Happy Lunar New Year!

Lunar New Year 2020, the Year of the Rat, begins on January 25, 2020 and lasts until February 11, 2021. The Rat, the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac, is said to be clever and resourceful with a keen vision for solving problems. Those born under this sign tend to be ambitious, energetic, thoughtful, and charming. Among these are William Shakespeare, Rosa Parks, Buddy Holly, and Pope Francis, as well as three U.S. presidents—Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush. Kung Hee Fat Choy!

Asian Art Museum

This sparse drawing attempts to convey this elegant Art Moderne building designed by Carl F. Gould, a University of Washington professor of architecture and partner in the firm of Bebb and Gould. Located in Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, it served as the Seattle Art Museum from 1933 until 1991, when a new SAM designed by Robert Venturi of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates was completed in downtown Seattle. The building was subsequently renovated and reopened in 1994 as the Asian Art Museum. The building is a designated Seattle landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

*The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that they are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.

Lahaina Jodo Mission

The Lahaina Jodo Mission is a Buddhist temple founded in 1912 by Gendo Saito with the support of the Japanese immigrants working in the island’s sugar and pineapple plantations. The three-tiered pagoda serves as a columbarium and contains the urns of deceased members.

The celestial buddha, 12 feet high and weighing 3 1/2 tons, was installed in June 1968. On a nearby plaque is inscribed the following: “This image of Amitabha-Buddha was erected here at the picturesque seashore of Lahaina, the capital of the ancient Hawaiian Dynasty, in celebration of the centennial anniversary of Japanese immigration to the Hawaii (sic) Islands…”

Old Court & Customs House

Just a block away from the Pioneer Inn is the Old Court & Customs House, which was built in the late 1850s on the site of the Old Fort in Lahaina. It opened in 1860 to serve as both a center for governmental and court affairs and a customs house for whaling and trading ships during the Monarchy period. Originally sporting a wood facade, the structure was renovated in 1925 in the Greek Revival style. Behind is the courthouse plaza, dominated by one of the largest banyan trees in the U.S.

Guild 45th Theater

The Guild 45th is a 500-seat theater in the Wallingford neighborhood that opened in 1921 as the Paramount. The theater has survived a succession of owners, from its first, William Code; to Bill Bruen, who changed the name to 45th Street Theater when Paramount Pictures built its own Paramount Theater downtown in 1928; to Jack Neville; and to Bob Clark, who renamed it the Guild 45th and remodeled it in preparation for the showing of mainly foreign films and an art-house repertoire. In 1988, Landmark Theatres, a national movie-house chain, purchased the Guild 45th along with the rest of the Seven Gables Theatres previously put together by Randy Finley, the theater’s fifth owner.

On June 5, 2017, the Guild 45th closed suddenly, along with most of the other Landmark chain in Seattle, except for the Crest Cinema. The site sadly still sits vacant and very little is known or has been publicized about the property’s future.

Live Aloha!

On a day of passing clouds, sun breaks, and eventually thunderstorms, the Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival occupied the grounds of Seattle Center with three performance stages, vendors of all things Hawaiian, and food trucks selling plate lunches, malasadas, shaved ice, and other island foods. In its 12th year, the festival continues to “promote, perpetuate and share the Hawaiian culture in the Pacific Northwest by enriching and strengthening the Hawaiian community and celebrating the arts and culture of Hawaii.”

The above is a drawing of the Mural Amphitheater stage during the performance of a halau hula (hula school), with the Space Needle looming overhead.

Cors & Wegener Building

One of the significant historic buildings within the Ballard Avenue Landmark District is this neoclassically detailed brick structure, constructed in 1893 for William Cors and Robert E. Wegener. They were the proprietors of the Ballard Wine House who considered themselves to be “artists in compound mixtures and fancy beverages.” The former saloon is situated at the corner of Ballard Avenue NW and 20th Avenue NW, along the main commercial street when Ballard was its own city, before being annexed by Seattle in 1907.