While we await WSFGC's determination of how they will proceed with the sale, Beacon Arts has commenced with the "Save Garden House Project." This project consists of pursuing landmark status for the house and grounds, consulting with legal and real estate professionals, outreach to the community through meetings and media and conducting a feasibility study to determine how an acquisition could be achieved. These actions will frame the goals of a future capital campaign. Along with applying for grants and seeking pro bono services, Beacon Arts is currently seeking community donations to fund these critical activities.
Dear Friends of Beacon Arts,
We are writing with sad news, we just learned the Garden House was sold today, October 10,2010. It happened within a matter of hours. We don’t know anything about the buyer or intent at this point. We are gathering more information and will be in touch as soon as know more. Stay tuned.
Thank you for all of your efforts! We will continue to advocate for preservation of the site intact.
heart felt thanks from
Betty Jean & the Beacon Arts Board
Save Garden House!
Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs (WSFGC), voted to sell the Garden house at their June 5 Convention in Tacoma. With the rapid change and increasing density on Beacon Hill, this site offers a rare chance to preserve a piece of Beacon Hill history and open greenspace.
Beacon Arts is spearheading the effort to maintain this historic property as a vital and affordable meeting space that the community, non-profit groups, and artists can access.
Find out more about the Garden House and its history here.
Beacon Arts is a charitable non-profit 501(c)3 organization, and your donations are tax deductible. Our tax ID number is 80-0494495. Check with your employer for a matching program!
Note, this donation button may not work in Google Chrome on Apple, try Safari instead. Also, do not add any decimal points to your donation amount.
Dine out to Save Garden House
This Wednesday Sept. 26th!
A one-day, Dine Out event throughout Beacon Hill to raise awareness and money to protect this Beacon Hill treasure, community space, and green space. The funds raised will cover the cost of professional services associated with Landmarking and preservation of this property so it cannot be torn down.
Support the cause at:
Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates!
Update on the status of the Garden House sale
Beacon Arts has learned that WSFGC, the Federation, received multiple offers on Thursday, September 20, and declined them. They continue to seek an appropriate buyer who will preserve the site intact and is able to come close to their price.
If you know of anyone who can make a significant donation toward purchase
and preservation of the Garden House, please contact us.
Volunteer Meeting 9/18
Save Garden House Volunteer Meeting. This Tuesday, 9/18. 6 pm potluck, 6:30 meeting starts at Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Clubhouse (4103 Beacon Ave South). Beacon Arts is working to quickly get a capital campaign underway as well as continue with getting landmark status for the site.
We need all hands on deck, if you are interested in volunteering, please attend this meeting to find out how you can help. We will have a potluck at 6, don’t worry if you can’t bring anything, we will have enough to feed all. At 6:30 we will delve into next steps for this campaign and how you can help. Thanks to the Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club, another great local tradition, for letting us use their clubhouse.
Progress update: 9/11 Community Meeting
Thanks to all who showed up in support of saving Garden House. As many know, Beacon Arts, your neighborhood arts council and longtime tenant of Garden House, has been working to find a way to preserve Garden House as a welcoming cultural and historical community hub. Garden House is now on the market with an asking price of $1.75 million.
Last night’s meeting was an opportunity for Beacon Arts and the community to directly ask Bruce Harrell’s office and the city council for help in preserving the property. Beacon Arts asked for $2 million dollars in assistance in purchasing the property and for deferred maintenance in their 2019 budget. They also asked for any other assistance the city could provide. Read the full statement presented here.
Garden House Update
Now that it's sold, what next?
Public Meeting Date is Set!
The nomination is scheduled for consideration by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board at a public meeting on February 20th at 3:30 pm, City Hill, room L2-80. Written comments should be made well ahead of the meeting and can be sent to Erin Doherty by email or to PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649. Can't think of what to write? Why not have the kids help with this coloring page and write one reason why you feel the Garden House should be saved.
We encourage our community to write and attend the meeting. We will be wearing green and we will have signs at the door. Please RSVP if you can attend! Public comment can make or break the landmark status for the house and the grounds (including the 100+ year pear orchard).
Tips for speaking at the public meeting:
Write out your comments and practice, focus on one talking point. You will only have 1-2 minutes.
Do NOT refer to future use or zoning. We are here to share the love of this historic gem. Complaining about things the Landmark board has no control over wastes our precious time to speak on behalf of preservation.
Stick to historical info and personal experience of the site and its use in the past
Give examples of why the property and the orchard are of historic and cultural value.
Talk about legacy and unique qualities or uses.
Share and document cultural events and traditions connected to the site and or people and organizations that used the site.
We have learned more about the application to build 5 townhouses where that pear orchard currently stands. At this time, there are no plans for any neighborhood review or input. If at least 50 people in the community write to the city just these few sentences (personalize with your name and location), it triggers a public hearing on the redevelopment.
My name is _____ and I am ______. I am requesting a public meeting as soon as the Master Use Permit application notice is prepared on the proposed plans to remove six historic (100+ years old) pear trees as part of the redevelopment of 2336 15th Ave S.
Please email the above to all of the following on this matter:
Look for updates as we get more information on our social feeds and on this page.
Landmark Application Status
Beacon Arts retained the services of Northwest Venacular, a highly regarded historic preservation consulting firm, who prepared and submitted the 90 page Nomination Application to the Seattle Historic Landmark Preservation Board on Oct 12, 2018.
Future Actions by Beacon Arts
Beacon Arts is committed to seeing the Landmark Application through to the end. Sign up for our mailing list for the most up to date info on these developments. Community support through letters and attendance at review meetings are crucial to get the application approved.
Details of the Sale
On Oct 10, 2018, the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs (WSFGC) sold the Garden House for $1,438,888. The new owners are Jimmy and Kimberly Vuong, a married couple, and Pamela Vuong. Kimberly Vuong is a local real estate agent and the Vuongs own multiple properties in the area. Pamela Vuong started The Flour Box, a pop-up bakery, in 2014 while a college freshman at UW. The family intends to open a bakery at the site.
The WSFGC had received and rejected a higher offer from Historic Seattle, a non-profit Preservation Authority. We were informed that the Vuongs’ offer was a cash offer.
Status of the Title
The original deed that conveyed the property from the Jefferson Park Ladies Improvement Club to the WSFGC in 1977 included a restrictive covenant requiring that the Property was to be maintained as a historic site and stipulating that the Property could only be used, sold, or leased for non-profit purposes. The WSFGC had this covenant removed from the deed in anticipation of selling the property. Beacon Arts had obtained legal counsel to pursue whether the removal of that restrictive covenant could be challenged when we were notified of the sale.
The warranty deed recording the 10/10/18 sale of the property to the Vuongs refers specifically to the original covenant, stating that the conveyance to the Vuongs is “free of that certain restriction imposed by the conveyance from Jefferson Park Ladies’ Improvement Club, a Washington Corporation, recorded under recording number 7712190533.” (King County Public Records)
While we hope that the Vuongs’ planned bakery business will be a good addition to the neighborhood, there is no restriction currently as to how they may develop the property or to whom they may sell it if their plans change (or when their bakery business runs its course, as all business enterprises inevitably do.) The WSFGC’s attorney also notified our attorney on the date of the sale that title insurance was acquired by the owners (to indemnify the owner against any defects or issues with the title).