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Washington Park

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Just like most of Seattle, Madison Park and Washington Park continue to climb in price. Last May there were 6 sales in the neighborhoods combined and the median price for a single-family home was $1,367,500. This past May the median price for a home has gone up to $1,922,500! The average list price in the area has jumped from $1,621,250 to $1,873,000 in just one month! There are currently 13 single-family homes active in the two neighborhoods. The highest active listing price is $12,850,000 and the lowest is $700,000. 

                 *see below

There were 3 condo sales last month, which is 3 less than last May (2016). The average sold price for a condo has made a tremendous jump from $575,492 to $919,000. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, there are currently two condos active and 4 pending. 

Contact your local real estate agent for their expertise in the Madison Park & Washington Park neighborhoods!

The photos above:

Extraordinarily private & expansive 120+ ft lakefront estate with level lawn, lush grounds, swimming pool, hot tub, & dock. Open concept William Bain designed home with second story added during extensive remodel. All main rooms look onto the stunning setting. Designed for indoor-outdoor enjoyment, rooms open to grounds through the many glass doors. Paneled living room, sandstone fireplaces, Carrarra marble kitchen, family room, glorious master suite! Choice location near shops, restaurants & downtown!

5 bedrooms & 4.25 bathrooms – 6,020 sq ft. 

Available for $12,850,000 

By Brandon Macz

A group against the loss of green space in Volunteer Park has opened a public process to stop the expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

The Office of the Hearing Examiner in June will consider an appeal of the master use permit for expanding the Seattle Asian Art Museum that was filed by Protect Volunteer Park.

Eliza Davidson for Protect Volunteer Park has been opposed to the Seattle Art Museum’s expansion plans since learning during community outreach last year that the project will take away park space.

Constructed in 1933, the Seattle Asian Art Museum is in need of a seismic upgrade, a climate control system, air conditioning and fixes to access issues. SAM also plans a 13,650-square-foot expansion on the east end of the museum for gallery, office and meeting space, plus an education and art-making studio. The building’s footprint would increase by 3,600 square feet.

The Seattle Asian Art Museum closed on Feb. 26 to begin removing collections, furnishings and other items from the building prior to construction. SAM expects to have the project completed and the museum reopened in 2019.

The appeal filed in late March challenges the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections’ Determination of Non-Significance issued on March 16, which Protect Volunteer Park argues incorrectly assumes that any significant adverse impacts on the park and the historic integrity of the museum will be mitigated by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. Both the park and museum and any changes to them are under the purview of the board.

“That’s all a lot of conjecture at this point,” said attorney David Bricklin, who is representing Protect Volunteer Park. “It’s very unclear what the preservation board will recommend at this point.”

He said the board could determine the cultural benefits of the expansion project outweigh any potential significant impacts.

“There was an appeal to the MUP [master use permit] determination. The City Attorney is defending their MUP decision, and SAM’s attorney is defending our application,” reads a statement from SAM CEO Kimerly Rorschach to the Capitol Hill Times on Thursday, April 20. “A hearing has been set for June 7. We are hoping that it is resolved quickly, and that the project can move ahead without delay this fall.”

Bricklin said he plans to file a request for summary judgment in early May, which could avoid the typical hearing process. The request is that there be an environmental impact study conducted.

“If it’s just a legal issue, then he may be able to go through it without an evidentiary hearing,” he said of the examiner.

As an attorney that specializes in land use issues, Bricklin said this is a rare case where the Department of Construction and Inspections does acknowledge the potential for significant adverse impacts from the project. Those would be better understood if an environmental impact study were conducted, Bricklin said, and identifying project alternatives would also be a part of the process.

“They’ve never gone back to the beginning and said, ‘This is how we got here in the first place,'” Davidson said of SAM’s rollout of the project.

Davidson said the Seattle Asian Art Museum upgrade and expansion project lacked transparency during its design, and opponents have long asked for alternatives that wouldn’t take up additional park land.

The original expansion design included a wraparound staircase with large windows, meant to provide a better connection between the museum and park on the east side. Architects said last September that the design changed because of concerns people might wrongly assume the staircase was an entrance to the museum.

“The footprint really hasn’t changed,” Davidson said. “They took off part of the overhanging structure that was kind of a stairway to nowhere.”

Following continuing concerns about how the museum expansion will affect the historic Olmsted park, SPR superintendent Jesús Aguirre issued a letter to Rorschach on Jan. 6 to put a “project pause” on expansion work until more information was provided.

On Jan. 23, SAM issued a response to questions posed by Aguirre, and the project was allowed to proceed shortly after.

“I think I’m cynical now,” Davidson said. “I felt optimistic at the time.”

One day prior to issuing the letter for a project pause, Aguirre addressed a Dec. 7 letter from the National Association of Olmsted Parks that shares the same concerns expressed by Protect Volunteer Park. In a Jan. 5 email, Aguirre addresses the preservation, modernization and public safety benefits of the museum upgrade and expansion project.

Davidson believes the timing isn’t coincidental, and that SPR has been to closely invested in the project from the beginning.

“It made it seem like the pause was premeditated and planned along with the museum,” she said.

The appeal hearing was set for 9 a.m. this morning, June 7, at the Office of Hearing Examiner, Room 4000, at 700 Fifth Ave. That’s the 40th floor of Seattle Municipal Tower.

Syndicated from Madison Park Times. Photo credit: Brandon Macz.

The Washington Park Arboretum and Seattle Japanese Garden play host to a variety of fun outdoor events and education in May…

May 4: First Thursday Tram Tour
11am — 12pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum’s 13-passenger tram offers monthly tours of the expansive nature park. Riders and participants on the first Thursday tour each month will learn about highlights of the season, new plantings, history of the Arboretum and more as they travel from the Graham Visitors Center to the Pacific Connections Garden. This is an open-air tour that operates year-round, rain or shine. Register here.

May 4: First Thursday Art Exhibit
5pm — 6pm | Seattle Japanese Garden
For May’s free first Thursday exhibit at the Seattle Japanese Garden, watch local Japanese calligraphy master, Midori Kono Thiel. She has studied traditional Japanese arts such as sumi-e and Japanese ink painting for over 50 years. The Seattle Japanese Garden will offer free admission from 3 p.m. until close, and Midori’s demonstration will start at 5 p.m.

May 6: First Saturday Family Program: Koi Day
10am — 1pm | Seattle Japanese Garden
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Seattle Japanese Garden with your family on the monthly first Saturday family program. Bring your family to the Seattle Japanese Garden on Saturday, May 6th to watch as the garden’s koi awaken from winter hibernation to eat. For the first koi feeding day this year, Koi Day includes free koi food to distribute and koi coloring sheets for kids.

May 11: Rosé 101 Class
6pm — 7:30pm | Belle Epicurean
Get an introduction to the summery pink wine we know as rosé in this fun class at Belle Epicurean. The establishment’s house sommelier, Rita Di Tondo will instruct on how rosé wine is made, the main production areas in the world, and an exploration of different styles through a tasting that will include 4 delicious wines. Snacks and appetizers that compliment the wine will also be served and bottles will be on sale with a 10% discount for the event. There are only a handful of spaces left, so buy your tickets ($35 each) now!

May 12: Tree Protection During Construction Workshop
8:30am — 3:30pm | Washington Park Arboretum
Arborists of all levels of skill and experience (such as Commercial Arborists, Consultants, and Professionals in related fields) can learn how to work around construction in this all-day workshop on Tree Protection. Participants will learn how to read and communicate using building plans, interpret and diplomatically change specifications, and review terms used in professions which arborists must and often communicate with. The workshop is $125 – $250. Register here.

May 14: Mother’s Day Brunch
9am — 2pm | Cafe Flora
Treat Mom to a wonderful vegetarian/vegan Mother’s Day Brunch at Cafe Flora in Madison Valley. Choose from delicious options for a delicious three-course prix-fixe meal for $45/person. The kids menu is $15/person. 

May 19: The Arboretum’s Conservation Collection: Endangered Plants from Around the World
1pm — 2:30pm | Washington Park Arboretum
Take a tour of the Arboretum to explore its Conservation Collection, and learn about many of the plants that the park cultivates which are currently under threat in the wild. You’ll learn about these plant species’ threats in their native habitats, the Arboretum’s preservation and protection efforts, and the important role we have to ensure the conservation of endangered plant species. No registration necessary.

Celebrate Earth Day and enjoy several fun outdoor activities in nature this month! Here are some neighborhood activities to mark on your calendar in April…

Throughout April: Workshops at City People’s Garden Store
Various Dates | City People’s Garden Store
Each month, the City People’s Garden Store offers a variety of workshops. In April, the workshops offered are as follows:

April 1: First Saturday Family Program
11am — 1pm | Seattle Japanese Garden
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Seattle Japanese Garden with your family on the monthly first Saturday family program. Kickstarting on Saturday, April 1st, the program will feature Washington’s Japanese-America Society, with a fun and educational program titled, “Taro Goes to School”. With interactive activities, coloring, origami and more, your family won’t want to miss this fun event. Admission is free for kids ages 12 and under, and tickets are $6 for adults. Tickets for youths aged 13 and older, students with ID and seniors are $4.

April 2: France vs. Argentina Malbec Wine Tasting
11am — 5pm | Madrona Wine Merchants
Madrona Wine Merchants is offering a free tasting of malbec wines on Sunday, April 2nd. The featured wines are the 2012 Les Fiefs d’Anglars Malbec from Vin de Pays du Lot, and the 2015 Bosca La Linda Malbec.

April 2-6 & 9-13: Seattle Restaurant Week at Madison Park Restaurants
Dinner | Madison Park Restaurants
A handful of Madison Park restaurants are participating in this season’s Seattle Restaurant Week, with three courses for $32: Bar Cantinetta, LUC, The Harvest Vine, Vendemmia, and Voila! French Bistro.

April 6: First Thursday Tram Tour
11am — 12pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum’s 13-passenger tram offers monthly tours of the expansive nature park. Riders and participants on the first Thursday tour each month will learn about highlights of the season, new plantings, history of the Arboretum and more as they travel from the Graham Visitors Center to the Pacific Connections Garden. This is an open-air tour that operates year-round, rain or shine. Register here.

April 6: First Thursday Art Exhibit
5pm — 6pm | Seattle Japanese Garden
The Seattle Japanese Garden is hosting an artist reception on April 6th to showcase its current art exhibit, ICHI-GO ICHI-E一期一会, by Season Yoshida. There will be a musical accompaniment, orchestrated by Season Yoshida, herself. Tickets are $6 for adults, free for kids ages 12 and under, and for youths aged 13 and older, students with ID and seniors, tickets are $4.

April 18: A Closer Look: Magnolia Tour
6:30pm — 8pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The UW Botanic Gardens Curator of Living Collections, Ray Larson, will lead a tour highlighting the Magnolia Collections on April 18th. Magnolias are blooming this time of the year, so expect a gorgeous expert guided tour of this collection! You’ll also take home tips on what might work in your own garden. This event is free, but a $5 donation at the door supports the Arboretum’s Education Programs.

April 22: Earth Day at the Arboretum
9am — 1pm | Washington Park Arboretum
Join the Student Conservation Association (SCA) for Earth Day at the Washington Park Arboretum! Volunteer on April 22nd to give back to Seattle’s public lands and help restore the arboretum. Volunteers will plant, mulch, remove invasive species, and maintain trails throughout the park. If volunteering, dress weather-appropriate with long pants and closed-toe shoes (preferably work boots) and bring a reusable water bottle. SCA will provide coffee and snacks for all volunteers.