Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Interurban car designated City of Snoqualmie Landmark
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Categories: News

The newest and perhaps most unusual City of Snoqualmie Landmark is a wooden electric interurban car.The City of Snoqualmie Landmark Commission approved the nomination of car 523 to the Register at a meeting on January 25. 

Built by St. Louis Car in 1907, Car 523 entered service between Seattle and Tacoma in February 1908. The Puget Sound Electric Railway operated electric trains between Seattle and Tacoma from 1902 through 1928. Much of the line was energized with power from Snoqualmie Falls.  Car 523 is the last known surviving Seattle-Tacoma electric interurban car, and originally served as a combination coach/parlor/observation car. 

Car 523 was donated to the The Northwest Railway Museum in September 2017 and a $11,000 grant from 4Culture funded its move from Petaluma, California to Snoqualmie, Washington.  The Museum prepared and submitted the landmark nomination last Fall; this was the Commission’s first meeting since. To read more about the nomination, click here



Developers propose high-rise hotel at Pike Place Market
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Categories: News

Downtown Seattle residents and Pike Place Market advocates are mobilizing to prevent a high-rise development at the entrance to the Pike Pike Place Market. A group of developers has proposed demolishing the three-story Green Tortoise (Hahn) Building at the southeast corner of First and Pike. In its place, they aim to build a 14-story hotel. Their plan does not include parking.

The Hahn Building is not a designated landmark, but it is one of seven historic structures remaining at the entrance to the Market. Dating back to 1869, the Hahn Building was said to be the only beer hall that remained open after Seattle’s Great Fire. By 1907, it was operating as Hotel Elliott, and the top two floors were added to accommodate visitors coming to Seattle for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.

Preservationists opposed to the development plans point out that a high-rise building would disrupt the current scale and symmetry of the Market entrance and would permanently and negatively alter the character of the neighborhood. They have started an online petition to protest the development.

On Tuesday, February 6, 5:30-7 PM, there will be a design review of the property at Seattle City Hall, Room L280. Find more information about the efforts currently underway to save the Market entrance here.  


AKCHO past, present and future – please join us in 2018!
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Nancy Salguero McKay, Highline Historical Society, and Kim Owens, Renton History Museum, view AKCHO’s display board at UW Museology Program’s Internship Fair. Photo credit Barbara McMichael

by Virginia Wright, AKCHO Treasurer

As the year 2017 winds down we look back at a year of excellent monthly AKCHO member meetings, which provided members with the opportunity to visit interesting locations throughout the county, along with professional education and networking activities relevant to our sector of the arts and culture community. We also gathered as a group at our Annual Meeting for Members and celebrated and recognized the accomplishments of some of the individuals and organizations within the history and heritage community at our annual Awards Program.

This year we made some changes to the administration and funding of our organization and we now have our first directly paid staff member, who oversees all of the administrative paperwork and communication for AKCHO. We would be unable to provide you with the excellent resources and communication without her expert help.

All of this valuable work relies on the financial support of our members. As we enter into 2018 we invite you to renew your annual membership, or join as a member for the first time. Memberships are now structured differently, with a tiered system that takes into account the size of members’ operational budgets. For your convenience, you can fill out the membership form using our online form, or if you prefer, you can download and mail in the form along with your membership dues.

Thank you for your participation in local history and heritage. We cannot do this work without your support!


Nominate your project for an AASLH Award
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Categories: News

Are you a heritage organization who has accomplished a noteworthy exhibit, program, project, or publication in the last 18 months? Nominations are now open for the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Leadership in History Awards and you can self-nominate. You do not need to be an AASLH member to apply. The deadline is March 1, 2018. For more details, go to or contact state coordinator Elizabeth P. Stewart at


NAAM names new exec director
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Categories: News

LaNesha DeBardelaben will soon be taking the helm at the Northwest African American Museum

LaNesha DeBardelaben has been named the new Executive Director of the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) in Seattle. Her 15+ year career in museums has been spent in Michigan, most recently as Senior Vice President of Education & Exhibitions at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. At the Wright Museum, which is the nation’s second largest African American museum, DeBardelaben was instrumental in managing successful educational, exhibition, and community initiatives and led the Wright Museum through two valuable Museum Assessment Programs (MAP) to enhance museum practice. LaNesha began her career in museums in 2001 at the National Museum of Kenya in Africa, and has studied museum and library management in England and Germany. 

As Executive Director at NAAM, DeBardelaben looks to enrich the funding, strategic planning, community engagement, programming, profile, and overall operations of NAAM in significant ways. “I am elated at the opportunity to join such a dynamic and important African American museum,” she said. “I look forward to working closely with the talented staff, passionate board, and dedicated community of Seattle to accelerate NAAM’s mission-driven growth and impact.” 
DeBardelaben is well-positioned to provide executive leadership to the museum. She is a national board member of the Association of African American Museums (AAAM) where she serves as board secretary and Program Chair of AAAM’s 40th anniversary 2018 conference to be held in Hampton, Virginia. She also serves on the national board of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) where she chairs ASALH’s national Marketing & PR Committee. She recently served on the Michigan Museums Association board as well. Ms. DeBardelaben brings vast insights and expertise in museum education and programming, project management, and public relations.
While in Detroit, Ms. DeBardelaben received numerous awards for her extraordinary community and professional service, including the 2014 Crain’s Detroit’s 40 Under 40, 2015 Michigan Chronicle’s Women of Excellence, and 2017 Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40. She is a graduate of both the Jekyll Island Management Institute for museum managers and Leadership Detroit for civic leaders. 
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are thrilled to have such a prominent, enthusiastic and experienced leader join the NAAM family,” says NAAM Board President Debbie Bird. “For nearly ten years, NAAM has provided new narratives of the black experience through exhibits that celebrate local and national African American artists. We look forward to the prominent role she will play in shaping our future.”
Ms. DeBardelaben earned a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from Kalamazoo College, a Master of Arts in history and museum studies from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, a Master of Library Science in archives management from Indiana University-Bloomington, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in U.S. and African American history at Michigan State University.



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 $25, and we have a three-tiered system for organizational memberships, with dues dependent on budget size. For more information and an application form, visit

More than 150 individuals and organizations support heritage work and historic preservation in King County, thanks to their membership in AKCHO. Please join us!


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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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