On September 14, 1985, Queen Anne High School alumni from the 1920s through its last graduating class of 1981 gathered for The Last Hurrah ’85. The event was billed as an official final farewell to their alma mater before its conversion into a 139-unit apartment building.
About 75 former Grizzlies toured the 1909 building, which was then in a state of disrepair with peeling paint and boarded-up windows. They then wandered across the street to drink beer and watch the Huskies play football on a large television screen under a tent located on the Otto L. Luther Athletic Field, now the location of John Hay Elementary.
The athletic field was named for the school’s first principal, who served from 1908 to 1951. It was added to the school property in 1958 and built on the former site of the Grizzly Inn. The restaurant was a beloved after-school gathering spot for students from the late 1920s until its closure in 1954. Alumni from the period recalled fond memories of regular hangouts for “burgers with gravy” at the Grizzly Inn. The eatery was so popular with the students of Queen Anne High School that it inspired the adoption of the grizzly bear as the school mascot in 1930 and the renaming of the school yearbook from the Kuay (phonetic spelling of QA) to The Grizzly in 1932.
The Seattle School District closed Queen Anne High School in June of 1981 due to declining enrollment. The Neoclassical building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and leased for residential use in 1984. The City of Seattle designated it a landmark on May 6, 1985. The building’s conversion into apartments was completed in 1986. The property was redeveloped into condominiums in 2006.
Learn more about the history of Queen Anne High School here.
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 businessmen, 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
Torn by the perceived conflict between preserving Queen Anne’s historic character and of increasing urban density, I waver between historic districts and backyard cottages as the best way to preserve historic fabric. Across the country, we find contiguous districts such as the Ballard Avenue Historic District and thematic districts where scattered buildings of the same general type, style or age are protected as if the buildings were contiguous. Both types of districts protect all the buildings within their boundaries.
The relatively absence of individual landmarks and historic districts in Seattle underlies my angst. Ours is no longer a young west coast city, yet we have but eight historic districts and only the Harvard-Belmont District includes residential properties. The rest are commercial neighborhoods (Ballard Avenue, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, International District and Columbia City) or former military bases (Fort Lawton and Sand Point). Seattle has no neighborhood historic districts like Queen Anne, upper or lower and no thematic districts. …Continue reading “Are Historic Districts or DADUs the Best Way to Preserve Queen Anne?”→