The Landmarks Preservation Board (LPB) designated the Bleitz Funeral Home at 316 Florentia St. a city of Seattle landmark earlier this year. During the preparation of the nomination the developers supported the nomination of the 1921 portion of the building, hoping the LPB would not stand in the way of demolishing the 1989 west side addition. They succeeded there. Now they are faced with convincing the LPB of the need to replace most of the original windows.
The Queen Anne Historical Society’s Landmark Preservation Committee toured the building inside and out on Wednesday, November 22, 2017. The interiors have been completed gutted with the building stripped out on all floors to the concrete walls. Only the wooden floors and a north south row of studs on the first and second floors remain. As is often the case in buildings whose interiors haven’t been landmarked, the views are the interior’s most interesting features. To the north, the building hovers over the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ship Canal Trail that ends just below it at the Fremont Bridge. The view to the north includes the passing ships on the canal and the dramatic (soon-to-be-illuminated) opening and closing of the bridge. The view across the canal to historic (and modern) Fremont is also quite nice. To the east, the vista takes in the George Washington Memorial Bridge (Aurora Bridge) and sweeps across Lake Union, Capitol Hill and the University District. Jacob J. Bleitz showed prescience in siting his funeral home. He understood the value of a great location even in the business of dying. …Continue reading “Bleitz Funeral Home: Inside and Out.”→
It comes as no surprise to the residents of Upper Uptown (a recently coined term designed by me to placate Uptowners who want to strip city maps, newspaper articles and the Queen Anne Historical Society of our historic name) that local historians revel in all the secrets buried at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery (700 W. Raye Street). The first tour’s organizers included Bob Frazier, Isabel Egglin, Del Loder, John Hennes and Kim Turner, all but Isabel, a Holocaust survivor, are Queen Anne High School graduates and members of the Queen Anne Historical Society. In 1997, the cemetery guides focused on “few good gravesites,” but they quickly escalated from visits to the gravesites of early Seattle movers and shakers like the Blaines, Clises, Bells or Clarence Bagley to those of ‘ordinary’ citizens, none of whom, according to this year’s tour leader Kim Turner, “is or was truly ordinary!” …Continue reading “30 Years Touring Mount Pleasant Cemetery”→