Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Local film on black barnstorming in early baseball to benefit Admiral Theater mural restoration
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Categories: News

Negro Leagues legend Buck O’Neil

Restoration of the art-deco underwater murals of the Historic Admiral Theater will get a boost this summer with the one-night screening of a documentary that showcases a West Seattle student project to salute the black baseball barnstorming phenomenon of the early 20th century.

“Legends of the Road,” a feature-length, student-produced documentary, will be screened at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at the Historic Admiral Theater, 2343 California Ave SW, sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

The film, which won the highest audience rating at the 2017 Kansas City Film Festival, will be introduced by Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, and former Chief Sealth High School teacher Gary Thomsen of West Seattle. Afterward, Kendrick, Thomsen and several of Thomsen’s former students will answer questions.

Admission will be by $20 donation, which will go to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. A VIP opportunity, during which participants can visit one-on-one with the featured speakers, will take place at 5:30 PM at the theater. This opportunity is available by reservation at a $100 donation. Both levels of tickets can be purchased at and at the door.

The SWHS secured landmark status for the Historic Admiral Theater in 1989 and will lead the effort to restore the underwater murals. The murals were revealed earlier this year as part of the theater’s $1.7 million renovation and expansion to four screens.

To learn more about “Legends of the Road,” visit these links:


New folklife center will launch this fall
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The Center for Washington Cultural Traditions will be Washington State’s new folklife and traditional arts program, a collaboration between Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission. Before officially launching this fall, Center staff are holding free meetings around the state to talk to communities about the Center, learn about networks already supporting heritage and cultural traditions, and create  partnerships that will offer a range of innovative media and programming. 

In King County, there will be two meetings. The first will be held at Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Avenue S in Seattle, on August 24 from 11 AM to 1 PM. The second will be held at the Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E Smith Street in Kent, on September 13 from 2-4 PM.

For more information, contact Kristin Sullivan, director, Center for Washington Cultural Traditions at or 206-682-1770.


Heritage community asked to back Access for All sales-tax initiative
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by Kent Sturgis, AKCHO Advocacy Chair

The AKCHO Board of Trustees requests your support of the “Access for All” Proposition 1 that will appear on the Primary Election ballot in August. If passed, it will provide stable, dedicated funding for arts, science, and heritage groups across King County, and dramatically increase access to cultural programs for public-school students and people on a fixed budgets.

The new funding would benefit, among others, scores of heritage organizations throughout the county—not just in Seattle—and make possible:

  • $4.5 million earmarked specifically each year for community heritage organizations outside of the Seattle metro area;
  • Partnerships and joint ventures between small organizations and larger regional groups, with the latter required to dedicate 15% of their funding to projects assuring geographic equity;
  • Seed money for establishment of new cultural centers, projects, and organizations countywide;
  • Targeted, dedicated resources to all school districts with a priority on lower-income schools, including free transportation;
  • Free and reduced-price tickets to our region’s world-class institutions for people on fixed budgets, including seniors and low-income and middle-class families.

This initiative was proposed as King County’s response to ongoing state funding cuts. It comes at a time, too, when deep cuts or outright elimination of programs are being proposed in federal support for arts, science, and culture.

Prop. 1 would add .01% to the sales tax—about $30 a year per household—to expand access to the organizations, including AKCHO members, that help make our region a vibrant, livable place.

Your help is needed. If your organization is willing to publicly endorse the ballot measure, or if you have questions, or wish to invite a speaker to one of your meetings, please contact Emily Dennis, operations manager for Access for All at or phone 618-303-4412.

You can make a difference! Please help us build support for the Access for All ballot measure by distributing this information in your email blasts, blogs, and newsletters.


AKCHO membership meeting took to the streets in May
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Josh Shields of the Metro Employees Historical Vehicle Association was our driver and host for the day

The wheels on the bus went round and round for a hearty band of AKCHO members who braved the unseasonably cold weather on May 30 for a ride on one of the buses in the historical fleet operated by the Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association (MEHVA). 

MEHVA’s Josh Shields picked up his AKCHO passengers at the Northwest African American Museum in a pre-Metro era “Blue Streak” model bus that had been part of the Seattle Transit System in the late 1960s. As they rode the vintage bus through the Rainier Valley, AKCHO board member Virginia Wright, who also serves as executive director for the Rainier Valley Historical Society, narrated a tour of the historical highlights along the route.

Once the bus arrived at the Metro safety training facility in Tukwila, AKCHO members disembarked to explore the bus “boneyard.” This is where the MEHVA folks tend over a dozen trolleys and buses, representing various eras in the history of Seattle’s and King County’s evolving public transportation system. They have been able to restore several of the old buses and use these for special holiday sightseeing tours throughout King County. (See AKCHO calendar for details, beginning with a tour on the Fourth of July.)

AKCHO members also picked up some interesting tidbits about local transportation history, from West Seattle’s distinction of being the first city in the United States to own and operate a street railway, to Metro’s status as owner of the largest fleet of articulated buses in the world – until the fall of the Iron Curtain.

AKCHO Programs Chair Miguel Llanos also facilitated a discussion that followed up on last month’s presentation on volunteers. Several members gave examples of the ways in which their organizations worked to develop good volunteer relations. Some dysfunctional examples were also discussed.

The next AKCHO membership meeting will be held on June 27 – details are still being finalized and will be made available soon.


A quarter century of spotlighting endangered places
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Former Weyerhaeuser Headquarters building in Federal Way – photo credit Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has published a Most Endangered Historical Properties List every year since 1992 in order to bring public attention to old buildings and other historic places that are threatened with demolition around Washington State.

In celebrating the list’s 25th anniversary, The Trust announced its 2017 list at an event at St. Edward State Park Seminary Building – a site that only recently has been assured a secure future. The 2017 list includes two properties that are located within King County, and that occupy opposite ends of the scale from humble to magnificent.

The Cascade Workers’ Cottages, constructed south of Lake Union in 1911 in what was then called the Cascade neighborhood, have endured even as large-scale development has happened all around them, particularly over the last decade. They are ineligible for local landmark designation because there have been so many modifications to them over time, but advocates for their preservation contend that the cottages still convey the earlier industrializing history of the city and are important to retain.

In Federal Way, the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Campus which opened in 1971 and was vacated by Weyerhaeuser last year, has now been sold to Industrial Realty Group, a real estate development firm. While IRG pledges to maintain the iconic headquarters building, it seeks to develop portions of the 425-acre park-like campus surrounding the structure. Local residents are worried that the scale of any new construction would have an adverse impact on what was originally a strategic balance of built and natural landscapes.

Another entry on the 2017 list is a parlor car operated by Northern Pacific Railway during the from 1901-1941 and then converted into a beach cottage on Whidbey Island. The owners have offered the car, which still possesses its decorative glass windows and interior finishes, to Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, but significant issues involving permitting will have yet to be resolved.

For a full list of the 2017 properties on the list, click here. You will also be able to check out the fate of sites that were nominated to this list in previous years.



Heritage Advisor is published by the Association of King County Historical Organizations as a service to members and those who support its mission. We update our website continually throughout the month, and on the first of every month we e-mail a condensed version of Heritage Advisor to our mailing list – you can subscribe to this service by filling out the requested information in the right sidebar on this page.

AKCHO was established in 1977 to encourage cooperation among historical organizations; promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve; and support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

The Heritage Advisor welcomes submissions of news items, calendar items, and opinion columns from AKCHO members, HA subscribers, and readers. Articles are limited to 300 words and they should have a strong relevance to historic preservation and heritage issues in King County, Washington. Submission of an article does not guarantee publication. AKCHO does not pay for published submissions. All articles are subject to review by AKCHO staff. Please send your article within the body of an email (no attachments, please) to

AKCHO welcomes new members year round. Individual memberships are $15. Organization memberships are $35. Join more than 150 individuals and organizations supporting heritage work and historic preservation in King County. For more information and an application form, visit


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AKCHO was established to encourage cooperation among historical organizations and to promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve, and to support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

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Oh yes! Wouldn't it be great to get up in one of these beauties this weekend!?! ... See MoreSee Less

Our ramp's ready to rumble with some very special warbirds all weekend long! As part of the "Wings of Freedom Tour," the Collings' Foundation will be offering B-17, B-24, B-25 and P-51 rides and to...

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This is going to be a fun and historic event - and if you'd like to to do a bike tour along the shoreline of the Lake Washington Ship Canal that day, the Queen Anne Historical Society's Michael Herschensohn will lead the way! Check out the details on our AKCHO calendar for July - ... See MoreSee Less

The Locks Centennial Boat Parade

July 9, 2017, 10:00am - July 9, 2017, 2:00pm

July 4, 1917 marked the official opening of the Ballard Locks. On that day the SS Roosevelt passed through the Locks and led a marine parade of commercial and pleasure craft through the Ship Canal to ...

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Those on our snail mail list should be getting a postcard today or tomorrow about our meeting at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks - which has been postponed until September 26. If not, read about it here: ... See MoreSee Less

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P.O. Box 3257
Seattle, WA 98114

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