Requiem for the Big Green House

The Big Green House at 7321 35th Ave NE is boarded up and awaiting demolition.

The Big Green House at 7321 35th Ave NE is boarded up and awaiting demolition.

Some neighborhoods of Seattle have any number of houses which are one hundred years old or older, but in Wedgwood the number of hundred-year-old houses is very small.   One is the Big Green House at 7321 35th Ave NE which has continued to stand while the arterial 35th Avenue NE has become increasingly dominated by commercial structures.  A developer owns the site and may go ahead with demolition within two weeks of this writing, to replace the Big Green House with townhouses.

Wedgwood is a neighborhood of northeast Seattle which was very thinly populated and was outside of the Seattle City Limits until after World War Two.  When the war ended in 1945, demand for housing jumped as soldiers returned to civilian life, married and started families.  For that reason Wedgwood has a large number of houses built in the 1940’s and later.  On some streets one can see a few old houses from 1910-1930 with “infill” where newer houses from 1940+ have filled up the lots.  The Big Green House is on what later became a major arterial, 35th Ave NE, and the house now stands alone as a residential structure surrounded by storefront buildings.

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Wedgwood Memories: If a House Could Talk

Property photo taken in 1972 for the tax assessors office.  The writing on the photo is the plat name of Pontiac, with block number and address.

Property photo taken in 1972 for the tax assessors office. The writing on the photo is the plat name of Pontiac, with block number and address.

If houses could talk!  We can just imagine all the memories of Wedgwood neighborhood life from our childhood days which a house could tell.  In this guest post from one of the Seattle Urban Sketchers, Carleen Ormbrek Zimmerman captures the poignant moment of remembering the joys of her parents’ home during the transition of turning over the house to a new owner.

The Seattle Urban Sketchers “see the world one drawing at a time.” They help us see Seattle through the eyes of artists with appreciation for color and detail.  Look down the right-side column of the Seattle Urban Sketchers page for the list of blog correspondents, including Carleen.

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The Road is OPEN!!!!!

Thornton Creek Confluence Project Construction Update:  January 16, 2015

Pedestrians enjoy the new sidewalk and overview of the flood plain for Thornton Creek at Meadowbrook.

Pedestrians enjoy the new sidewalk and overview of the flood plain for Thornton Creek at Meadowbrook.

Using this week’s dry weather, the contractor was able to complete the remaining pieces of work in order to open 35th Ave NE where it has been closed since June 1, 2014, for construction at NE 107th Street in the Meadowbrook neighborhood. As of this afternoon, 35th Ave NE is open to through traffic. Regular traffic flows, including Metro routes 64 and 65, will resume and the sidewalks are open to pedestrians.

Over the next few weeks, occasional lane closures are anticipated due to streetscape improvements as part of the project.  Finishing touches will be ongoing within the flood plain area adjacent to 35th Ave NE.  Seattle Public Utilities wants to thank everyone for continued patience as construction is completed.  Here is a review of the project timeline.

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Meadowbrook Update: January 2015

Jason Sharpley of Seattle Public Utilities reviews the timeline of The Confluence work in 2014.

Jason Sharpley of Seattle Public Utilities reviews the timeline of The Confluence work in 2014.

On Tuesday evening, January 13, 2015 a roomful of people at the Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave NE, listened intently as Seattle Public Utilities Project Engineer Jason Sharpley reviewed the work done at The Confluence from May to December of 2014.  Of primary concern was the question, when will the road open?

To finish the concrete and road-building on 35th Ave NE at NE 107th Street, workers need two more days with NO rain, and with temperatures at 45 degrees or above.  One day, Wednesday January 14, had these ideal conditions.  Rain was predicted for the following days.  Whenever another clear day occurs, then the road work can be finished.  Therefore, if conditions are favorable the road should be open by the end of the month of January.

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Work Party at the Yesler Swamp

Working on restoration.

Working on restoration.

The dedicated volunteers of the Yesler Swamp will start out the New Year with a work party on Sunday, January 11, 2015 from 10 AM to 2 PM.  The volunteers will remove invasive ivy and do native plantings.

The Yesler Swamp is an easily-accessible wetland with viewpoints out over Union Bay.  The Swamp was named for Henry Yesler, one of Seattle’s earliest entrepreneurs.  Yesler is well-known for setting up a sawmill at the Seattle waterfront in 1852 but he also had many and varied other business lines and he expanded out into other areas of Seattle.  In 1888 he set up a sawmill in what is now the Laurelhurst neighborhood.  The mill was at the present site of the Center for Urban Horticulture at 3501 NE 41st Street.

The first section of boardwalk at the Yesler Swamp was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in September 2014.

The first section of boardwalk at the Yesler Swamp was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in September 2014.

The work party of January 11th will be working on the eastern part of the Yesler Swamp Trail near the Beaver Lodge in mitigation zone U3.  To find the group, start at the corner of the Center for Urban Horticulture parking lot, where there is a sign for the Yesler Swamp Trail.  Head down the trail, then keep left and follow signs for the Beaver Lodge.

For more about the environmental treasure of Yesler Swamp, see the Friends of Yesler Swamp history page.

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2014 in Review: Wedgwood in Seattle History Blog Statistics

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Neighborhood features | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Sea Hawk

Wedgwood in Seattle History:

Valarie says:  Go Hawks!!!! Our thanks to Jay Taylor for this wonderful photo of an osprey, sometimes called a Sea Hawk because it inhabits marine environments. Go Hawks!!! Not sure how this bird feels about “12” but he does look game-ready!!

Originally posted on Sirfishalot's Blog:

Well here we are at another years end and I hope you all had a great Christmas.
I didn’t get out for bird photography nearly enough this year, but I still have a bunch of images from past outings to keep this weekly series going. This weeks bird is an Osprey, also known by some as a Sea Hawk as they tend to inhabit marine areas and feed primarily on fish.
Our Seattle Seahawks football team is poised to make another run at the playoffs and hopefully get back to the Superbowl. If they defeat the St. Louis Rams on Sunday they will have clinched the NFC West title and have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and that would be awesome. Looking forward to the coming New Year and hope that all of you and your families will be well and prosperous. And oh yeah; GO HAWKS!!!

Osprey (

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