Archive for October, 2012

Knute Berger Shares New Findings About the Space Needle at MOHAI’s Denny Lecture -November 1

photo courtesy of Knute Berger

From a MOHAI news release:

SEATTLE – The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) and the Space Needle are excited to present Knute “Skip” Berger as the 2nd annual Denny Lecturer on November 1, 2012 at the Space Needle. Honoring the legacy of Seattle’s historic Denny family, MOHAI’s Denny Lecture aims to recognize substantial contributions to regional scholarship. Berger was chosen as this year’s lecturer for new findings about the origins of the Space Needle, uncovered during research for his newest book, Space Needle: The Spirit of Seattle. “What’s exciting about the Denny Lecture is that it gives us an opportunity to put the spotlight on local historians” said Leonard Garfield, Executive Director of MOHAI, “As Seattle winds down its celebration of the 50th anniversary of Century 21, we could not be more happy to present Knute’s work on the history of Seattle’s most iconic structure: the Space Needle.”

Seattle’s self-professed “Mossback”, Berger has long been considered a leading authority on Puget Sound culture and heritage. He regularly contributes articles to local magazines, newspapers, and blogs and released the book Pugetopolis in 2009. Last year Berger was selected as “Writer-In-Residence” for the Space Needle as part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 Century 21 World’s Fair. “Being appointed Writer-In-Residence at the Needle was a literal highlight of my book project. They gave me a desk on the Observation Deck and it was an amazing perch from which to observe and ponder the city,” Berger explained. “Having it topped off by being appointed the Denny Lecturer is just an incredible honor. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with people who have a passion for Seattle heritage.” Along with his new findings, Berger will share anecdotes about the individuals he encountered and experiences he had while working from the Needle.

Berger will present his work on November 1, 2012 at 7:00pm in the SkyLine Level at the Space Needle. The lecture is open to the public and tickets can be purchased on MOHAI’s website, or at the door. The lecture is free for MOHAI members and $10 for the general public.

About the Denny Lecture: Honoring the many contributions of Seattle’s founding Denny family, MOHAI’s annual Denny Lecture presents the very best in regional historical scholarship. Denny Lecturers are selected each year for their contributions to the field, their ability to enrich our understanding of Puget Sound and its people, and their eagerness to share their work with a popular audience.


Panama Hotel Receives National Historic Landmark Recognition

Jacqueline Ashwell (right), Superintendent of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle, presents the National Historic Landmark plaque to Jan Johnson, owner of the Panama Hotel.

Historic Seattle held its quarterly members’ meeting and “Learning from Historic Sites” event at the Panama Hotel (605 1/2 South Main St) in Seattle’s Japantown (Nihonmachi) on Monday, October 15, 2012. About 60 members and new friends attended this special event that offered tours of the bath house and upper floor hotel spaces. What made the evening even more special was the recognition of the Panama Hotel as a National Historic Landmark (NHL)–the highest honor bestowed on a historic place. The property was designated an NHL in 2006. The NHL nomination was prepared by Professor Gail Dubrow who has worked hard to document places of significance in Asian American heritage in the West. The Panama Hotel is featured prominently in her book with Donna Graves, Sento at Sixth and Main. Of course, more recently, the Panama Hotel has gained fame in the book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Jacqueline Ashwell, Superintendent of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle, presented a beautiful bronze plaque to Panama Hotel owner Jan Johnson in the building’s tea and coffee house. Below is Ms. Ashwell’s speech, eloquently prepared by Gretchen Luxenberg (National Park Service, Cultural Resources). The plaque ceremony was followed by Ms. Johnson’s stories about the building history and the people associated with making the Panama Hotel such a unique and important part of Seattle heritage. Historic Seattle thanks Jan for being such an incredible steward of the building and for her continuing efforts to teach us all about the significance of the Panama Hotel in Japanese American history. Continue reading ‘Panama Hotel Receives National Historic Landmark Recognition’

Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund, Deadline to Apply: October 15

The Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington, Whatcom County Chapter #5, Bellingham, received $1,000 to assist with replacing wood shakes on the kitchen roof of the 1856 Pickett House. Source: Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

2013 Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund Grant Program

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is accepting grant applications for the 2013 Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund.  The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, October 15, 2012.

Established in 1997, the program has awarded grants to 90 projects totaling over $77,000 in funding to local historic preservation organizations and advocates engaged in the important work of preserving Washington’s cultural heritage.  While priority is given to bricks and mortar rehabilitation of historic resources, eligible projects also include preservation planning, producing publications/materials to assist with advocacy efforts, and development of interpretive elements that promote the preservation of a specific resource.  “The Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund continues to help grassroots efforts succeed in saving historic places that matter,” stated Jennifer Meisner, Executive Director of the Washington Trust.  “Funding through this program reaches all corners of the state, positively impacting a unique and diverse array of resources.”

Recently, funding from the Washington Preserves program has been awarded to assist with activities such as restoring a homesteader cabin on San Juan Island, window restoration for the one-room Smith Hollow School in Dayton, rehabilitation of the bell tower at the former Skamokawa Central School, and architectural drawings to assist with rehabilitation of the former Hartline High School in Hartline. “The Washington Trust has always focused on providing resources and assistance to communities intent on saving their past,” said Kris Bassett, Chair of the Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund.  “By providing assistance for bricks and mortar rehabilitation, the grant program helps to retain a building’s historic fabric which in turn saves an element of our state’s history.”

The next deadline for submitting grant applications is Monday, October 15, 2012.  Applications submitted via email must be received by 5pm that day.  If a hard copy is being sent via U.S. Mail, application materials must be postmarked no later than October 15, 2012.  All application materials are available on the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation’s website at  For additional questions about the application and for information on donating to the Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund, please contact Chris Moore at 206-624-9449 or via email at

Mid-century Modern Home Tour in West Seattle, Saturday, October 6

Docomomo WEWA invites you to join them for DOCOMOMO US Tour Day 2012 in West Seattle on Saturday, October 6th. You’ll visit three mid-century modern homes that demonstrate the creative work of one architect, Arnold Gangnes (1918 – 2003), who was known for his innovative designs for modern dwellings and later for large scale non-residential and institutional projects. Included on the tour is Gangnes’s own house built in 1948.

The event is a self-guided driving/walking tour. Two of the residences are next door to each other. The third home is reachable by car, bike or a nice long walk.

WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 2012. Tour hours are between 11 am and 2 pm. Please check-in no later than 1 pm to allow time to view all three houses.

Limited on-street parking is available. Please do not block any driveways. Consider carpooling. As an alternative to driving, the KC Metro bus route 50 travels along SW Admiral Way. The KC Water Taxi departs Pier 50 and connects at Seacrest to Metro bus route 775 to Alki/Admiral.

WHERE: Check-in at 5054 SW Grayson St where you’ll receive a tour booklet and map. You’ll be asked to remove your shoes at each house. Exterior photography only.

EVENT FEE: $10 per person. Cash or check only.

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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.