Copyright T.G. Heuser Co.

Seattle, WA | Est. 2015

early warnings of

1918 flu were ignored!

October 15, 2017

On Labor Day weekend of 1929, 300 motorcyclists and their families roared into the sleepy resort town of Long Beach, WA for a motorcycle rally known then as a Gypsy Tour. Aside from the three days of two-wheeled camaraderie that ensued, one rider raced ahead of the rest. His name was Marion Diederiks, an unknown motorcycle messenger from Portland who became “grand champion” after winning 8 out of 12 races over the weekend. His victories included various pursuit and get-away races, the two-mile open, and a broad jump.

Although a promising start of a career in racing, he curiously never won any other speed races like these hereafter. Instead he...

April 2, 2017

I want to say this Capitol Hill triangle spun me around in circles all week, but it's a triangle, not a circle, so that won't do. However, I can say that much like ships and planes are rumored to have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, historians and cartographers are rumored to have done the same trying to figure out what the hell the deal is with this triangle. What is it, how and why does it even exist? Well, you’re in luck, because after spending a harrowing week confined within its absurdly narrow boundaries, I've emerged to tell the tale.

It all started as a joke.

On April 16, 1916 Seattle Times broke the humorous story. They described...

July 4, 2016

The saying “a house divided against itself cannot stand” rings true for many especially after the day Lincoln popularized it in his 1858 Illinois state senate nomination speech. At that time and especially since the end of the Civil War, the iconic phrase often, if not always, comes packaged with the assumption that the house in question is necessarily better off united rather than divided. However, this isn't always so. Case in point were two Seattle grocers, the brothers Peter and Nicholas Kootros of Sparta, Greece whose dramatic falling out with other family members and eventually with each other, lead them each to greater success.

March 7, 2016

*The fourth installment in my series "Before There Was Light Rail" in which I take a look at some of the buildings that were torn down in 2009 to make way for the light rail station opening on March 19, 2016. Disclaimer: I spent the better part of the past 14 hours rushing to get this one done. In due time I'll come back to fill in the missing details. And if you spot errors don't hesitate to mention them!

Anyone who frequented this stretch of Broadway at the turn of the century might recognize this storefront as the former home of Godfather's Pizza with Espresso Vivace (901 E John st) and Revolution Books (1833 Nagle pl) occupying the rear si...

January 11, 2016

In the Tower of Babel, a biblical tale which describes a time when humanity spoke one language, a group of builders gathered to build a city and, more importantly, a tower — one that would reach high into heaven, make them world famous, and serve as a beacon for their people who were dispersed across the Earth. However, God realized this would make them too powerful so he caused them to speak different languages, resulting in confusion and ultimately their separation. As a devout Lutheran, Stephen Berg would have been familiar with the myth and in some ways he experienced it himself. As a member of large Norwegian-speaking community in Seattl...

November 26, 2015

Once again as a brief intermission between my feature articles, I thought I'd take a look around and see what was happening on Capitol Hill during Thanksgiving 1915 and here's what I found.

Most of you will recognize the above pictured building as the home of The Egyptian Theater at the corner of Harvard and Pine since the mid 1980s. However, as of Thanksgiving day 1915, it was still under construction and would initially serve as a temple, auditorium, and offices for the Free Masons.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1915, the masons organized a parade from their old temple on 1st Ave to their new location where the Washington State Grand Master Robert Seb...

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From The

Historical Society

CAPITOL HILL MODERN: PROJECT UPDATE

July 3, 2020

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

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Recap

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.

MILLIONAIRE'S ROW HEADED FOR NATIONAL REGISTER

November 1, 2019

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

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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.

CONOVER DESIGNATION FAILS ON 3-3 SPLIT VOTE

June 20, 2019

Jewish Family Services packs board meeting

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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.

CONOVER HOUSE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LANDMARK DESIGNATION

June 19, 2019

Additional findings to be presented

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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,

HISTORICAL SOCIETY DOINGS FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2019

June 19, 2019

Conover house moves forward, Thousands raised, historic places celebrated

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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.

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