Archive for December, 2010

Happy Holidays From MAin2!

Modern Gingerbread House, built by some creative Seattle preservationists / Photo: R. Frestedt

Gingerbread House Goes Mod

What better way to get into the spirit of the season than to build a Modern style gingerbread house?!  Like a real mid-century Modern home in an older neighborhood, this one stands out among the traditional designs with gable roofs. Inspired by the Rohrer House in Seattle (recently nominated by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board and up for landmark designation on January 5, 2011), some local preservationists got their creative heads together and produced a smashing gingerbread house. We bet it was great fun to design and build the house. MAin2 sure digs it so we’re sharing it with you. Just spreading the joy…

Looking forward to 2011! Thanks for following MAin2 in 2010, our inaugural year.

Below is list of “building” materials for the gingerbread house:

  • Structural system and cladding – homemade gingerbread
  • Roof material – crushed Chic-o-stick
  • Windows/front door – melted Butterscotch rounds, vermicelli pasta
  • Chimney – sugar wafers, bubble gum, vermicelli pasta, Pocky sticks

Garden materials:

  • NECCO wafers (paving stones, garden art)
  • Fun dip (pool)
  • Pocky sticks (borders)
  • Nerds (wreath)
  • Sugar wafers (low wall)
  • Rye crisp crackers (benches)
  • Gum drops (throughout)
  • Bubble gum
  • Chocolate mint malt ball (entry light)
  • Various gummy candies
  • Sesame candy wafers
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Proposed State Budget Cuts Deeply Affect Heritage

Two recent Crosscut articles by Knute Berger delve into how heritage is negatively impacted by the Governor’s budget. In “Heritage gets hammered by Gregoire’s budget,” Berger looks at how the budget proposes to close two outstanding state museums–the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane. This would be a huge blow to heritage and culture on both sides of the state. Both museums are incredible educational and cultural resources that are housed in relatively new state-of-the-art facilities. Also proposed is merging the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) into the Department of Natural Resources. DAHP should remain as its own department where it is run efficiently and effectively and not be buried within a larger bureaucracy that has a different mission and goals.

In the second article, “More victims of the heritage hatchet,” Berger looks specifically at how the proposed budget eliminates the $10 million Heritage Capital Projects Fund (HCPF) for the 2011-2013 biennium. This means that 29 worthy projects across the state will not get the funding that was recommended by a grant review panel in the summer of 2010. Since 1997, this competitive grant has offered a significant source of funds for a variety of projects that help interpret and preserve Washington’s history and heritage. Let’s hope the legislature restores the HCPF in the upcoming legislative session.

Research You Can Use: The Historic Seattle Times, 1896-1984

Seattle Times, October 29, 1929

Here’s a great new research tool from the Seattle Public Library for all you lovers of history–you can access issues of the Seattle Times from 1896 to 1984 online! 1896 – 1899 will be available starting January 2011. Go to the ‘Local History’ sub-page (within the Database and Websites page) of the Seattle Public Library’s website and scroll down to ‘Seattle Times Historical Archives (1896-1984)’ under “Newspapers and Other Indexes (Local History).” You’ll be able to easily choose the year, month, and day (if you already have a specific article reference) and download a pdf of the article. You can print as well. The database also provides a search function so you can search for articles by subject/topic. A list of relevant articles comes up that include your search term.

This is an amazing resource. No more messing around with microfilm machines at the central library. You can do this research in the comfort of your own home or office! This resource was made possible through a generous grant from the Seattle Public Library Foundation. Thank you SPL and the foundation!!!

What Price Seattle’s Skyline?

There’s a debate brewing regarding the proposed updates to Seattle’s sign ordinance. Should City Council pass legislation that amends the sign ordinance to allow large signs on buildings in downtown zones to be placed more than sixty-five feet above ground level under certain circumstances?

City Council’s Regional Development and Sustainability Committee held a public hearing on December 7th regarding this matter. Over twenty people testified against allowing these changes while a small handful spoke in support. Council also received many written comments opposing the change, including letters from University of Washington architecture professors, Historic Seattle, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and scores of design professionals, residents and concerned citizens. So what’s the big deal? What was anticipated as a minor change to the land use code that would fly under the radar has mushroomed into a controversial issue. The proposed legislation was written for one business, Russell Investments, which recently moved into the WaMu Center after pulling up stakes and leaving its original home, Tacoma. Continue reading ‘What Price Seattle’s Skyline?’

Improved Advocacy

Screenshot of "Advocacy" landing page, Historic Seattle website

Historic Seattle recently revamped the “Advocacy” pages of its website. Big thanks to graduate student intern, Brandon Spencer-Hartle of the University of Oregon for all his work on this monster project.

The sections are much improved, easier to navigate, and filled with relevant info on Historic Preservation and Public Policy; Preservation Incentives; Landmark Protection; Lost, Saved and Endangered Properties; Preservation Awards; Preservation and Elections; and an Archive. Check it out!

Preservation in the News This Week: November 29 – December 3

Villa Costella in Queen Anne newly designated a Seattle Landmark / Photo: Google Maps Streetview

This has been a busy week for preservation and urban design in the news:

New Seattle Landmarks. On December 1, the Landmarks Preservation Board designated two buildings, the RKO Distributing Company Building in Belltown (2312 Second Avenue) and Villa Costella (348 W. Olympic Place) in Queen Anne. Designed by architect Earl W. Morrison, the RKO is a 1928 former film exchange building in a part of downtown once known as “Film Row.” Its high level of exterior integrity is notable for its use of Batchelder tiles, unusual for the outside of commercial buildings. The 1928-1929 Villa Costella is a Spanish Eclectic style apartment building designed and developed by architect Everett J. Beardsley. The building is currently a condominium complex. The Queen Anne Historical Society encouraged the owners of the condos to nominate the building voluntarily. Download both landmark nominations from the Seattle Historic Preservation Program’s website. Look for the RKO Building nomination listed under the address, 2312 Second Avenue, not the name. Continue reading ‘Preservation in the News This Week: November 29 – December 3’


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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.