatre staged its inaugural play, Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Sad on June 29, 1965. The performance took place in the quickly-renovated Queen Anne Hall building at 100 W Roy Street, built as Redding Hall in 1912. The critically-acclaimed performance ran through July 10th and marked the birth of an enduring Seattle artistic institution.
ACT was the brainchild of University of Washington School of Drama Director Gregory Falls (1922-1997) and his wife, Jean Burch Falls(1926-2020). Falls felt that Seattle needed a theater to stage plays that “reflect our times,” eschewing the classics performed at traditional theaters. The Falls acquired the building and oversaw its conversion into an intimate 420-seat theater in just four months.
ACT moved to its current location, Kreielsheimer Place, in 1996 , following a $30.4 million renovation of the former Eagles Auditorium at 700 Union Street. The curtain didn’t stay closed in the old Queen Anne Hall for long; in 1998, On the Boards moved in to the building, now known as the Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance.
Reference: City of Seattle historical site summary
Lumberman John Stuart Brace (1861-1918) started his lumber business in Spokane in 1878 and moved to Seattle 10 years later with his family to work with his father in the mill industry. In 1890 he married Katherine Frankland Brace (1861-1924) and they had three girls and two boys.
In 1892 Brace served on the city council and three years later he became Superintendent for Western Mills. By 1899 the Brace & Hergert Mill Company was successfully operating at the intersection of Valley St and Terry Ave in South Lake Union, now a part of Lake Union Park.
In 1904 Brace commissioned a home to be designed by the Kerr and Rogers partnership. The home was built from old growth trees by his lumber company. As President of the Lake Washington Canal Association, Brace met with government officials and committees of business men, and directed the educational campaign in favor of the canal. In 1918 John Stuart Brace died in his home after a 3-month illness.
“A very patriotic, high type of citizen was Mr. Brace. I know of no man with whom I have come in contact within recent years that impressed me as being so broad, unselfish and fair-minded, nor one in whom more confidence could be placed. He was a splendid friend. Not alone for his work… but in many other ways was he a friend of the community. It is doubtful if the full measure of the community’s debt to him will ever be fully known.” Lawrence J. Colman
July 4, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ballard Locks.
Feliks Banel, an intrepid marketeer of local history, produced a program that aired today June 28 on KIRO radio about Hiram M. Chittenden, the engineer who designed the entire system from Renton to Salmon Bay and re-plumbed King County waterways. Banel raises interesting points about local history and how we go about interpreting it, especially when we discover unsavory aspects.