The Future of 35th Ave NE in Wedgwood

Some of the commercial buildings in Wedgwood are very old and could be ripe for redevelopment.

What is the future of 35th Ave NE?  This arterial corridor through northeast Seattle has businesses clustered mainly at the intersections of NE 65th, 75th, 85th and 95th Streets.  As buildings age and are replaced, we want to have a say in how new buildings look and what the commercial offerings will be.  In a grass-roots process, the future of 35th Ave NE has been considered.  Proposed zoning changes may require that in the future, new commercial buildings on 35th Ave NE must have a pedestrian-friendly street environment with storefronts at sidewalk level.

The Jasper Apartments at 8606 35th Ave NE in Wedgwood were a disappointment to the community because of the building’s lack of storefronts.

For the past several years the northeast Seattle neighborhoods of Ravenna-Bryant, Hawthorne Hills, View Ridge and Wedgwood have been working together in a process called The Future of 35th Ave NE.  This Future Project addresses the disappointments of buildings which did not add to the commercial vibrancy along 35th Ave NE, such as the Jasper which does not have storefronts.  The Future of 35th Ave NE incorporates our hopes for better-designed buildings with more of what we want, including pedestrian-accessible shops and restaurants.

It was a packed house on June 24, 2015 to hear a DPD presentation on zoning changes at commercial intersections.

It was a packed house on June 24, 2015 to hear a DPD presentation on zoning changes at commercial intersections.

The Future of 35th Ave NE process reached a critical turning point in this summer of 2015 after the committee requested that the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) take a look at the issues.  In a well-attended meeting on June 24th, a DPD representative presented the zoning changes which would require that new buildings at the commercial “nodes” of 65th, 75th, 85th and 95th meet the proposed requirements.  Potential zoning solutions could improve the pedestrian and retail experience along 35th Ave NE.

There is still time to participate in the process.  DPD has created a special page for the 35th Ave NE rezoning project and public input can be given there.

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Go Klondike Legacy Day

The Seattle unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park preserves the story of the 1897 stampede to the Yukon gold fields and Seattle’s crucial role in this event.  On Friday, July 17, 2015, you can join in with activities to commemorate the Gold Rush.

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The Theodora in Northeast Seattle

The Theodora is on 35th Ave NE nearest to the corner of NE 68th Street.

The Theodora is on 35th Ave NE nearest to the corner of NE 68th Street.

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.

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The Landscape in Our Pacific Northwest History

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.

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Under the Midnight Sun at the Klondike Gold Rush Museum in Seattle

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.

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Old Houses in Seattle History

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.

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The Little Free Library

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.”

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