Historic Preservation

The June 18 Ballard Avenue Landmark Board election was a sweep for Conor Byrne.

Joseph Herrin, owner of the Conor Byrne building, beat Steve Mako, owner of the BalMar building, in the race for position one, reserved for property owners..

Patrick Wellnitz, owner of Conor Byrne Pub, beat John Burreson, owner of Old Town Alehouse, in the election for position two, reserved for business and property owners.

There were no candidates for position three, which is reserved for district residents, so the position will be filled by a mayoral appointment and city council confirmation.

The Ballard Avenue Landmark District was established in 1976 to protect the unique architectural heritage of the street.


Norwegians from all over the area convened on Ballard's Leif Erikson Lodge June 7 to witness the opening of a time capsule recovered from the former site of the Norway Center.

The capsule was found by demolition crews at the Mountaineers Club, formerly the Norway Center, at 300 Third Ave. W. It was given to Russ Oberg, president of Leif Erikson Lodge, and Tom Stang, retired consul of the Royal Norwegian Consulate.

It was unclear whether the capsule was sealed during the 1950 dedication of the Norway Center or was transferred to the center from the 1915 dedication of the Norway Hall.

Before the capsule was opened, tribute was paid to the old Norway Center, which was sold to the Mountaineers Club in 1983, and was recently demolished.

"It was a beautiful building and held many happy memories," said Karin Gorud Scovill, representing the Daughters of Norway.

Stang said he drove by the site, now just a hole in the ground, and was overwhelmed, not necessarily by sadness, but by a lot of feelings.

"What most of my generation will remember about the center are the Saturday night dances," he said. "It was truly a center for young Norwegians in Seattle."

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Tom Stang, retired consul of the Royal Norwegian Consulate, Russ Oberg, president of Leif Erikson Lodge, and Karin Gorud Scovill, representing the Daughters of Norway, react to documents found in a time capsule opened June 7. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

Dear Editor,

As part of the transition to a Chase branch, the clock tower that had been at the Ballard Washington Mutual bank for 50 years was removed.

The community is upset. It's another Ballard landmark that has been taken down.

A representative at the bank said they took it down because it was old and they didn't want to put the money into it that it would take to repair it.

What's the price for having it in the community?

Chase didn't give any warning they were removing the clock tower. I found out when I walked by and it was being taken out.

If they are not willing to put the clock tower back where it was, they should pay to install it somewhere else in Ballard.

These are not just my words. There wasn't much left of Ballard to begin with.

Randi Hansen,

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Workers remove the Washington Mutual clock tower from the corner of 22nd Avenue Northwest and Northwest 56th Street May 20.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society invites residents to bike into history as its 2nd Annual Bike Tour returns to West Seattle Sunday, June 7, 12:30 to 2 p.m.

The bike tour accompanies the historical society's popular walking tour series, showcasing some of West Seattle’s most influential landmarks.

Beginning at the Log House Museum on Alki Beach, the Bike Tour is a casual five-mile bike ride around the Duwamish Peninsula via Alki and Harbor Avenues and West Marginal Way. Featured sites on the route include the Log House Museum, the newly reconstructed Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, Alki Beach, Anchor Park (formerly Luna Park) and the new Duwamish Longhouse on West Marginal Way.

Bike tour creator and museum assistant Sarah Frederick and museum director Andrea Mercado are excited about the bike tour’s unique format in reminding Seattleites of West Seattle’s central influence on the city’s history.

Photo credit: 
Provided by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which operates the Log House Museum, is hosting its second annual bike tour June 7.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Alki Homestead, among 13 other Washington landmarks, as an endangered historic property.

Chris Moore is field director for the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. He spoke Tuesday, May 26, from a podium set up on very windy bicycle trail by the Sculpture Garden.

Andrea Mercado is executive director of the Southwest Historical Society.

"This could not be a more ideal location for this (event) because we are right over there, the birthplace of Seattle," said Mercado, as she pointed to Alki Point across Elliott Bay from the podium.

"The Log House Museum is in the landmark carriage house, one of five originally that surrounded (the Alki Homestead Inn)," she said. "So historically it is a very significant property. When you ate there you walked through that door and were back to a different era, plus (there was) the fried chicken on the menu we were all hooked on since the 1950's. The museum itself cost close to a million dollars to restore and is just a quarter to a third the size (of the Alki Homestead Inn)."

Alki preservation event.jpg
Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

Jennifer Mallinger holds photo of Alki Homestead Inn. She works with Jennifer Meisner, right, executive director of Washington Trust, the organization that announced 13 properties on the 2009 Most Endangered Historic Properties list. The fore-damaged Alki Homestead Inn appears on that list, and is a City of Seattle landmark.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society will host author Joan Hockaday, author of "Greenscapes, Olmsted's Pacific Northwest," at the Log House Museum Tuesday, June 2 at 7 p.m.

Hockaday will talk about the influence of John Charles Olmsted on West Seattle, particularly his friendship with Ferdinand Schmitz whose land became Schmitz Park and Me-Kwa-Mooks Park. 

The Log House Museum is located at 3003 61st Ave. S.W.

Contact the museum for more information:  206-938-5293 or loghousemuseum@comcast.net. 

The event is free, but donations are welcomed. Books will be available for purchase.

Photo credit: 
Photo courtesy City of Seattle

Author Joan Hockaday will talk about the influence of John Charles Olmsted on West Seattle parks like Schmitz Park at an event at the Log House Museum June 2.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Alki Homestead, among other Washington landmarks, as an endangered historic property.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation says this about the Homestead:

In 1903, Gladys and William Bernard began construction of Fir Lodge.  This country estate, located near Alki Point in West Seattle, exemplified the Rustic Style of architecture and stands as an early iteration of the style in the Puget Sound region.  Its log structure and river rock fireplace provided a retreat from the hustle and bustle of Seattle and the city’s accompanying growth during the 1890s.  Almost immediately after its construction, Fir Lodge became a gathering place, serving as the first clubhouse for the fledgling Seattle Auto Club from 1907-1911.  Since 1950, the structure has been home to the Alki Homestead Restaurant.  Because of its architectural quality and its association with the development of Seattle, the Alki Homestead Restaurant is a designated city landmark.

Photo credit: 
File photo

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Alki Homestead, among other Seattle landmarks, an endangered historic property.

The Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association is hosting its sixth annual Seven Hills Walk Saturday, June 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Walk the Seven Hills of Seattle with sister city association. The event is modeled after a similar tradition in Bergen, Norway.

Sites include:

- A view of Seattle from Queen Anne Hill

- The old Norway Hall on Denny Hill

- Capitol Hill

- A Swedish retirement home on Renton Hill

- Swedish Hospital on First Hill

- Yesler Community Center on Profanity Hill (Yesler Hill)

- Amazon.com campus on Beacon Hill

The association invites walkers to join the seven-mile 900 foot elevation gain walk, which will convene at Kerry Park on Queen Anne at West Highland Drive between 2nd Avenue West and 3rd Avenue West.

Guides will discuss Seattle's history and point out Scandinavian landmarks as we climb all seven hills.

Lunch is at Swedish Hospital cafeteria or bring your own. The tour will finish on Beacon Hill, where a Metro bus will take participants back to Kerry Park.

For more information, contact Olaf Kvamme, president of the the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, 206-363-3966 or Nancy Olsen, 206-760-2666.

Photo credit: 
City of Bergen

The sixth annual Seven Hills Walk is June 6. It's modeled after a similar tradition of Seattle's sister city Bergen, Norway, pictured here.

Kristine Leander, cultural director of the Seattle Swedish Cultural Center and former director of the Leif Erikson Foundation, stopped by the May 13 Ballard Chamber of Commerce luncheon to discuss Norwegian history in the region in anticipation of Syttende Mai, May 17.

Leander presented a selection of photos from her new book, "Norwegian Seattle."

One photo showed a group of Norwegians hanging out on Dock St. early in Ballard's history, Leander said it was fitting that Bad Albert's is currently located there.

"Strong independent women are very much a part of the Norwegian tradition," she said while discussing the founding of the Daughters of Norway.

There was a photo of reindeer from Norway that stayed at the Woodland Park Zoo briefly on their way to Alaska. Approximately 8,000 people stopped by to see them in one day, she said.

A more recent photo demonstrated the slow diffusion of Ballard's Scandinavian base. In 1994, Scandies, a Finnish restaurant, served Lutefisk and Swedish pancakes from a location on Market Street that has since become the India Bistro.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Kristine Leander discusses a photo from the Nordic Heritage Museum of a group of women preparing fish.

Mayor Greg Nickels is looking for applicants to fill a position on the Ballard Avenue Landmark District Board. The opening is for a Ballard historian or person having a demonstrated interest in the Ballard community.

The seven-member Ballard Avenue Landmark District Board protects the historical and architectural values and significance of the district by regulating all proposed changes to the external appearance of buildings, structures and public rights-of-way located within the district boundaries.

The board is composed of two district property owners, two district property owners/business persons, one district tenant/resident, one architect and one Ballard historian or person with a demonstrated interest in the Ballard community. Five board members are elected for a two-year term at annual elections in the district, and two are appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council.

Board meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. Board members generally must commit two to four hours a month to board business and serve without compensation.

Photo credit: 
File photo

The city is looking to fill a position on the Ballard Avenue Landmark District Board.

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