Monthly Archives: August 2017

Queen Anne Events: Things to Do in September

As summer comes to a close, there are plenty of fun end-of-summer activities and Queen Anne events to mark on your calendar…

September 1, 2, & 3: Bumbershoot
9am – 7pm | Seattle Center
Since 1971, Bumbershoot has been one of the largest cultural festivals in Seattle, and one of the largest and most loved contemporary festivals in the U.S. Bumbershoot 2017 showcases a variety of multi-disciplinary arts such as dance, film, music, performing arts, visual arts, theatre, comedy, literary arts and much more. Passes are available for a single day ($149) or the full 3-day event ($249).

Thursdays in September: Queen Anne Farmers’ Market
3pm – 7:30pm | W Crockett St. and Queen Anne Ave N
The neighborhood farmers’ market is here through October 12th! Visit the Queen Anne Farmers Market at West Crockett Street and Queen Anne Avenue North on Thursdays each week for fresh produce, beautiful flower arrangements, locally made goods and your favorite food truck dining! Plus, market music and chef demos to enjoy.

September 9 & 10: Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival
9am – 7pm | Seattle Center
Sunday, September 10th is the 10th anniversary event celebrating Hawaiian culture. The Live Aloha Festival includes lei-making workshops, hula dance lessons, live performances, and cultural foods and music to enjoy. Some events also take place on Saturday, September 9th.

September 10: Scandinavian Pancake Breakfast
8am – 1pm | Swedish Club NW
The Swedish Club NW’s monthly pancake breakfast is delayed one week due to Labor Day weekend. It features an authentic Swedish pancake breakfast complete with ham, lingonberries and all of the fixings. This month, it will take place on September 10th, with live music by Skandia Kapell, Folk Voice Band and TinnFelen Hardanger Fiddle Ensemble. The price is $9 for adults, $7 for club members and $5 for children ages 5-12.

September 10: Grandparents Day
10am – 5pm | Seattle Children’s Museum
Celebrate our wonderful grandparents on September 10th, with a Grandparents Day celebration at the Seattle Children’s Museum. The museum’s daily programs will be themed around grandparents, and there will be a story time at noon. One grandparent gets in free with one paid child admission.

September 16 & 17: Fiestas Patrias
12pm – 9pm | Seattle Center
Celebrate the various cultures and arts from different Latin American countries at the annual Seattle Fiestas Patrias. There will be lots of latino dancing and music, with family friendly activities, visual arts, a marketplace, Latin American cuisine, live performances and more.

September 23: Talk Like a Pirate Day
10am – 5pm | Seattle Children’s Museum
Dress up in your pirate costume and head to the Seattle Children’s Museum on September 23rd to talk like a pirate all day!

September 23 & 24: Festa Italiana Seattle
10am – 7pm | Seattle Center
It’s the 30th annual Italian Festival, coming to the Seattle Center on September 23rd and 24th! Come celebrate Italian culture and people with live performances, visual arts, activities, food and lots more! Don’t miss the Taste of Italy™ Wine Tasting and Opening Reception on Friday!

City Considers Up-zoning Uptown to Allow Taller Buildings

By Daniel Beekman

The Seattle City Council is considering an upzone of Uptown, with action expected as early as next month.

The legislationproposed by Mayor Ed Murray would allow developers to build higher in the neighborhood that wraps around Seattle Center and that is also known as Lower Queen Anne.

And it would activate a program requiring developers to help create affordable housing.

Across most of Uptown, maximum heights would increase slightly, by one or two stories.

In the heart of the neighborhood, for example — around Queen Anne Avenue North and Mercer Street — the jump would be from 40 to 65 feet.

In a triangle of land near South Lake Union, between Denny Way, Broad Street and Aurora Avenue North, maximum heights would increase more, from 85 to 160 feet.

Change is coming to the neighborhood with or without the upzone: The city and Seattle Public Schools plan to build a new high school and stadium at Seattle Center; Sound Transit plans a light-rail station there; and the city is working on an agreement to renovate KeyArena.

Uptown would be the latest neighborhood upzoned by the mayor and council this year, following the University Districtdowntown and South Lake Unionsome Central District intersections and the Chinatown International District.

Murray says the legislation would allow Uptown to better accommodate population growth and would generate low-income housing.

Triggered by the upzone, the Mandatory Housing Affordability program would require Uptown developers to include rent-restricted apartments in their projects or pay fees.

The city would use the fees to help nonprofits build rent-restricted apartments elsewhere in Uptown or in other neighborhoods.

Built on site or with fees, the rent-restricted units would need to be affordable to households making no more than 60 percent of the area’s median income.

This year, 60 percent of the area’s median for a family of four is $57,600 per year.

Under, the mayor’s proposal, Uptown developers would need to devote 5 to 10 percent of their projects to affordable housing or pay $8 to $29.75 per square foot.

Over 20 years, the city estimates Uptown development would create 600 low-income apartments under the Mandatory Housing Affordability program.

The council plans to consider upzones of dozens more neighborhoods next year and could allow apartment buildings on some blocks now reserved for single-family houses.

The Uptown upzone affects only blocks already zoned for apartments and commercial buildings.

Besides allowing taller buildings, the legislation would introduce new development standards meant to make projects pedestrian friendly through amenities such as midblock connections.

And it would offer incentives for developers to create open space and green streets as part of their projects.

The council may amend Murray’s proposal. Councilmember Rob Johnson has suggested adding incentives for developers to build family-size apartments.

Johnson, who chairs the council’s land-use committee, has also suggested capping the number of parking spots Uptown developers would be allowed to build.

The committee held its second discussion on the legislation Tuesday and has scheduled a public hearing for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

Syndicated from The Seattle Times

Former Seattle Children’s Home Site to be Named McGraw Square at Queen Anne

It’s been a year since the last update about the project to develop the former Seattle Children’s Home site into townhomes, and now the first look at the final designs has been released. The community will be called McGraw Square at Queen Anne.

Ground has been broken and construction is underway at the project between 9th and 10th Avenues West on West McGraw Street. The site will have 57 townhomes within the 15 three story buildings on the lot. The homes will each have three bedrooms and a garage that fits two vehicles. Some of the townhomes will even have the luxury of a rooftop deck.

Pricing is anticipated to start at $900,000, with pre-sales opening in fall 2017.

His Immortal Army


This warrior, at the Pacific Science Center exhibit, previously stood in a chariot holding reins, buried at the emperor’s tomb complex. The photo behind him shows terracotta soldiers standing in formation, in dug pits.   All photos:  Alethea Myers

Over 2,200 years ago, a 13-year old boy became the very first emperor of China. For all these years, his immense tomb site and complex remained hidden from the world, only to be discovered in 1973 by farmers near Xi’an, China when they unearthed shards of pottery while digging a well. Emperor Qin Shihuangdi (Qin Shi Huang) had created an unparalleled underground realm to continue his imperial rule and achieve immortality after death. A massive army of 8,000 life-sized soldiers and many other figures was created from terracotta clay to stand guard in the pits dug around his tomb. Only two museums in the United States have been approved by the Republic of China to host an exhibition featuring 10 of these ancient warriors and many other artifacts. The Pacific Science Center in Seattle is fortunate to be one of these, and the popular exhibit runs until September 4th.

A calvaryman stands by his horse. The depiction of the horse was so accurate, that the breed could be determined and traced to a certain region of China.

Why should I see this exhibit? A few reasons:

Sheer size and age: Nothing on this scale or size has been done for a royal burial in China before or after the Qin Dynasty. At 22 square miles, it’s the largest burial site in the world. Only 2,000 warriors have been uncovered so far and painstakingly reassembled out of an estimated 8,000 total. Each statue weighs an average of 300 pounds. It’s estimated that 700,000 workers labored over the span of the emperor’s reign to complete this massive project. Many of them were criminals or called up by draft. Although there were also skilled craftsmen and volunteers, some were there to serve out a punishment or to pay off taxes. Some workers were entombed.

There were also carved clay acrobats, musicians, armor, animals, and chariots. And real weapons, real musical instruments, and coffins with animal skeletons. The emperor wanted to be entertained in the afterlife.

Short reign, much accomplished: Although Qin Shihuangdi’s empire only lasted 36 years, he managed to leave a mark in various aspects. His burial site is unprecedented in size and scope. The republic had previously consisted of Warring States, which he unified in less than a decade.  As China’s First Emperor, he standardized the money (coins) of his realm; previously they had been every shape and size. He is sometimes credited with building the Great Wall of China, formerly a series of sporadic little walls.

A musical instrument, a bell, found at the burial site.

The best is yet to come: The most amazing section of the burial site has yet to be unearthed: the emperor’s burial chamber and tomb mound. According to historical records dating 200 years after his reign, an elaborate sub-chamber with two manmade, underground rivers filled with toxic, liquid mercury exist near his tomb. High mercury levels have been detected around the site, so it’s necessary to proceed with caution. Also, sadly, the bright paint on the warrior figures, after being buried for over 2,200 years, flaked off within 10 minutes of exposure to the open air. So technology might need to catch up to avoid this when Qin Shihuangdi’s tomb is finally opened. His manmade tomb mound, at 250 feet high, is larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

Qin Shihuangdi longed for immortality. And in the uniqueness of his burial, he has done just that.

Click here for Pacific Science Center ticket information.