New Historic Seattle Website!

hs homepage screenshot_main2

Dear MAin2 Blog Followers:

Historic Seattle recently launched a newly re-designed website and MAin2 is now integrated into the new site. This is the last post for this version of the MAin2 blog.

If you are an email subscriber to MAin2, then your subscription has been transferred to the blog on our new site and you should be receiving email notices of new blog posts. No need for you to do anything. If you are an RSS subscriber, you’ll need to go to our blog on our new site and subscribe again.

For our newly redesigned Historic Seattle website, we invite you to:

  • Explore our upcoming events and register online
  • Learn more about 40 years of projects led by Historic Seattle, saving endangered historic places, and find out the latest news on our blog (the MAin2 blog is now incorporated into our new site)
  • Tap into advocacy information and technical assistance
  • Find a preservation professional with expertise in historic buildings or landscapes
  • Join or renew your membership, make a gift, or sign up as a volunteer
  • and more!

Historic Seattle owes a debt of gratitude to Marissa Natkin, who led our efforts to create a website in the mid-1990s, and has managed our online presence for the past two decades. She was instrumental in shepherding the development of our new site.

Big thanks to Creation-1 Interactive for creating our new website!

We hope you’ll find our new site easy to navigate and informative! If you have any feedback on your experience using our new site, please contact Membership & Communications Manager Dana Phelan at

Announcing Historic Seattle’s 40th Anniversary Publication

Costume ball at home of Emily Carkeek / Source: University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

Costume ball at home of Emily Carkeek / Source: University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

Support the Publication of Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill

As part of our 40th Anniversary, Historic Seattle is publishing an architectural and cultural history that captures the neighborhood’s changing character as home to residences, social clubs, religious institutions, apartment buildings, and hospitals.

This project has been supported by 4Culture Heritage Special Projects grants and private donors. Historic Seattle is in the final push to raise additional funds for publication costs.

Special benefits for high-level sponsors ($500+) include recognition at the Book Launch at Town Hall Seattle on December 4, 2014.

Show your support by donating online today.

For more information, please contact us at (206) 622-6952, ext 221 or

Preserving a National Historic Landmark in Seattle’s Japantown: The Panama Hotel

Panama Hotel HSR cover image blog

Historic Seattle, in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is working with Panama Hotel owner and steward, Jan Johnson, to develop a long-term plan that preserves this rare National Historic Landmark (NHL) for the future and improves community access and interpretation. In addition to being a National Historic Landmark, the Panama Hotel is a contributing resource to the International Special Review District and Seattle-Chinatown National Register Historic District.

Located on the southeast corner of Sixth Ave S. and S. Main St. in Seattle’s Japantown (Nihonmachi) within the International District, the Panama Hotel is nationally significant for its association with the historical theme, “Japanese immigration to the United States,” and also significant as a building type that is exceptionally valuable for the study of the earliest generation of Japanese immigrants in the United States. Built in 1910, the Panama Hotel was designed by Sabro Ozasa, the first Japanese architect to practice in Seattle. Along with hotel rooms, the Panama Hotel also contained the traditional Japanese bathhouse or sento (located in the basement). The bathhouse in the Panama Hotel is the most outstanding representative example of an urban bathhouse in the country (only two remain) and possesses an extraordinarily high degree of integrity.

When owner Jan Johnson purchased the property in 1986 from Takashi Hori, owner of the building from 1938 to 1986, she also became the caretaker of Japanese American artifacts that had been left in the basement of the Panama since World War II. In 1942, many Nikkei were forced to evacuate their homes for World War II internment camps. They packed their personal belongings in large trunks and stashed them in the basement of the hotel. Many of these items remain in place as part of the building’s history and legacy to the city and the nation.

We are engaged in preserving the Panama Hotel through short-term and long-term activities. We began preparing a Historic Structures Report (HSR) and as-built drawings for the building in summer 2013, retaining the services of Artifacts Consulting, Inc. of Tacoma for the HSR and architect Brian Baker, a Historic Seattle volunteer, for the drawings. The HSR was completed in April 2014 and provides the foundation for our efforts to preserve the building, its spaces and collections. As the primary work plan and guide on treatment, the HSR prioritizes work to address immediate conservation needs, as well as mid and long-term needs to allow the owner to effectively plan for capital projects. Historic Seattle secured grant funds for the HSR project from 4Culture’s Preservation Special Projects Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Eldridge Campbell Stockton Memorial Fund for Washington. We are grateful to these two organizations for their support. Continue reading ‘Preserving a National Historic Landmark in Seattle’s Japantown: The Panama Hotel’

Historic Seattle Community Open House – August 3

Historic Seattle Open House blog

Historic Seattle Seeks Full Charge Bookkeeper

Historic Seattle is looking for a new Bookkeeper. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact us. The job announcement is listed below and also posted on our website at

Deadline to apply is Friday, August 8, 2014.

It is a full-time position (40 hours per week, non-exempt).  Eligible for medical and dental coverage, long-term disability insurance and retirement contribution in addition to holiday, vacation and sick days

Position Summary:

The Historic Seattle Bookkeeper is responsible for verifying and entering into the financial records the details of the organization’s financial transactions, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and standard monthly general journal entries.  In addition, the Bookkeeper is responsible for reconciliation of general ledger accounts to sub-ledger detail, and reconciliation of bank accounts.  The Bookkeeper will close the books monthly and provide monthly management reporting to staff.  In addition, the Bookkeeper will assist the Contract CFO with annual budgeting and annual audit preparation.  This is a full-charge bookkeeper position.  The organization includes three discrete entities, including one limited liability company. Continue reading ‘Historic Seattle Seeks Full Charge Bookkeeper’

Wanted: Historic Sites or Landmarks in King County

If These Walls Could Talk, Staci Bernstein and Jane Kaplan, 2012. Neeley Mansion, Auburn. © Becka Brebner

If These Walls Could Talk, Staci Bernstein and Jane Kaplan, 2012. Neeley Mansion, Auburn. © Becka Brebner

By Guest Blogger Christina DePaolo

Starting with a playwright who thought a local IKEA showroom would be a great place to stage a play, 4Culture has been supporting works of art produced in unexpected places through the Site Specific grant program since 2005. In 2013 the program changed focus, funding projects that interpret and explore the significance of a historic King County site or landmark.

Imagine walking into Neeley Mansion, a 1894 Victorian classic revival farmhouse located in Auburn, and experiencing If These Walls Could Talk, a performance and series of short films that tell the stories of five families that lived in the mansion. What would you learn about the Mansion? How would experiencing the stories of those who lived there make you feel? What would you understand about our region? This is Historic Site Specific.

The current iteration represents a unique effort by Arts, Heritage, and Preservation funding staff, shaping a program that supports artists working collaboratively with historic sites around King County, to engage historic sites and illuminate their story. For the 2014 program, we are currently looking for historic sites to participate in the program by joining the roster. Sites on the roster are featured on our website and can be contacted by artists who are interested in working with them on a project. If the artist’s proposal is funded, sites collaborate further with them through the execution of their project.

The deadline to apply for inclusion in the Roster of historic Sites is September 12, 2014. Artists/Sites will be submitting their final proposals by October 8, 2014. We at 4Culture want to build a robust and diverse roster, and encourage all King County historic sites and landmarks to apply.

Benefits of inclusion include increasing community engagement and visibility as well as access to new audiences. This is an opportunity to be a part of a unique and innovate partnership with 4Culture and King County artists. For criteria and to apply, visit Please contact Charlie Rathbun at 206.296.8675 with questions.

About the author: Guest blogger Christina DePaolo works in the communications department supporting initiatives and programs at 4Culture, King County’s arts and culture funding agency. 

Ainsworth & Dunn Warehouse Nominated

Ainsworth & Dunn Warehouse in 1937 / Source: Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Region Branch

Ainsworth & Dunn Warehouse in 1937 / Source: Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Region Branch

The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board unanimously nominated the Ainsworth & Dunn Warehouse (2815 Elliot Ave) at its July 2, 2014 meeting. The building, more commonly known as the Old Spaghetti Factory Restaurant in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, was built in 1902 for Ainsworth & Dunn, a prominent salmon-packing company, as their warehouse. In 1901, the same firm built Pier 14 (now Pier 70). The warehouse was constructed to operate in tandem with the pier.

Historic Seattle, the Queen Anne Historical Society and local preservationists submitted letters of strong support for nomination.

The Board nominated both the exterior and interior. The Board’s decision was a big step forward in recognizing the significance of vernacular style industrial buildings in Seattle which are often times not appreciated or understood as well as more high style examples of architecture. The property is also significant for its association with Ainsworth & Dunn and the industrial development of the city. Its location is also a prominent one at the north end of the waterfront. It stands out among the piers, multi-family apartments and condos, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The building’s adaptive reuse into a restaurant in the 1970s has kept it an active space for thousands to enjoy every year. The owner has been an excellent steward of the property. We hope any future plans for the block preserves the Ainsworth & Dunn Warehouse in its entirety. The surface parking lot adjacent to the south could provide the available land needed for development, allowing the Ainsworth & Dunn building to anchor a future project.

The Board will consider the property for landmark designation at its August 6, 2014 meeting.

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The writers who post entries on MAin2 represent various views and opinions. The blog posts do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Historic Seattle.