West Woodland Goes Hollywood!

Updated April 11, 2018

Seattle has been a backdrop for some of Hollywood’s biggest films. Amazing views and diverse scenery make for a breathtaking cinematic experience.  Check out these movies and TV shows filmed, in part, in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood.


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Twice in a Lifetime:  Filmed at 311 NW 51st Street

There have been several movies and TV shows filmed in and around the West Woodland Neighborhood, including Twice in a Lifetime staring Gene Hackman and Ann-Margret. The video clip available HERE shows the home at 311 NW 51st and great views of the surrounding area.  Current view of the home is available HERE.

If you decide to watch the movie, you will be treated to glimpses of Seattle in the 1980’s, including the Kingdome, Mike’s Chili Parlor, and the original Dubliner in Fremont. The good ol’ daze.

Video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSAqQU3SQy4

More about this movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090223/

Below: 311 NW 51st Street, courtesy Puget Sound Archives. Approximate date, 1937.  

Movie House - 311 NW 51st Street


Huhumpdaympday:  Filmed at 612 NW 50th Street

Our next movie Humpday is about two guys who take their bromance to the next level, and was partially filmed at 612 NW 50th Street. The movie is rate R, so you all have been warned. If you do decide to watch you will catch glimpses of Ballard, Edith Macefield’s house (1438 NW 46th Street), and Woodland Park.

Video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1sQedSS5iQ

More about this movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1334537/


Blood, Whiskey, and Silver:  Filmed at 418 Public House

An Indie film you may not have heard about, Blood, Whiskey, and Silver was filmed at the 418 Public House. The film was created in 2013 as part of the Guerrilla Film Challenge, and at 6 minutes in length you will want to watch it a couple times. Enjoy!

Video available here:  http://youtu.be/wSWA0XrCh3s

Below: 418 NW 65th Street. Approximate date, 2014.  

418 NW 65th Street - 2014


evilEvil-In-Law:  Filmed at 6245 5th Ave NW

West Woodland has shown up on the small screen as well. Evil-In-Law filmed two episodes at 6245 5th Ave NW. Both of these episodes aired in December 2013 and show the interior of the home.

I happen to be walking by when they were filming and met the Producer and set personnel. The film crew worked for Screaming Flea Productions, a production company based in Seattle. The Producer shared that they are always looking for new homes to film at, if interested please visit: http://www.sfpseattle.com/casting/ for more information.

More about this show: http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/evil-in-law/episodes-season-1/549907


Did I miss your favorite movie or TV show filmed in the neighborhood?

Comment below or email westwoodlandneighbors@gmail.com.

Then & Now: NE corner of 5th Ave NW & NW 62nd Street

The summer of 2014 will be remembered because of beautiful blue skies and extreme temperatures. On one of those sultry summer days, I was busy in the attic space at Grace Fellowship Church (now Calvary Ballard Church), digging through dusty files, old hymnals, and boxes full of Christmas decor. I had contacted Steve Nelson, the Minister of Grace Fellowship, just a week prior asking if he could share a bit about the churches history. Steve was kind enough to visit with me in his office and allowed me access to the building, to photograph and dig up any juicy bits of history that might be hidden away.

The NE corner of 5th Ave NW and NW 62nd wasn’t always a parking lot. In the 1940s it was once home to the Northwest Church of Christ. The church sold the building to the Southern Baptist Church on July 20,1952 for $9,500 and the name was changed to the Woodland Baptist Church.

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Photo courtesy Dr. Taffey Hall, Archivist for the Southern Baptist Church Historical Library & Archives.  Date unknown.

Then & Now - NE corner of 5th and 62nd

Then & Now:  Woodland Baptist Church

By the 1960s, the congregation had grown to over 300 members and more space was needed. The new church, which sits at 410 NW 62nd, was built in 1968 one parcel to the east of the original building. The original church was torn down in 1968 and the lot has been used for parking since that time. In 1999, the congregation voted to change the name of their church from Woodland Baptist Church to Grace Fellowship in order to better reflect their mission in the community.

In the “Then” photo below you see the home that once occupied the lot where Grace Fellowship is located. Behind the home was an accessory structure that had been converted into an apartment and rented as a “1/2” address.

Then & Now - 410 NW 62nd St

Black & white photo dated 1937, courtesy Puget Sound Archives.

Steve shared with me that the congregation built the current church with their own hands and used their own money. They broke ground before their plans had been finalized and raised needed funds through special church collections, loans, and selling at least one church van. The interior of the church was never completely finished. Spaces that would not be used on a regular basis are still “mud and taped”, no paint on the walls.woodland baptist church - demolitionThe church also owns a parsonage, where Steve and his family live.  Located right around the corner at 6208 5th Ave NW, the home was originally a duplex built in 1944.  Steve’s family pet is one very talkative bird, which you will often hear while walking by.

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Church parsonage.  Photo courtesy Puget Sound Archives, dated 1945.

Authors Note:  This post was originally written in September 2014.  Pastor Steve Nelson of Grace Fellowship Church passed away in October 2015.  Steve moved to Seattle, WA in 1969, and became a parishioner at Woodland Baptist Church.  In 1986, he became the worship leader, and in 2001 he became the pastor of the church where he served until his death.  Additional photos and information about Steve available HERE.

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Pastor Steve Nelson

 

Then & Now: 8th Ave NW & NW 58th Street

The black & white photo, courtesy Anna Jensen Kvam, was taken between 1903 & 1934 and appears in the book, Passport to Ballard, and is from the photo collection of Paul Dorpat.

The photo is undated, but we are able to assign an approximate date based on two factors. In 1903 the “Cow Ordinance” went into effect making it illegal for cows to roam freely. Then in 1934, our neighborhood became a construction zone when the city started grading and paving the dirt roads.  Since the cow is leashed and the road is dirt, we have an approximate date.

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Then & Now:  Looking north from the corner of 8th Ave NW & NW 58th Street

The location is approximate because there were too few data points for me to confirm the exact location. The first aerial photos of our neighborhood were taken in 1936, and by this date 8th Ave NW had been graded, widen and paved. One home in the original photo is still standing at 5816 8th Ave NW. Today the home is almost completely covered by trees and shrubs and barely visible in the photos.

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The photo is of Jesse Jensen, who once lived at 330 NW 51st Street. Jesse was Anna Jensen Kvam’s father.  A 1967 Seattle Times article (see: JENSEN, K – April 9, 1967 – Seattle Times), describes Jesse as a “dairy farmer” and also as owning a “plastering business”.

If you believe you have additional information to help confirm this photos location, date or subjects, let me know. I would love to see how close I came to the exact information!

Thank you to my husband and sweet baby boy for humoring me on Sunday morning and walking up and down 8th Ave NW in order to figure out the approximate location.

Then & Now: NE corner of 6th Ave NW & NW 62nd

Updated: 03/22/2018

In the early 1900s, if you lived in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood and needed a bicycle, you would visit George Carlin’s Cycle and Mower Shop and rent one.  Bicycles were still considered a luxury for many families at the turn of the century and Carlin’s made it possible for children to experience the joy of flying down Phinney Hill, without the heavy price tag of ownership.  Carlin’s rates were five cents per hour, or twenty-five cents for all day use.

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George Carlin’s Cycle & Mower Shop – 1937

After Carlin’s closed in 1939, Mary Archibald, who lived at 6202 6th Ave NW, opened a women’s wear shop in the vacant space.  Archibald’s original shop was in downtown Seattle, suite 202 of the Republic Building, located at 1511 3rd Ave.

One long time neighbor, Vern Vellat, lived near her shop in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood and said that Mary Archibald was a much sought after dressmaker.  While local ladies didn’t have the resources to schedule time with Archibald, Vellat shared stories of Seattle’s elite arriving at her shop in chauffeured cars to have a dress altered or a new frock made.

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Mary Archibald’s Home – 1937

About 1957, she sold both the shop and her home, which were replaced a year later by an eight unit apartment building, which is still present at the address.

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8 Unit Apartment Building at 6200 6th Ave NW – 1958

Approximate current view below and available HERE courtesy Google Street View.

Ballard West Woodland 6th Ave NW and NW 62nd Street - 2014

Then & Now: 418 NW 65th Street

Constructed in 1925, this building’s first tenants included the Minni Belle Fountain Lunch restaurant at 418 NW 65th Street and West Woodland Hardware at 416 NW 65th Street. Just east of the building, at 412 NW 65th Street, White Rock Service Station was providing automobile services for vehicles in the neighborhood.

Business was booming on NW 65th Street in the 1920s as the West Woodland District continued to grow. Minni Belle’s closed about 1936, and West Woodland Hardware took over the coveted corner retail space where they would operate until moving to 501 NW 65th Street in 1944.

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West Woodland Hardware, 1937

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The New Woodland District Hall:

In 1937, the West Woodland District moved it’s district hall into the space previously occupied by West Woodland Hardware at 416 NW 65th Street. The original Woodland Hall, which is still standing at 419 NW 60th Street, became a grocery store for the growing neighborhood.

At the new location, several community groups were able to conduct business on behalf of the West Woodland Neighborhood.  One of these groups was the West Woodland Commercial Club (WWCC), a grassroots organization that had previously been meeting in homes and public spaces.  The WWCC organized Klondike Days, a two-day neighborhood celebration that included a parade, games of chance, music and dancing. The club also acted on behalf of the business district and neighborhood petitioning the City of Seattle for funds to improve roadways and other public services.

Another group that moved into the new West Woodland Hall was a social movement called Technocracy. The “technocrats” proposed replacing politicians and business people with scientist and engineers who had the technical expertise to manage the economy. This group grew in popularity during the 1930s, and all but disappeared after the start of WWII.

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Marcella’s tavern cafe, 1944

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Recent Changes:

In 1944, the building was again full of food and laughter when Marcella’s Tavern Café opened its doors. For the next 60+ years the location changed names many times; Ben’s Tavern opened in the late 1940s, Dan’s Tavern in the 1950s,  and Hagar’s Tavern in the 1980s.   Most neighbors remember Hagar’s because of the risque mural that once covered the west facing exterior wall of the building.  More recently, this building has been home to the Reading Gaol and 418 Public House.

The White Rock Service Station has been closed for many years, but you can still see the cement footprint of the station building in the NE corner of the lot.

There have been few changes made to the exterior facade of this building. The southeast corner has been modified so there is no longer an entrance and retail windows at that address. Several doors and windows have been modified on the north side of the building as well. Still present, the diamond roof-line embellishments and exaggerated external columns.

The property was put on the market Summer 2014 and sold Spring 2016.  For additional sales information click HERE.

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418 Public House, 2014

The black & white photos, courtesy the Puget Sound Archives, show the NE corner of 5th Ave NW and NW 65th in 1937 and 1944.

New York Library Makes Thousands of Photos Available Online

This week the New York Public Library released thousands of its public-domain items — including maps, posters, manuscripts, sheet music, drawings, photographs, letters, ancient texts — as high-resolution downloads, available to the public without restriction.

The general public, including those of us who live in Seattle, can now access thousands of amazing high-resolution photos for free. Previously users would have to make a request and pay a processing fee.

I did a quick “public domain only” search, using Seattle as my search term, and 32 results appeared, including this amazing lithograph of early Seattle by Henry Wellge, dated 1884.

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This is a great resource for researchers, or a great way for the rest of us to kill an hour or two.  To access materials click HERE.

Little Jimmy & the Gilman Shelter House Chimney

One of my favorite West Woodland Neighborhood stories took place in January 1953 at a snow covered Gilman Playground.  The boy’s name was Jimmy Wright and his adventure made the front page of the Seattle Times.

Little Jimmy was enjoying a day at the park, playing in the snow with his school chums, when he decided to climb to the top of the Gilman Playground shelter house.  Side note, the Gilman Playground shelter house is listed by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods on their Historical Site Database.  For more Gilman Playground history click HERE.  

Once on top, Jimmy showed his friends that he could indeed fit in the chimney opening…. and swoosh!  Just like Santa Claus, Jimmy slid down the chimney into the room below.   Unfortunately for Jimmy, the shelter house was locked from the outside and the only person with a key was park superintendent Ben Evans.

After finally being released, he ran to his step-father, soot faced tears streaming down his cheeks, and proclaimed, “Never again!”  One trip down the chimney was enough for Jimmy.

Article below courtesy the Seattle Times Archive.

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Then & Now: Looking west from NW 55th Street onto Market

The black & white photo was taken on March 1, 1956 and comes to us courtesy the Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Collection, Item No: 53109.

The “Then” photo was taken at the corner of NW 55th Street and NW 55th Place (west tip of Greenwood Triangle Park) to record the completion of the Market Street widening project. The photo shows Eagle Service Station at the corner of 6th & Market and directly across the street an IGA Grocery Store, which today is home to Brimmer & Healtap Restaurant. To the north of these businesses, you can see the Curly Cone ice-cream stand which once stood on the parcel now occupied by Veraci Pizza.

This old grocery store’s facade is elegant and includes a corner entry topped with a gabled parapet and cast stone ornamentation. It is clad in yellowish tan brick, with decorative brickwork that extends around the exterior of the building. The original display windows with intact transoms flank the entry and the wood-and-glass door is original. As a result, the building is included in the Seattle Historical Site Inventory. For additional information about the building, please visit:  http://web6.seattle.gov/DPD/HistoricalSite/QueryResult.aspx?ID=361

Market and 52 BH Then and Now - Market and 55th short

Then & Now: Looking East at the corner of 8th Ave NW and Market Street

The black & white photo, courtesy the Seattle Municipal Archives, shows the intersection of 8th Ave NW and Market Street in August 1955.

The “Then” photo was taken to record the completion of the Market Street widening project. The project expanded Market Street and connected it to North 46th Street. On the right side of the photo you can see Moss Grocery and the homes that once lined the south-side of the intersection.

In the “Now” photo, Shell Service Station sits on the parcel once home to Moss Grocery and Ballard Mandarin Restaurant is on the left side. This same restaurant was once home to Inn Binn Restaurant, a wonderful family owned eatery that served amazing pot-stickers.

Market and 8th - Aug 1955 Then and Now - Market and 8th

Then & Now – Market Street Widening

Updated: 09/29/2017

In 1903, the Seattle Parks Commissioners hired the famed Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm to design a comprehensive system of parks and boulevards for the city. West 55th Street was once part of the city wide boulevard system created by the Olmstead Brothers. Creation of the boulevard was intended as the western approach to the Woodland Park Zoo.

The western approach to the zoo was never fully realized, and as the NW corner of Seattle continued to grow there was a very real need for a direct route into downtown. Remember, the trolley tracks had been pulled up for the war effort, and public transportation meant locals were taking the bus.  Seattleites were buying cars at a record rate; easy to finance and gas was cheap.  People wanted roads.    

An east-west highway between Ballard and the University District was studied as early as the 1920s (see map below), but in the mid-1940s discussion was heating up again and the City was preparing to proceed with construction. Neighbors along the route sent petitions of protest against the project. One asserted that the highway “is not whatever needed, since we have our streets and avenues all in sufficient for anybody who wants to travel through that District. If any improvement should respectably seem necessary, such could be established at a trifle of the cost in comparison with this proposed plan with all its burdensome expenses and destruction.”

Another petition claimed that the initial plans for the highway decades earlier “was opposed by the people of the District. The Merchants Improvement Club then was brought to shame for such an unreasonable plan, and promised never to bother us again.” The petition went on to list existing streets that provided a good route up the hill from Ballard to Phinney Avenue, insisting that this project “is really not needed.”

City Engineer C.L. Wartelle responded to the protests with the following:

The protestants appear to be mainly owners of properties which will be affected by the new route and their immediate neighbors. The protest is based upon the assertion that the connection is not needed, existing streets being sufficient, and that hundreds of families will be required to find new homes.

We believe the necessity of this route is obvious to all those who have studied the problem. Some twenty years ago the matter was before the City Council, and the only reason it did not proceed at that time was because no way could be found to finance it. The petitioners state the hundreds of families will lose their homes. There are 36 houses and 3 garages that will have to be taken. Most of the houses can be moved to new sites. It is regrettable that these 36 home owners will be inconvenienced, but there does not seem to be any other recourse.

We would therefore recommend that the condemnation proceed, and the petitioners be so informed.

Construction went forward in 1949 despite the neighbors’ complaints, although current residents might argue with not-so-speedy Market Street being designated a “highway.”

The completion of the Market Street widening project in 1955 allowed for direct access from Ballard into Fremont, Wallingford and beyond. Market Street became a critical commercial thoroughfare and to this day, goods and service continue to travel on this stretch of roadway.

Map of proposed surface and tunnel routes for proposed Ballard-University highway, dated 1929, courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives.

SMA 1591 - Ballard University HWY - Tunnel

Before & After Aerial of Ballard-University Extension:

The & Now - Market Street widening II

The left photo was taken in 1936 and the right photo in 2012. Both are courtesy King County Department of Assessment. When comparing the photos you can see the Market Street spur that now runs diagonal through the neighborhood. Many of the homes that were impacted by this roadways construction were moved to nearby vacant lots, including lots in the West Woodland neighborhood. In a future post I will highlight some of those homes. (Update: See photos here).

To read more about the Olmsted Brothers Park and Boulevard System plan please visit: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/history/

 

Photos of progress – Market Street Spur Construction

The Seattle Engineering Department has an official name for the Market Street spur – the Ballard and University Extension. This east leg of Market Street was completed in 1949 and connected the West Woodland neighborhood to Fremont, Wallingford and beyond. The rest of the Market Street widening project wouldn’t be completed until 1955, but for neighbors using the newly created spur, it made the trip into downtown Seattle fast and efficient.

The photos below are courtesy the Seattle Municipal Archives and show the very west end of the spur from the start of construction until completion in December 1949.

Approximate modern day view HERE.

March 25 1949 with date

Market Street 1 - July 1949

Market street 2 - oct 1949

Market street 3 - Dec 1949