Construction on New Fire Station 20 Begins in 2013 – It’ll Be Green & Sustainable

Back in 2006, then-Mayor Greg Nickels described the West Queen Anne Fire Station 20 at 3205 13th Ave W, as being “in the worst condition of the 33 stations in our system”, citing its inability to meet current code requirements or the daily needs of firefighters, as well as its unsuitability for seismic retrofitting. In 2009, a new site for Fire Station 20 was chosen by the City Council – 2800 15th Ave W.

The new site is comprised of four lots, 2 vacant lots and 2 commercial lots (boarded up and vacant), at the northeast corner of 15th Ave West and West Armor Street. It will become the new home of Fire Station 20 in 2014, serving Queen Anne, Interbay, Magnolia, Ballard, and north downtown. Fast forward to today, the design firm has been chosen and plans are in place with early drawings available. Construction on the new station begins in Spring 2013 with completion estimated for early Summer 2014. The construction budget will top out at $5.7 million, funded by the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy Program passed by voters in 2003.

The new Fire Station 20 won’t be your typical station – it’ll be an example of green infrastructure and the City’s new model of sustainable design. The City challenged the Fire Station 20 design team to create a building that meets the criteria for LEED Platinum certification, and adheres to guidelines outlined in the Architecture 2030 Challenge. Key impacts include reducing water usage by 40% and energy usage by 30% – with actual energy savings rising to 40-50% once the building is operational and running as planned.

The innovative green design elements include the following:

  • Terraced gardens along the north and east will provide a protected green area for native plants and a vegetable garden for the firefighters
  • Storm water runoff will be treated and filtered via systems as well as the garden’s vegetation
  • Two green roofs will support infiltration and evapotranspiration, provide additional softscape reducing heat-island effect, and provide a habitat for birds and insects
  • Ground source heat pumps will boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of the heating and cooling system
  • A rooftop solar panel array will provide all of the energy needed to heat the water used in the sinks and showers in the building, and store excess energy for use in the building.
  • All plumbing fixtures will be ultra-low flow, with toilets using 1.28 gallons per flush, versus the standard 3.5 gallons
  • Greywater from sinks, showers and laundry facilities will be collected, filtered, and reused on-site to flush toilets

The City and Design team want to use the new green, sustainable station as an educational opportunity to engage and inform people about how the project protects the environment, operates efficiently, and does so all in the space of 9,446 square feet. The site will be accessible to the public on three sides and the grade will allow people to see the solar panels and green roofs from above. The City is currently exploring public signage highlighting the sustainable features of the station and a flip-dot electronic signboard connected to the station’s control system.

Weekend Roundup – On & Around Queen Anne

A reminder – if you have any holiday events, Queen Anne Food Bank drives, or other charitable drives, just let us know.

Remember to check out the ongoing Seattle Center Winterfest activities – they are numerous, so not listed below. And, you’ll note that there’s more “around” than “on” Queen Anne this weekend… a fairly quiet weekend, but some of our adjacent neighborhoods have holiday events worth checking out.

Weekend Traffic Impacts:
Aurora Bridge: Bridge reduced to one lane in each direction and the Fremont Way N southbound on-ramp to the Aurora Bridge will be closed, Sunday through Thursday nights (9am-5am) through mid-December

Heads-Up for Mid-Week:
107.7 The End’s Deck The Hall Ball, Key Arena, Tuesday, Dec 4

Multi-Day Events:
The Princess Bride Quote-a-Long, SIFF Uptown, Friday, Nov 30 – Tuesday, Dec 4
R. Kelly Trapped in the Closet Sing-a-Long, SIFF Uptown, Friday, Nov 30 – Saturday, Dec 1
Urban Craft Uprising, Seattle Center Expo Hall, Saturday, Dec 1 – Sunday, Dec 2
Seattle Sampling Artists’ Studio Tour, North Seattle, Ballard, West Seattle, Friday, Nov 30 – Sunday, Dec 2
7th Annual Soulumination Artists’ Sale, Ballard, Saturday, Dec 1 – Sunday, Dec 2
Phinney Neighborhood Association 32nd Annual Winter Festival & Crafts Fair, Saturday, Dec 1 – Sunday, Dec 2

Friday, November 30
Smores and Holiday Pottery Sale, Magnolia Community Center 6-8pm
Bad Art? Exhibit Opening, Nordic Heritage Museum
SIFF Uptown New & Continuing Films: Argo, Life of Pi, Café de Flore

Saturday, December 1
Girls on the Run 5K, Seward Park, 10am (local Coe and John Hay students running)
Special Service on World AIDS Day, First United Methodist Church, 7pm

Have an event that you would like us to report on? Drop us an email at

Holiday Open House Hosted by Crockett Street Merchants this Saturday

The Queen Anne merchants at Crockett Street & 6th Ave West are hosting a Holiday Open House this Saturday, December 1st from 4-7pm. It’s a great opportunity to visit these merchants, say hello, and enjoy some holiday treats!

Here’s the rundown on participating merchants:

Pink Ginger is offering 15% off purchases during the Open House, and will be serving holiday treats as well. Pink Ginger opened in 2008 as a specialty boutique with a Soho-London feel. The shop has locally made jewelry and clothing from both local and global designers in sizes small to size 24. The shop provides not only a range of sizes, but also varying styles that address the needs of different body types.

Beverly Hunnicutt will be serving hot cider all day Saturday with additional refreshments from 4-7pm. In addition to providing a wide range of tailoring needs, the shop also sells “twice-loved” cashmere and wool sweaters and handmade jewelry by local jewelers Cheryl Baker and Ellen Lyons. Beverly also makes and sells scarves, pillows, and small gifts from antique kimonos, and has an in-house line of recycled cashmere fingerless gloves, caps, and neckwarmers. It’s Beverly Hunnicutt’s 30th year on Crockett Street.

Rhinestone Rosie will be serving light refreshments during the Open House in their totally redecorated shop. Rhinestone Rosie has also been on Crockett Street for 30 years, buying and selling both fine and costume jewelry, as well as providing repair services. Antique jewelry is a shop specialty, and owner Rosie has been a regular on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow.

Meadow Boutique will also be participating in the Open House, and all of the unique holiday merchandise is out and on display, including ornaments and holiday gift items. The boutique also offers hand-selected clothing, jewelery, gifts, and home accessories. Meadow opened in December 2009, so it’s also celebrating a 3-year anniversary next month.

So, stop by the merchants at Crockett St & 6th Ave West on Saturday for a festive late afternoon Open House!

Friends of SPL Holiday Book Sale is December 8th – Volunteers Needed Now & Day-of-Sale

Conveniently located at the bottom of the hill, the Friends of the Seattle Public Library’s annual holiday book sale will be Saturday, December 8th from 9am-5pm at the Seattle Center’s Lopez Room.

The sale will include thousands of gift-quality books, CDs, DVDs, cookbooks, art books, and children’s books, with proceeds benefitting The Seattle Public Library. Due to the large volume of materials, volunteers for sale prep and day-of-event help are needed. If you’d like to volunteer to help sort through the Library’s materials to identify gift-quality items for the sale, let them know via email or call 206.682.7567.

Key Details:

  • What: Friends of Seattle Public Library Holiday Sale
  • Where: Seattle Center Lopez Room, in the Northwest Rooms adjacent to Key Arena
  • When: Sale is Saturday, December 8th, 9am-5pm, volunteers needed now and day-of-sale

Help the Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt This Saturday

You may recall our post on the Green Seattle Day earlier this month – it was part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt by clearing ivy and planting over 200 native trees and shrubs. The event rallied roughly 35 people on November 3rd (thank you, volunteers!) and the next step is prepping for 400+ trees that will be planted in January and February. Plus, if you like eradicating ivy, that task is on the list too, as well as mulching and creating more survival rings.

So, grab your clippers and gloves and sign up for this Saturday’s event at the Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt. You’ll need to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, and make sure you have long sleeves and pants if you’re up to working with blackberry removal. If you don’t have gloves or tools, just let the coordinator know via your RSVP, and they’ll be provided for you.

And, a heads up to save the date – the next step in rehabbing the greenbelt is planting live Christmas trees left over from the holidays, so mark the morning of January 12th on your calendar, more details to follow.

Key Details:

  • What: SW Queen Anne Greenbelt – mulch, prep, ivy removal
  • Where: W. Lee and Elliott Ave W., park behind Super Supplements, 1154 Elliott Ave W
  • When: Saturday, December 1st, 9am-noon

Note: please RSVP so the coordinator can allot the appropriate amount of extra gloves, tools and mulch.

Marx Foods Opens First Brick-and-Mortar Specialty Store on Western Ave

Owner Justin Marx with
first customer Marco

Marx Foods, an online retailer of a large, eclectic collection of specialty foods, has opened its first brick and mortar store in the Lower Queen Anne/Uptown neighborhood. Owner Justin Marx, recently profiled in Food & Wine, aims to serve as the “culinary concierge” for both Queen Anne residents and Seattle at large. The store will serve as a shop where you can get unique food and condiments, as well as advice, suggestions, and in-house tested recipes of how to best enjoy and make use of them. Some of the items offered, such as fine charcuterie, cheeses, balsamic vinegars, and olive oils will be familiar to most, but with some of the less common items, a knowledgeable staff and test kitchen are sure to come in handy.

I spoke with Justin Marx about the new retail venture, and asked him why he decided on Lower Queen Anne/Uptown – he said he hopes to bring something to Queen Anne that is unique to Seattle, something that doesn’t exist today… well, almost today, as Marx Foods opened its doors yesterday morning at the corner of Western and John Streets. (note: the signs are going up in the next couple of weeks, but it’s easy to find, as it’s directly across from the PI globe at 144 Western Ave with street parking available and free after 6pm)

Marx has run the online business from his Lower Queen Anne office for just shy of five years, all the while watching the neighborhood evolve with new housing developments, the Thomas St Pedestrian Bridge, and new and varied local vendors and restaurants. As the neighborhood evolved, he decided his business should too, and made the jump to a retail storefront. Marx finds the items he offers for sale by traveling the country, visiting farmer’s markets, and running culinary question marks by his tasting panel of local food bloggers and chefs to see if they pass muster. With only about 20% meeting the tasting panel’s standards, you should expect the items to be as good as they are unique. While the online store has over 1,200 items, the retail shop will have 300-400 products, but for the extraordinarily adventurous, special orders are welcomed and encouraged.

A liquor license is in the works and for summer, Marx is planning to offer ready-to-go picnics with items such as sliced charcuterie and cheese. Future events, some co-hosted with their neighbor Fat Cork, a boutique champagne purveyor, are also planned, so stay tuned for more as the new year ticks over.

So what will you find when you visit? They carry a range of game meats and birds; meats you see on menus but not in stores – boar, elk, pheasant, and even more unusual meats such as antelope and kangaroo. Other items include edible flowers, a wide variety of dried mushrooms and peppers, chili sauces, pastas, snacks both savory and sweet, and probably more than a few things you’ve not had the chance to try before.

I asked Marx to narrow down a list of his personal favorites – a tough task, but here are the essentials: Chicaogi Chipotle Chili Sauce, butternut squash seed oil, aged balsamic vinegars, Pistachio Cream, Denver Vegetable Leathers, Cocomels coconut milk caramels, Ramp Vinaigrette, and local marshmallows that are cup-size – perfect for hot cocoa.

“We’ve curated a selection of products that we feel is very special – the majority of products on the shelf are direct from the producer, with only one or two items from the producer. What I’d love is for people in the neighborhood to visit, get recipes ideas, gift ideas. Building a relationship with customers is key, we want to be their culinary concierge.” – Justin Marx, owner Marx Foods

If you’re looking for specialty food items, gifts, and treats that you can’t find anywhere else, stop by Marx Foods and welcome them to the neighborhood!

How to Cook A Wolf Marks 5 Years on Queen Anne With a Celebratory Evening

Photo Credit: Geoffrey Smith

Time has flown! How to Cook a Wolf is celebrating 5 years on Queen Anne on December 2nd. To mark the occasion, Chef Ryan Weed, the restaurant’s original chef, will be back in the kitchen for one night only. Owner/restaurateur Ethan Stowell will also be in the Wolf kitchen that night, but Chef Weed will head up the menu and culinary activities.

I asked Ethan Stowell if he had any thoughts on celebrating 5 years on Queen Anne, and it sounds like How to Cook a Wolf is here to stay for the long-haul:

“Queen Anne has been such a welcoming and supportive neighborhood for How to Cook a Wolf. We’ve enjoyed getting to know the neighbors over the last five years and hope to be around for another 25!”

All proceeds from the anniversary evening will benefit The Fetal Hope Foundation, a national non-profit that serves as a liaison between families affected by fetal syndromes and the medical teams providing care.

Due to How to Cook a Wolf’s small, intimate setting, reservations are recommended.

QAHS Thursday – Guest Speaker on the History of Queen Anne Boulevard & Other Queen Anne Parks

Queen Anne Boulevard, 1928

Do you walk, run, or bike on Queen Anne Boulevard, aka The Crown of Queen Anne? Want to learn more about it and other Queen Anne parks that were designed or inspired by landscape architect John Charles Olmsted?

Well, the next Queen Anne Historical Society meeting features guest speaker Jennifer Ott, Staff Historian at and President of Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks. At the QAHS meeting, Jennifer will discuss Olmsted and his impact on Seattle Parks, including Queen Anne Boulevard.

If you frequent the Crown, you’ll likely have noticed the brown street signs that mark the historic Queen Anne Boulevard as it wraps around the top of the hill. Not only is the Boulevard a Seattle historic landmark, it’s also a Seattle city park.

Originally, the Seattle Parks Board opposed the boulevard – it wasn’t part of the Olmsted Plan for Seattle’s boulevard and parkway system because it followed existing city streets and didn’t meet the Olmsted Plan’s minimum width. The Parks Board eventually agreed to the plan, and the community helped pick up some of the costs.

You can read more about the history of Queen Anne Boulevard at the QAHS site, and at – and, for even more insight and answers, attend the Thursday talk.

Key Details:

  • What: QAHS Guest Lecture – “John Charles Olmsted, His Impact on Seattle and Queen Anne Parks”
  • When: Thursday, November 29, 7pm
  • Where: Seattle Church of Christ, 2555 8th Ave. W

Reminder: Shop at Local Queen Anne Businesses on Small Business Saturday

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, so plan to get out and celebrate our neighborhood businesses and shop local.

Shopping locally supports our Queen Anne businesses and you never know what you might find that isn’t available at your typical big-box store. Despite the November-y weather we’ve been having, it’ll be a great day to get out, walk the neighborhood, and visit Queen Anne shops and restaurants; a nice break from leftovers!

Another reminder, some of our local businesses are going to have special offers tomorrow. Here’s the latest list – and if you know of any more, or if you’re a business that’d like to be added to this list, let us know. Note: offers are good for Saturday, November 24th only, unless otherwise stated; AmEx card not required:

  • Belle Fiore: 10% off all products and gift cards and adding $100 worth of gift card to every $100 purchase in store
  • Charley + May Co: 10% off a wide selection of books and stocking stuffers for all customers, complimentary gift wrapping, and a taste from the candy bar
  • Chocolopolis: offering free chocolate samples throughout the day + free ground shipping for orders placed on Saturday 11/24 (customers can specify a future ship date)
  • el Diablo Coffee Co.: $5 off all merchandise (tshirts, water bottles, etc.)
  • Four Winds Artful Living: 20% off everything in stock
  • hauteyoga Queen Anne: 5 pass for $50 ($20 savings), 3 month unlimited $320 plus a free Yogitoe towel ($95 savings); Annual membership $950, includes unlimited mat/towel rental ($200 savings); late night special- 1 month unlimited for 9:15pm classes only for $35
  • Mimisan Natural Nail Spa: offering classic mani and pedi for $50 (regular $65)
  • Nancy’s Sewing Basket: $5 off when you spend $25.00 or more with a coupon accessible online
  • Pink Ginger: 10% off if you mention you saw this Queen Anne View blog post
  • Queen Anne Frame & Avenue Arts: 10% off custom framing & gifts
  • Three Birds Home & Gifts: coupons for 10% off any regularly priced item for the month of December
  • Wessco Blinds – 50% off install when you purchase Hunter Douglas blinds — good for the entire week following the Saturday event

Annual Queen Anne Christmas Tree Lot Opens Saturday

If you’re in the market for a Christmas tree, wreath, garland, or mistletoe, don’t rush out on Black Friday to buy them! Wait for the annual Queen Anne Christmas Tree Lot, it opens for business on Saturday, November 24th in the Upper Queen Anne Safeway parking lot. The Christmas Tree Lot is sponsored by the Queen Anne Helpline and the Boy Scouts of America Troop 72, and is staffed by neighborhood volunteers, Scouts, and their families. Plus, all proceeds benefit the Helpline and Scout Troop 72 – so help out the Helpline and local Scouts with your holiday decor!

This year you can choose from many different trees including Nobles, Tannenbaums, Frasers, Douglas Firs, or Norway Spruces. The lot will be located on the north side of the Safeway parking lot, and the hours are as follows:

  • Monday – Thursday 2pm-8pm
  • Friday 2pm-9pm
  • Saturday 9am-9pm
  • Sunday 9am-8pm

The Tree Lot can use more volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering at the Tree Lot, call 206.282.1540.