Public Program

Queen Anne Hill:
An Island in a Sea of Topographic Change

Rising high above the Denny Regrade, Interbay, and the Ship Canal, Queen Anne is surrounded by altered landscape. How did the hill survive Seattleites' rampant proclivity for change? Was it luck, size, moral fortitude? David B. Williams, author of the acclaimed Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography will address these questions and more as he explores how and why Seattle reshaped itself. Book signing to follow program.

When: Thursday, May 26 at 7pm

Where: Queen Anne Community Center
1901 First Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119

Price: Free and open to the public for more information.


May 26, 7pm
Annual Meeting
w/David Williams

June 8, 7pm
at Bayview
Board Meeting

June 15, 3:30pm
at City Hall
157 Roy St Landmark Vote

August 13, 10am
The Modern Tour


President's Letter

There really is no other historical organization in Seattle or even King County quite like your Queen Anne Historical Society. No other society has a dynamic website where new articles, photographs and information are constantly published. No other similar organization organizes three different annual tours of interesting neighborhood sites, and most importantly, no other local society defends the historic fabric of its neighborhood the way your society does.
This month, for example, the City’s Landmarks Preservation Board unanimously nominated the distinctive Power Control Center at 157 Roy Street as a potential city landmark. Now we are waiting with baited breath for vote on June 15 which will decide if the building is designated a City Landmark. The 85-page nomination is one of very few in a long time not to have been prepared by paid professionals. As with everything your society does, volunteers did the work.
In March, the dramatic redesign of our website gave it a bright new look. The visible improvements to the website are great, but hidden behind them is the ability for us to make frequent modifications without professional assistance. This makes the society a more agile and flexible web player and potentially, a much stronger defender of Queen Anne’s historic character.
The society’s dynamism has its roots in its loyal and dedicated members. Without the financial resources our members provide, the society could not undertake so many different activities. Most importantly, the sheer number of members provides the legitimacy and standing required to preserve and protect Queen Anne’s heritage. We are so grateful for your support especially as we face new challenges!
On May 17, we learned that Bayview Retirement Community which has hosted our archives at no charge for decades is expanding and that we will have to relocate our files. Bayview is being gracious, giving us a year’s notice and suggesting that they will do their best to keep us in their renovated facility. Their kindness notwithstanding, our big challenge this summer will be to come up with an easy plan to address a possible move. As always, your volunteer board members are happy to take on this unexpected challenge to saving Queen Anne History.
The challenges notwithstanding, I hope you join us at all our upcoming events which you will find conveniently here.
Happy Summer, Michael

The Narada Apartments

The early 1920s was a period of tremendous development in Seattle. The city’s population had increased dramatically in two previous decades, and prosperity encouraged developers to meet the pent-up demand for housing. Apartments, ranging from basic housing to luxury units, were a significant factor in meeting this need and became a significant element of the streetscape in many Seattle neighborhoods.
One example of the apartments being built at this time is The Narada Apartments. The Narada uses ornate terra cotta ornamentation, the most elaborate in the city, to reduce the impact of large scale of the building.
The Narada was built in 1926 and is a 33-unit apartment building located at the edge of the hill on the West-end of West Highland Drive. The Narada was designed in 1925 for the Western Lime Company by Charles A. Haynes. Haynes practiced architecture in Seattle and Aberdeen with various partners from 1907-40. He designed many residences, apartment houses and commercial buildings in both cities. One of the best-known local examples of his work is the former Butterworth Mortuary on Pine Street at Melrose Avenue.
The Narada’s units are large, averaging more than 1,000 square feet. In the 1920s, a five-room view suite rented for $150 a month, at a time when other large apartments in the area were $60-75. The assessed value in 2015 was $9,182,000.
The Narada’s most striking features are the two projecting window bays, extending from the second to the fourth floors on the North façade. They are clad entirely in terra cotta with geometric motifs. Cladding is red brick with lighter shades on the first floor. The main entry has a wrought iron gate and is recessed under an elaborate terra cotta Tudor arch with twisted ornament and a shield design matching those on the parapet.
When comparing today’s boom to the boom of the early 1920s, one can’t help but wonder if today’s apartment buildings will stand the test of time like The Narada has.
Adapted from

Member Spotlight - Nicole Demers-Changelo
(Co-Vice President)

Nicole Demers-Changelo has lived in Queen Anne less than five years but in that short time she has fit in a decade’s worth of work for the neighborhood and Queen Anne Historical Society. In her time on our board, Nicole has created the popular annual modern tour, been instrumental in important landmarking projects and spearheaded the Society website update.

Q: What year did you move to Queen Anne? What drew you to this neighborhood?

I moved to Queen Anne in 2012 with my husband and two kids. When we moved to Queen Anne we were moving to Seattle not knowing anyone or anything about the Pacific Northwest. When researching Seattle neighborhoods, like many of us transplants do, Queen Anne was a neighborhood that consistently appeared at the top of all the "lists" and discussion boards. After moving to Seattle and living in corporate temporary housing near the Space Needle, we were able to investigate the neighborhoods ourselves. Queen Anne continued to stay at the top of our list, but we also loved Phinney Ridge, Greenlake and West Seattle. What we loved about all of these neighborhoods was the walkability, the micro neighborhood feel, and the proximity to everything. After a few weeks of looking at rentals we bit the bullet and decided to pay the most we have ever paid to live anywhere (up to that point!) and rent a townhouse on 9th Ave W. We now own two houses on QA, a small 1919 bungalow near the hardware store and a post-WWII ranch home in QA Park.

Q: When did you join the Queen Anne Historical Society? What made you decide to join?

I joined the QAHS in 2013 after I researched and created a walking tour. The walking tour was my way of learning the hyperlocal history, as well as getting familiar with the PNW architectural scene. Neither of which I was well acquainted with since I grew up in Upstate New York and attended Syracuse University School of Architecture.

Q: What QAHS activity has given you the most joy? Or been most memorable for you personally?

I have found that engaging in research and the protection of our neighborhood history has helped me, as an outsider, feel like I've lived here much longer than I really have. Learning about new pieces of the QA puzzle I feel more connect to the people and events that have come before me and I can see how the decisions of our generation will impact those that come after us.

My personal interest in the QAHS is to document history in the making. That is why I enjoy organizing the Modern Tour every year. I love inviting architects to discuss their work and their design process. I also enjoy helping people understand that good contemporary architecture is a gift to our neighborhood fabric and it's one of the things I love most about our neighborhood - we can have the best of both worlds.

Kim's Musing

As we swiftly approach the centennial for the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and the Lake Washington Ship Canal, I realize that the man for whom the locks are named is one of the great gifts to the Northwest. Hiram martin Chittenden was born in Yorkshire, Cattaraugus County, New York, on 25 October 1858.  He was a graduate of West Point Military Academy in 1884 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He took courses in applied engineering, and on completing his studies, was assigned to the Western United States.  The main places his work appears are in Yellowstone National Park, where the Roosevelt Arch (northern entrance to the park) and the Chittenden Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Yellowstone River. 
In 1902 his book, “The History of the American Fur Trade” was published. It remains in print today, and is rightly considered the definitive work on the subject. He had already written the work, “The Yellowstone National Park” in 1895. His work on the fur trade was quickly followed by the book, “History of Early Steamboat Navigation on the Missouri River. Other books followed.
As District Engineer for the Corps of Engineers he moved to Seattle in 1906 with his wife and children.  Here he lived on Capitol Hill and was one of the first three elected Port Commissioners of the Port of Seattle.  He oversaw the creation of the Lake Washington Ship Canal (1913-17) and was the man responsible for the full completion of the “Government Locks” second only to those in Panama in size.
His son, Hiram Martin Chittenden, Jr., followed in his footsteps in acquiring an engineering degree, and taught for many years at the University of Washington in the School of Engineering.  His daughter, Eleanor, a University of Washington graduate, married James B. Cress in 1916 at Plymouth Church.  Hiram, Sr.’s wife, Nellie, outlived him by a number of years.  Hiram Sr. died in October 1917, just a few months after the completion of the locks which bear his name.  Huis daughter’s husband, James Cress, was also a West Point graduate whose major courses were engineering.  They moved to California in later years, where their two daughters grew up.  Hiram Sr. is buried in Lake View Cemetery. There are many articles, books, etc. written about him.
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Queen Anne Historical Society · PO Box 19432 · Seattle, WA 98109 · USA

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