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Archive for March, 2011

Mayor’s Town Hall in the Central Area – March 22

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Mayor McGinn will be hosting a Town Hall meeting next week for Central Area residents. Come and meet your neighbors, find out what groups are active in your area and how to get involved, and have the chance to ask questions of the Mayor and other City staff.

5:30-6:30  Meet and Greet with local organizations
6:30-6:40  Performance by local youth group
6:40-8:00  Q & A with the Mayor
Garfield Community Center
2323 E Cherry Street

History in pictures of E James Court

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The Seattle Parks Department has extended the deadline for suggestions for names for the future pocket park at 12th Avenue and E James Court.

I did a little historic research to see what used to be on the site. City records are a little hard to track down before the mid 1930s but from old city atlases, it looks like the area around E James Court was platted but didn’t have any homes on it. A couple single family homes surrounded the area.

1908 Baist Atlas showing James Court Park site in red

The subdivision is Squire’s WC Replat which is likely referencing original plats by Watson C. Squire from around 1890. There’s some interesting history on Squire here at the University of Washington archive information page.  He served in the Civil War in New York and Ohio, worked at E Remington Company which sold firearms, moved to Washington in 1879 and later became governor of the Washington Territory in 1884.

This neighborhood is still known as Squire Park so having an actual park called Squire Park might be a little duplicative and confusing.

More history of the area can be found from 1937-38 when King County did a survey and photographed every structure in the county.  This was part of a huge project to re-assess all properties for tax purposes since many were incorrectly assessed.  King County is apparently the only place this happened in the country and left us with a fantastic historic resource of pictures and other data. I found photos of the homes near the park site, which are below. Most were built around 1918 and are still on the street today.

Gas station at park site in 1938

In 1938, a gas station was on the actual park site, with the sign showing “Mohawk” and “Luboil Refining Co, Inc.”
City directories show that it was later Olympic Tires and McKale’s Inc Tires in the 1940s and then Commercial Company (perhaps general contractors) in the 50s and 60s. By the 70s there was a small building on the site occupied by the US Veteran’s Administration.

I’m wondering if there is significance in the name Mohawk?  It is here on the Luboil Refining Co sign from the 30s.  The apartment building at the corner of 13th and E Jefferson is also called the Mohawk Apartments.  Any ideas on why?  I haven’t been able to find any information on either.

I hope you enjoy the historic photos and maybe this gets some creative juices flowing so we can come up with a fun name for the future E James Court park.


1209 E James Court (demolished - would have been on the park site - built 1907)

1211 E James Court (existing)

1215 E James Court (existing)

1217 E James Court (existing-built 1918)

1221 E James Court (demolished - where the Union Hall is now-built 1918)

1204 E James Court (on the SU construction site across from the park site-built 1904)


Parking changes on 12th Avenue (and greater Capitol Hill)

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

I miss the tactile qualities of the old parking meters

There will be some changes coming to the paid parking rates and times in Capitol Hill and along 12th Avenue. CHS covered SDOT’s study of parking in the area a while back.


Changes are happening soon though!  From SDOT’s website:

Coming Soon – New Pre-Payment Options:  Coming in February and March 2011, with deployment of the new rates, the hours that pay stations collect payment will change. Pay stations will close at 6pm as they do now, but they will re-open at 10pm to allow pre-payment for the first two hours the next morning.
(Author note: This was recommended as part of the Mayor’s new Nightlife Initiative so that when someone realizes they have had too much to drink, they can leave their car overnight and pre-pay for a couple hours of parking in the morning, allowing them to sleep off their hangover until 10am instead of having to get the car at 8am when the meters start running.  Brilliant.)

Coming Soon – Evening Rate: Seattle’s center city and many neighborhood business districts are active destinations for customers and visitors well into the evening. Charging in the evening will enhance parking turnover and access in areas with an active nightlife and other evening businesses. Extended paid parking into the evening until 8pm is coming to the Commercial Core, Belltown, Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District, Broadway, Pike-Pine, Uptown, and the University District. This effort will roll out starting in April 2011 and continue through September 2011.

Street parking on 12th Avenue and around Swedish Cherry Hill went up to $1.50 per hour with the hours of 8am to 6pm remaining the same.  Parking rate changes began in January so they should be effective currently.

Street parking in Pike/Pine increased to $2.00/hour and around Broadway to $3.00 per hour.  In April, you’ll need to feed the meter until 8pm.  (The later hours starts in April but implementation looks like it’ll take some time and continue to roll-out throughout the summer.)

Check the posted hours on the meters closely when parking!

Here’s the parking map from SDOT.



Irish pub coming to 12th Ave!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The vacant building and former speakeasy next to Dixon’s Furniture on 12th Avenue will soon be home to an Irish pub called the Chieftain. The folks opening the Chieftain own McGilvra’s in Madison Park and Finn MacCool’s in the U District.

Expect pizza, games, quiz nights, an outdoor deck, and of course Guinness at the Chieftain. The owners hope to open the space by early summer.

Check out more info here.

No 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee Meeting in March

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee will not be meeting in March.  We’ll resume with the usual second Tuesday schedule on April 12th.

March 3:  The public meeting for the James Court woonerf was tentatively scheduled for this date but has been postponed to April 12th.
March 8:  Monthly 12th Avenue meeting has been canceled.