“Queen Anne is the most clearly defined of all Seattle’s hills, a miniature mountain rising abruptly from Elliott Bay, the ship canal, Lake Union and the Seattle Center. –“Queen Anne Hill Seattle’s Miniature Mountain,” Seattle Times (Duncan 1979)
In memory of Roger Billings, a staunch defender of our cobblestone streets.
Queen Anne is blessed (bicyclists disagree about that) with many cobblestone streets. Every fan of Queen Anne history knows that the stones provided traction for horses struggling up the hill. Most history buffs can’t explain their conservation, although their prevalence on steep streets suggests they helped both horses and horseless carriages navigate the slopes for a long time. Even though the street surfaces are not official city landmarks, they are charming anachronisms someone at the Seattle Engineering Department, now SDOT, decided to protect.
The most notable Queen Anne cobblestone streets on the west side of the hill can be found at Blaine where it drops down off Queen Anne Boulevard at 7th Ave., and on Howe as it plunges from the steps below 7th to 10th. On the east side, there is a stretch of cobbles on Warren N. running south from Lee that the Fire Department favors. Queen Anne has the greatest share of Seattle’s 93 cobblestone streets with the east side of Capitol Hill a close second. …Continue reading “Cobble, Cobble, Cobblestones”→
Could the Century Building at 10 Harrison be Queen Anne’s next city landmark? The Queen Anne Historical Society believes it has both architectural and historical significance. Designed by Arne Bystrom and James Greco, the building is one of several distinctive lower Queen Anne mid-century modern buildings. With the Power Control Center at 157 Roy Street and perhaps all the surviving buildings of the 1962 Century 21 World’s Fair, the Century Building documents the resistance of Pacific Northwest architects after World War II to the International Style and to the ahistorical purism its forms represent. The Seafirst Building opposite the public library on 4th Avenue by the Seattle architectural firm NBBJ, is a good local example of the minimalist International Style.
Hidden by trees, the Century Building shows the influence of the World’s Fair designers and underscores the strong spirit of Pacific Northwest regionalism. Like 157 Roy St. and the Post Office building at Republican and First North, the Century Building gives up a significant portion of its site to parking. This …Continue reading “IS THIS ANOTHER MID-CENTURY LANDMARK?”→
Speaking of the cause, it’s time to show your love with our 3rd Annual “HeartBomb!”
Show Your Love “HeartBomb”
1 PM, Tuesday, February 14,2017
KeyArena | Coliseum
BYOV (Bring your own Valentine)
Join us on Valentine’s Day to celebrate a unique, local Modernist masterpiece – KeyArena in the heart of Seattle Center!
Historic Seattle, Queen Anne Historical Society, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Docomomo WEWA, and friends will be showing our love for KeyArena (aka Washington State Coliseum) at 1 pm on Tuesday, February 14. We’ll gather for a group photo at 1:15 pm to show off our homemade valentines to this cool historic building. (The group photo will happen rain or shine!)
HeartBombs are a fun and creative way to bring people together and raise awareness about what’s cherished in a community — a sort of city-wide love letter about places that matter.
Why are we bringing the love?
The City of Seattle issued a Request for Proposals for the rehab and re-use of KeyArena, a world-class sports and entertainment venue. But there’s also a tear-down option. The landmark-eligible historic structure from the Seattle World’s Fair should be preserved. Read Knute Berger’s article for more of the backstory.
Participating in a HeartBomb event is one way to advocate for the building’s preservation and potential re-use. As Berger says, “it could be a win for history, sports fans and taxpayers.” Who doesn’t like a win-win?
Here’s how it works
Get creative by crafting your homemade valentine to the building. Add your message about why this place matters.
Bring your heart creation and join others for a group photo at KeyArena declaring your love. We’ll meet on the west side of the arena off 1st Avenue N and Harrison Street near the giant, concrete abutment (or “leg”).
Can’t join us for the group photo? Don’t worry. Take pictures of you and your handmade creation in front of KeyArena, and share them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with the hashtag #heartbombSEA, #heartbombKeyArena, and #IHeartSavingPlaces. Feel free to add why you “heart” this place and why others should fall in love with it, too!
Contact Brooke Best, Historic Seattle Preservation Advocacy Coordinator, at
Augustine & Kyer was a grand, upscale grocery store with origins in Seattle’s early years. It was Seattle’s “Pure Food Purveyor”, selling food and merchandise of the highest quality. It also provided superior order and delivery service to its customers. Its stores flourished from 1907 until the 1930’s when, unfortunately, it succumbed to the Great Depression.
The history of Augustine & Kyer begins with an English grocer named Charles Louch. In 1885, Louch opened a wood frame grocery store on Front Street (later renamed First Avenue) in what was eventually to become downtown Seattle. The sign above the entry read, “Cigars Tobacco Groceries & Provisions”[i]. The 1885-86 Polk’s City Directory listed Louch as one of only 22 Seattle grocers.
In 1892, Louch formed a partnership with Manual Brock Augustine. Before settling in Seattle, M. B. Augustine lived in Silver City, Nevada, where he owned a general merchandise and mining supply store, and in Oakland, California, where he was a salesman for J.A. Folger, the coffee company.
In 1893, Louch, Augustine & Company moved its store to the new Colman Building at the corner of First Avenue and Marion Street. The store prospered in the late 1890’s during the Klondike gold rush, aided by Augustine’s experience as a mining supplier. The years 1907 – 1908 brought major changes. Louch and M.B. Augustine sold the company to Henry Kyer, Augustine’s son Julius was promoted to Vice President, and Kyer changed the company’s name to Augustine & Kyer. Kyer had been married to Alice Augustine, M.B. Augustine’s daughter, but they divorced in 1908, two days before Kyer purchased the company.[ii]…Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores: Augustine & Kyer”→