top of page

Historical Society Doings for the First Half of 2019


Conover House

Thanks to the combined advocacy efforts of our board in partnership with Historic Seattle, local architect Marvin Anderson, and the former owner Joan Zegree, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted 6-1 to nominate Conover House for landmark status on May 15. Jewish Family Services, the current owner, planned to demolish the building to make way for an apartment development. Marvin Anderson, says the house, built in 1893, is a “highly refined” example of the Colonial Revival style The house still features original woodwork, herringbone ceilings, fireplaces and other original indoor and some outdoor features. If you would like to learn more about the house, review the nomination report prepared by the owner's consultants and our own supplemental material.

The designation meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19. The Board meets in City Hall room L280 starting at 3:30 with Conover House being at the end of their agenda. We encourage all to attend and comment on the proposal.

Rainier Chapter House Celebrated

On March 20, the Rainier Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution at Harvard & Roy, became listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To celebrate, the 167 chapter members held a plaque unveiling on Sunday, June 2. A Seattle Times article describes the history of the house, which is a reproduction of George and Martha Washington’s residence at Mount Vernon, dedicated on April 11, 1925. We commend the Rainier Chapter for their hard work and dedication to preservation and congratulate them for their success! We also wish to thank the chapter historian, Clare Livingston, who gave those of us who attended a rare look inside the chapter archives behind a vintage walk-in Diebold safe in the basement!

Past events

Tour of the former Waitresses' Union Recreation Home

In case you missed it, click the link below for photos from our tour of the former Waitresses' Union Recreation Home at 1227 20th Ave E back in April and a few news clippings about the house. The event was lively, engaging, and well-attended. Thanks again to the Kischners for hosting, the Wassermans for helping organize and provide food/drink, Marissa Hiller and Lorn Fant for photos, and Carole Davison for coming to speak about her master's thesis on the house.

Upcoming Events

Book Talk and informal meeting

1.) Capitol Hill Historical Society and Elliott Bay Book Company are co-presenting a talk and Q&A with Frederick L Brown author of the wonderfully detailed and insight-ful book The City is More Than Human: An Animal History of Seattle. His talk will fo-cus specifically on the animal history of Capitol Hill.

Where: The basement events space at Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave When: Friday, June 21 @ 7pm 2.) Also, want to know more about what CHHS has been up to this year? Members and the board of directors will be gathering just 1 hour before to discuss recent activities and future plans. We look forward to seeing you! Where: The basement events space at Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave When: Friday, June 21 @ 6pm

Book Talk

3.) Seattle historian and collector Brad Holden will speak about his new book, Seattle Prohibition: Bootleggers, Rumrunners and Graft in the Queen City. This talk is focused on the Prohibition Era history of Seattle’s Capitol Hill, a longtime center of Seattle nightlife. Tonight’s program includes slides and many stories about our city’s most notorious moonshiners and bootleggers and those trying to enforce the law. Brad Holden will appear in conversation with Tom Heuser, co-founder of the Capitol Historical Society.

Where: The basement events space at Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave

When: Monday, July 8 @ 7pm

Money Matters

Great GiveBIG Response

Many thanks to Grace Harvey who coordinated our GiveBIG program and to all of our amazing donors! Hunters Capital provided a much appreciated match for the first $500. We received over $1300 from 16 contributors, many of whom commented on the work we are doing. This was our first participation in GiveBIG.

While the GiveBIG campaign has ended, we remain dependent on donations for our research, web hosting fees and special projects. Donation can be made here:

Our Second 4Cuture Grant

4Culture has awarded us a $3000 grant to be used for reprinting Jacqueline Williams book, The Hill with a Future: Seattle's Capitol Hill 1900-1946 . The book has long been out of print; the library has only one copy and Seattle Public Schools have none. A new preface is ready and many thanks to our treasurer Grace Harvey who is hard at work gathering bids for printing. Since the 4Culture money will not be available till the work is complete, CHHS must provide the up front costs. The book will be sold at Elliott Bay Book Company, with proceeds going to the Capitol Hill Historical Society. We are sincerely grateful for Jackie Williams' generous contribution and for her son David Williams' assistance in this endeavor!

On-Going Projects

3-D Mapping Project Available online

Lorn Fant, CHHS member and GIS enthusiast, continues his exciting interactive 3-D mapping project.

Six different interactive maps are now available online:

  1. Capitol Hill 1894 - An Experiment with CityEngine,

  2. Seattle, Capitol Hill in 1894

  3. Broadway at John/Olive in 1937

  4. 1936 Aerial Photography, Topography of Seattle

  5. 1894, USGS Topographical Map of Seattle

All of these maps are accessible from a single web page, where all new map projects will also appear.

Current Work

• Due to the current lack of photos of 19th century buildings, our 1894 maps are on hold. We have since shifted our focus to 1937 for which there are a wealth of photographs available to us.

• Thus far Lorn has modeled all of the buildings on Broadway between Denny and John, using the 1937 photos. The Broadway Theater, on the northwest corner of Broadway and Olive, has also been modeled.

• The modeling of the Flemington Apartments, northeast corner of Broadway and John now known as the Capitol Building, is nearly complete.

Next Steps

• Modeling the buildings east along John and west along Denny and to soon start giving viewers the ability click on each building and learn more about it. • For any buildings that have photographs taken of them before or after 1937, we will eventually add a time slider to show changes over time.

How you can help

•Text and Signage: Our GIS software does not do a very good job with text and graphics. If someone can recreate the building signage from photos with a drawing or photo editing program, we will be eternally grateful. And the maps will look much more realistic!

• 3D Rendering: Do you use Sketch-Up or any other modeling software or do you want to learn and help us convert photographs into 3-D objects?

• Research: Gathering building information to be displayed as a pop up for clickable buildings. CHHS president Tom Heuser will oversee this part of the project.

• Text to Data: Fascinated with OCR (Optical Character Recognition)? There are documents (City Directories, News Articles, etc.) that we would like to convert to data that can then be plotted onto the maps.

Contact us at if you want to help!

Recent Publications

CHHS vice-president Rob Ketcherside has been a busy author writing local history articles for Capitol Hill Seattle blog. He has covered many topics, primarily in Capitol Hill's borderlands. Here's what he has written this year:

Jennie Lombard, Eastlake’s first principal. Her school was originally opened as Denny-Fuhrman School, later renamed to Seward and now the home of TOPS K-8.

The mind boggling array of stairs and corridors connecting history at TOPS K-8 showing the many different parts of the Eastlake’s K-8 school including the cafeteria which is on the state historical register.

Rentals to Radiators--Part 1: Weird Streets of UMadBro. Part 1 in a series about the demolished building at 953 E Union and the strange layout of the surrounding streets.

CHHS president Tom Heuser while focused more on operations and outside projects, set some time aside to write about a historic home being proposed for demolition and redevelopment.

722 Broadway E, Once A Home Of Music, To Be Demolished. A Brief look at the home's origin.

**CHHS relies on donations from supporters like you! Donations cover our research costs, cloud storage, and website hosting fees. Consider making a donation at**

Recent Posts

See All

CHHS President Tom Heuser to resign by end of 2021

From CHHS President Tom Heuser: It is with both a sense of excitement and somberness that I announce my coming resignation as President of Capitol Hill Historical Society. This was a difficult decisio

bottom of page