The neighborhoods of Wedgwood and Meadowbrook in northeast Seattle enjoy a beautiful drive along the main arterial, 35th Ave NE, under the canopy of Flame Ash trees. These street trees were planted between 1965 to 1972 as part of Urban Forestry, SDOT (Seattle Department of Transportation, which does all street-related work.) Perhaps Wedgwood and Meadowbrook are among the most tree-oriented neighborhoods of Seattle. At the nearby office of Seattle Audubon, neighbors can participate in the ongoing tree survey and find gaps where they can plant trees to improve the “canopy cover.” Seattle Audubon Society has created a tree map program which is interactive for people to enter info.
The Theodora building in northeast Seattle, located on 35th Ave NE closest to the corner of NE 68th Street, is going through a transition to new use. The Theodora Home was formerly low-income housing operated by the Volunteers of America, which had been on the site in a series of buildings since 1914. The present Theodora, built in 1965, has been sold to a private developer who will renovate it as a regular apartment complex.
The sale of the Theodora was finalized in March 2015 and the building has been designated as a historic landmark under Seattle’s historic preservation program. The nomination report, describing the building and its design, can be read here.
The history of the exploration of our Pacific Northwest region is built upon its landscape, including rivers, mountains, natural resources and the use patterns of traditional cultures. Two recently-released books tell stories of local history, fur traders, explorers, geology and the sites which have been preserved.
The Gold Rush of 1897 was an event which rocketed Seattle out of an economic depression because the city advertised itself as the launch point to the Yukon. Forever after, the economies of the City of Seattle and the North Country, including Alaska, have been linked.
Around Seattle’s neighborhoods there are old houses which embody the history of the city’s development and growth. In Seattle’s fast-growing years of the 1880’s it seemed that carpenters were everywhere and today we can still see examples of early, carpenter-built wood-frame houses.
Walking along a sidewalk in the Wedgwood neighborhood one day, I saw what appeared to be a fancy front-yard mailbox…or was it a birdhouse? Upon closer examination I saw that the structure had a door with books visible inside. Over the book box door was a plaque which said, “Little Free Library.”
Fremont in Seattle was one of the city’s first neighborhoods with its own identity. It was founded as a land development, like a suburb, with the name of Fremont taken from the home city of two investors who came out from Nebraska. In 1888 these men formed a business partnership with local investors to develop the site in a very advantageous location, reachable from downtown Seattle via a streetcar line along the west side of Lake Union (Westlake Avenue).
Information about Seattle’s historic neighborhoods like Fremont can be found on the Department of Neighborhood’s Historic Preservation page. There is a database of historic properties by address, or you can put in the neighborhood name such as Fremont, and see all of the buildings which have been “surveyed” (reviewed for historic info).
From earliest times, people have been fascinated by how birds fly. Seattle’s Museum of Flight is presenting a special exhibit on the “mechanics” of flight (bird anatomy) and the inspiration which birds have given to man’s efforts to become airborne. The How Birds Fly exhibit is at the Museum of Flight now through September 4, 2015. Check the museum website for open hours, parking info and admission prices.