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.