Copyright T.G. Heuser Co.

Seattle, WA | Est. 2015

summer sees soaring rent, vice quarantine!

August 23, 2015

In 1899 the quickest route to West Seattle was by train over a wooden trestle that ran along the northern edge of the Duwamish Bay tide flats crossing what would later become Harbor Island. That May, Edward Roy, his older brother Charles, and father Lucien would have taken this train out to the trestle's midpoint to tour the lumber mill they would purchase later that month.

Peering out the train's window to his left while his brother and father talked business, Edward would likely have been distracted by the countless array of shifting channels and tide pools glistening over hundreds of acres of mud. It was here that he saw one of many opportu...

July 14, 2015

While between my feature articles, I decided to take a brief tangent to see what was happening in Capitol Hill this week one hundred years ago.  It turns out the Shriners, an international fraternity founded in 1870 and associated with Freemasonry, were having their 41st annual Imperial Council in Seattle.  

A whole slew of visiting Shriners were reportedly convinced that the Seattle Shriners had outdone all others in their effort to host the the greatest annual session to date.  Most, if not all, local hotels were booked solid--many Shriners stayed in parked trains.  Meanwhile many local businesses were selling all kinds of outfits and s...

June 22, 2015

Before 1912, your gas-powered Ford lit the often-precarious road ahead with nothing but acetylene gas headlamps and required a hand crank to start the engine.  However, that year, everything changed when Charles Kettering and Henry Leland designed and built the first electric starter and lighting system. If you lived in Seattle and wanted the upgrade, chances are you would purchase the Gray & Davis model from what was then claimed to be the largest automotive equipment retailers and distributors in the world: the Chanslor & Lyon Company (C&L).  

Founded in 1904 in Los Angeles by Waller G. Chanslor and Phillip H. Lyon, it opened a...

March 2, 2015

There's a technique well-known to astronomers called “Averted vision” by which distant nebulae are often more easily observed when viewed in our peripheral vision. I’m quite familiar with it myself, both as an occasional stargazer and because of a party I threw for The Flemington, which unexpectedly turned into an extensive historical research project: the sort of thing I've always been interested in doing. And the initially mysterious “J. Fleming” “pioneer businessman” who had The Flemington built in his name, applied this technique in his own life. 

On his building's opening day, Feb. 11, 1924, he revealed to the Seattle Times that it was “t...

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From The

Historical Society


July 3, 2020

Considerable progress is made in effort to document Mid-Century Modern apartment buildings



Primary objectives:

1. To start identifying, researching, and photographically document the most notable Mid-Century Modern multi-family residential buildings constructed on Capitol Hill between c1945 and the late 1970s.

2. To increase awareness and representation of this historically significant and yet consistently underrepresented period of construction on Capitol Hill within the field of historic preservation and mong the general public.

Rationale for our temporal boundaries:

While Mid-Century Modern architecture has its roots in the 1930s, we chose circa 1945 to the late 1970s because the style didn't really start taking root on Capitol Hill until after World War II with buildings like the Red Lion Apartments at 328 Bellevue Avenue E (built 1948) and appears to have continued as late as 1978 with Brutalist buildings the Melrose East Condominiums at 150 Melrose Avenue E.


November 1, 2019

Row residents Bryce Seidl and DJ Kurlander tell all in candid interview


On the evening of October 25th, I had the privilege of entering my 4th of the 24 homes on Capitol Hill's historic Millionaire's Row: the private development built in the early 1900s by real estate executive James Moore for himself and a number of his friends and business associates. The house was the foursquare/colonial revival David Whitcomb house built in 1907 at 633 14th Avenue E. David Whitcomb was a real estate executive whose company built many of the city's largest office buildings and his father, G Henry Whitcomb, played an instrumental role in James Moore's Capitol Hill development.


June 20, 2019

Jewish Family Services packs board meeting


Following last month's confidence inspiring 6-1 vote in favor of nomination, there didn't seem to be much concern for Conover House's chances of success going into the meeting yesterday. However, things changed rather quickly when at least 20 people were seen gathered outside the boardroom in animated conversation. Scattered among them were a few representatives of Jewish Family Services who were present at the last meeting. Meaning they had called in their cavalry. This did not bode well.


June 19, 2019

Additional findings to be presented


At long last our efforts towards preserving this value historic landmark are finally coming to a head. For those of you who missed the nomination meeting (pictured above) the vote was strongly in favor of nomination (6 to 1). However, some concerns were raised during the meeting. One, whether the house is associated with Charles Conover in a significant way. Two, whether it retains enough of its original form to convey its significance. Three, whether it physically stands out in the area. Our answer to all three of these concerns is a resounding yes. Scroll through to learn why in our final statement to the board and to see some additional supporting material,


June 19, 2019

Conover house moves forward, Thousands raised, historic places celebrated


Thanks to the combined advocacy efforts of our board in partnership with Historic Seattle, local architect Marvin Anderson, and the former owner Joan Zegree, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted 6-1 to nominate Conover House for landmark status on May 15. Jewish Family Services, the current owner, planned to demolish the building to make way for an apartment development. Marvin Anderson,  says the house, built in 1893, is a “highly refined” example of the Colonial Revival style The house still features original woodwork, herringbone ceilings, fireplaces and other original indoor and some outdoor features.  If you would like to learn more about the house, review the nomination report prepared by the owner's consultants and our own supplemental material.