Looking to watch the Fireworks? Be sure to head to the long awaited return of the SeaFair Summer Fourth Event! After a 2 year hiatus, this annual event returns to the shores of Lake Union. The events take place around Lake Union at Lake Union Park at the South End and Gas Works Park on the North End of Lake Union. For those with boats, the fireworks can be enjoyed from on the water, offering yet another vantage point for prime viewing.
SeaFair was voted one of the nation’s best fireworks shows by USA TODAY and Business Insider. There are multiple ways to enjoy the events and admission is free. However, for those wanting a premium view, reserved seating can be purchased on the website. Check out the website for tickets and event schedules throughout the day at
From all of us at the Steve Kennedy Team, we wish you a happy and safe Independence Day!
One can only imagine what life was like in 1919, the year this charming craftsman home was built. Thanks to carefully kept records, we can weave together the story of the life of Miss Edna Colman, the very first owner. Miss Colman filled this home with music and through her vocation as a music teacher, inspired generations of children and adults to appreciate and enjoy playing music.
Born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 1873, Miss Colman graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio and the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music before moving to Seattle in 1912. She became a prominent music teacher in the area, specializing in private piano lessons. Her first studio was located at 422 West Galer, just a few blocks from the lovely home she would purchase in the coming years. Music was in the air at the time, and an ambitious musical event referred to as Seattle’s “First Annual Music Festival” was being promoted to include some of the finest singing and musical talents in Seattle.
A strong advocate for homeschooling, Miss Edna Colman was quoted in various musical publications. Miss Colman stated that, “Music is language that should be heard in every home, that it is not lightning, striking some and not others”. She was also a member of the Musical Art Society, which at the time was part of the University of Washington College of Fine Arts. In 1915, The Seattle Music Improvement Club was formed, and Miss Colman was the first Chairman of the organization. Teachers affiliated with the club were considered to be the very best in their field of study. Miss Colman’s focus was on music theory, and music appreciation.
Ladies Musical Club
Miss Edna Colman joined the Seattle based Ladies Musical Club in approximately 1916, and was a member for over 40 years. Her class recitals received many rave reviews, including one reviewer who wrote:
“The piano pupils’ recital presented by Edna Colman on June 1st at the Fine Arts Rooms was a splendid demonstration of excellent work; from the most elementary pianoforte music to the difficult selections, each student displayed a mastery of his particular piece that reflected credit to the teacher”.
She taught lessons at 7th West until her retirement in 1951 and continued her membership in the Ladies Musical Club until she passed away in 1961.This home has always been filled with music. Whether you enjoy playing or listening, this lovely house is ready and waiting for the next stewards to fill it with joyful sounds
Seattle homes that were built nearly a century ago are full of architectural character, charm, and wonderful regional history. Thanks to accurately kept censes records, newspaper clippings, and immigration records, we can piece together the story of the original owners, the Nenezich family, who emigrated from eastern Europe, sold groceries to locals, and raised four children in this lovely home.
The original owners, Nicoli (Nick) Nenezich of Montenegro and Mary Tomanovitch Nenezich of Czechoslovakia, came to America via New York in 1903. The couple met in New York shortly after their arrival and married 2 years later. The couple worked hard in New York as grocery retailers and saved a percentage of each paycheck for the move west. After the birth of their first child, they made the long trip to Seattle and opened their own grocery store. In 1916 they purchased the home at 4526 38th Ave South.
Soon after Daughter Millie was born, came John, Mike, and Peter. The children raised in this home had interesting lives and careers and went on to help build our unique city. Millie worked as a telephone operator then a reporter and Mike worked as a bakery sales/delivery person. Things got really interesting when John, the couple’s second born described by family and friends as a real character, blazed his own trail.
John Nenezich attended Franklin High School and was a fine athlete excelling in baseball and boxing. He trained at the Columbia City boxing gym and fought professionally as "Dynamite Johnny Morgan". Unfortunately, this professional status as a boxer made him ineligible for his true calling as a high school or college baseball player.
He loved the game so much, he found work as an umpire for Seattle Public Schools and also in minor league ball with the Seattle Rainiers and was known as a fair and tough umpire. He was also a member of the Washington State Boxing Commission and judged over 1000 fights during his career.
"He was a lively, friendly guy who could make fun of himself and loved to tell stories.” said Seattle Times columnist Emmett Watson, a friend since the 1930s, when Watson played high-school baseball and Mr. Nenezich "umped" it.
Edo Vanni, a popular former Seattle Rainier player and manager, recalled that John Nenezich was an incredibly generous man. "He dug down deep in his pockets many a time to help out some of the old guys, particularly the old ball players."
In order to keep busy off-season and earn extra money, John Nenezich worked as a bartender and lunchtime host at Seattle's Metropolitan Grill. He was well known by regulars as a character, and handed out business cards that read:
John Nenezich: soldier of fortune, a soft-shoe dancer, a tiger-tamer, riverboat gambler and the last of the big-time spenders.
"He was a good old feisty character who could get a laugh out of almost anybody," said Bill Rynd, the restaurant's general manager in 1997. Even though the restaurant doesn't open until 11 a.m., Mr. Nenezich would show up between 7 and 8 a.m. every weekday "to keep everybody else here in line."
This wonderful home is waiting for the next owner to continue the Seattle story and pursue their own dreams and opportunities.
Walking through the house and gardens at 1820 Warren Ave North, one can only imagine what life must have been like in 1903, the year this beautiful home was lovingly built from strong old growth timber. This home is on the market here. 1903 was the year that The Seattle Public Library's first branch officially opened in Fremont. John Olmsted arrived in Seattle after he was commissioned to design our city parks and President Theodore Roosevelt visited Seattle, and Chief Joseph (1840-1904) and his nephew Red Thunder traveled to Seattle to watch a University of Washington football game. Later in the evening, Chief Joseph would speak to a large audience at the Seattle Theatre (3rd Avenue and Cherry) through an interpreter. 1903 was also the year Wilbur and Orville Wright made four brief flights at Kitty Hawk with their first gas powered aircraft.
Thanks to census reports and archive documents, we know a little bit about the first owner, Robert Benjamin Lehman (1861-1935). Born in North Carolina during an era when education was reserved for the privileged, he was a precocious student and excelled at debate and rhetoric. Upon graduating from High School, he attended law school and clerked in the District Court of New Jersey. He married and had a child, Robert Jr. Sometime shortly after his son was born, his young wife sadly died. As a widower and looking for a fresh start, he packed up young Robert Jr. and as so many did in the day, made his way West for the promise of opportunity and a new start in Seattle. He bought the home at 1820 Warren Ave North, opened a successful boutique law practice, which he eventually moved to the Smith Tower after completion in 1914. He hired 27 year old Lizzie Cowell to look after the home and his son Robert. The young woman was born on the Oregon frontier to German immigrants and helped Robert create a lovely home.
Not on the market in nearly 30 years, this lovingly maintained home is a true craftsman honoring fine workmanship. The very first thing many people notice when walking up the steps is the grand arbor, climbing roses and fence built by the current owner’s father. The lumber was a Christmas gift, the fence and architectural details a labor of love.
Next, visitors enjoy the tall clinker brick chimney that services the home’s three fireplaces. Clinker brick is quintessentially Arts and Crafts in style, as every chunk of vitrified clay is unique. Before 1900, these bricks were seen as discards because they were not uniform in size, shape, and color. Those who honor the Arts and Crafts era would soon discover that these bricks were stronger than their “perfect” brethren, and would make for some of the most interesting, unique, and artistic home exteriors and walkways of the time. The Lake Union Brick Works was most likely the source of this wonderfully artistic architectural element.
“In these days of automated manufacturing, when perfectly identical bricks are produced thousands at a time, clinkers are all but non-existent,” Susan VanHecke wrote in an article titled “The Accidental Charm of Clinker Bricks” in Old House Journal.
After tuck pointing the chimney, the owners happened upon 3 chimney pots imported from York, England. They couldn’t resist the charm and the way these would work with their eclectic chimney and hired several masons to install them. All moldings and picture rails are original to the home and create a dramatic effect upon entry. It is understood that the builder took pride in all the details of the time.
This beautiful home has been the setting for music lessons, recitals, rehearsal dinners, auction dinners, graduation parties, holiday dinners, as well as a wedding. Sometime in the 1950s, a piano teacher lived at 1820 Warren Ave North. We know this as several Queen Anne Manor residents out for daily walks have regaled the current owners with stories about taking lessons and practicing for the recitals that would fill the home with eager parents, guests, and neighborhood students. Rows of chairs would extend into the dining room beyond the pocket doors. The piano was tucked under the “piano window” in the living room, the very same spot the current owners placed their grand piano, and the same room where two little boys would study music and make it their vocation.
Jazz artist Bert Wilson called 1820 Warren Ave North home and used this address for his music label, Au Roar Productions, during the late 1970s. He was a much sought after and beloved Seattle saxophone teacher and performer. Some of his students included 3 time Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer, and educator Jeff Coffin of Dave Matthews Band fame, Los Angeles sax legend Ernie Watts, and New York legend Lenny Pickett, famous for his work with Tower of Power and the leader of the Saturday Night Live Band. Mr. Wilson traveled the world and played with many of the greats and is said to have once jammed with John Coltrane while gigging in Los Angeles in 1966. Mr. Wilson retired and moved to Olympia, Washington with his long time wife and companion, the flutist Nancy Curtis in the early 80s. JazzTimes magazine called Bert Wilson “a major contemporary figure of the tenor saxophone.” One of Mr. Wilson’s albums with the distinctive 1820 Warren Ave North address will be left at the home for the new owners.
The two boys who grew up in this home are both accomplished musicians, both began studying piano and guitar at age 5. The oldest son works as a Technical Sound Designer. The younger son is at University where he studies Media and Jazz. He has worked as a guitar teacher, plays in the University Jazz ensemble, and recently started his own Jazz Quartet. Several bands have been launched in the basement and the dining room of this home. A barbershop quartet regularly rehearsed in the living room, under the pocket doors for the best acoustics, before walking 2 blocks to SeaChordsmen practice at 1st Ave North. Ukulele and guitar strumming can often be heard from various porches, which draws neighbors to stop, listen, and chat. They enjoy and expect to hear music coming from this home.
Maybe it’s something about the proximity to the local arts community, but this is a home that has always been filled with music. Whether you enjoy playing or listening, this home is ready and waiting for the next stewards to fill it with joyful sounds.
Seattle has a love affair with old homes, and if you are fortunate enough to own a pre-1936 property, there is a good chance that an old image exists in the King County Archives. Financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration, a county wide land survey was conducted between 1936 and 1940 to inventory all property ownership. Before then, parcel records were unorganized, often inaccurately recorded, and undervalued. The country was coming out of the Great Depression, and municipalities needed revenue to restart local economies.
The home located at 2109 2nd Ave North falls into this category, which means we have unearthed some wonderful historic documents (the house is on the market here). The original owners, Glen and Ethel McCollough purchased the home new from the builder in 1935 and built a beautiful life together.
Glen McCollough (1906-1978) was born to William McCollough and Anna May Smith McCullough in Clarkston, Washington. Glen’s father, William, was a minister and his mother Anna worked hard to keep her three children fed and educated. Glen’s father William died at the age of 50, leaving Anna a young widow with three children to care for and support.
After the death of Glen’s father, the family moved to Seattle and rented a home on Capitol Hill. Anna took a position as a home nurse and oldest brother Dale attended school at the University of Washington.
Glen attended high school in Seattle and excelled in math. He was later employed as a bookkeeper at Gerke’s Pharmacy in Ballard in the building where The Matador is located today. He met and married Ethel Lois who was also employed as a bookkeeper in 1934. The couple saved and purchased the home in 1935, inviting Glen’s mother Anna to live with them. The couple had one child, Roger, who was born in 1936 and raised on Queen Anne. What a beautiful life it must have been for him, living in a multigenerational house. We do not have a record of Glen going to war, but we do have his draft card. In 1940, the Selective Training and Service Act was established, which required all men between the ages of 21 and 45 to register for the draft. Those selected in a lottery were required to serve at least one year in the armed forces.
Census reports list many interesting occupations on this block: nurse, gardener, mail carrier, stenographer, and Ford car salesman. Technology and occupations have changed since this home was built; however, Seattleites continue to be known as trailblazers and innovators
This lovely home is waiting for the next owner to build community and continue the story in a city that has seen much change. What legacy will the next owner leave for future generations?
Your home may be your most cherished and valuable asset, but there comes a time for nearly everyone when it is time to sell. But how do you know when the time is right? Our team got together and talked about the telltale signs that it might be the right time to sell.
1. Your family has outgrown your current home.
That starter home you fell in love with might have been great for a single person or a couple, but add a child or two, a grandparent, or another family member, and a home can start to feel small. Our team has learned over the years that the number one reason why people sell their homes is that they've outgrown the space. If your home is not serving your family in the way it once was, it may be time to sell.
2. Your home is too big.
If your life takes up less space than it once did, it may be time to sell. Have the kids grown up and moved out? Are you entertaining the idea of being a snowbird in retirement? These are indications that it may be time to downsize. A paid off mortgage may leave extra cash in your pocket at the time of the sale, and a smaller home will likely come with a lower tax bill. We have one client who is holding on to their Ballard home as their retirement travel nest egg. When they retire, they plan on selling and traveling full time. They aren’t sure where they will land, but they will have cash in hand to make that decision when the right opportunity presents itself.
3. You're emotionally ready to sell your home.
Unlike stocks, mutual funds, and other investments, your home carries an emotional component that shouldn’t be overlooked. Perhaps you are selling the home where you raised your children or maybe it is the first home you ever purchased. Part of the process of selling is knowing when to let go and embrace the next stage of life. If you have outgrown your current home, that may mean that you are ready to purchase a larger home for your growing family. If you are an empty nester, it may be time to downsize and embrace new opportunities. Whatever the reason is for selling, make sure you are ready and look forward to the future.
4. The real estate market is strong.
We continue to enjoy a robust sellers’ market. It isn’t uncommon for owners to receive multiple offers when a property is priced right. Recently, our team has seen upwards of 10 offers on homes in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Look at comparable homes for an idea of what you might get for your home. If you would be happy to sell at these prices, this is also a signal that it is the right time to list your home. Working with a realtor who can help you properly price your home and help you understand offers is crucial. Homes priced too high will sit on the market and become stale. Homes priced just right will sell quickly.
5. There has been a shift in work, school, and lifestyle.
If nothing else, the global pandemic has taught is that most of us really can work remotely. This lifestyle shift may mean that it is time to reexamine your work-from-home space. If multiple family members are working remotely, (one of our clients recently had 5 family members at home either working or attending school), you may have run out of home office space. Remote work and education may also mean that you don’t need to live in a metropolitan area. If you have always wanted to live in a rural place or in another part of the state or country, this may be a great time to try something new. With tech companies continuing to move in-person work dates back, there is flexibility for workers, and many businesses have chosen to stay remote altogether. With no office to return to, it might be a great time to sell and investigate other lifestyle options.
6. You can financially transition relatively easily
Buying before selling your existing home can be complex, but there are many options and financial vehicles available to sellers. If you buy before you sell, you may need to carry two mortgages for a time. If you have been in your home for a long time, you may own it outright or have a nearly paid off mortgage. You have most likely benefited from low interest rates and lower prices, so cashing out will mean you have much more equity, making the purchase of another home relatively painless, especially if you can make an all cash offer.
Ready? If you are considering selling this year, call for a complimentary and confidential consultation with Queen Anne’s #1 Real Estate Team.
If you are a typical Seattleite, you 1) fiercely recycle, 2) donate or repurpose as many of your used items as possible, and 3) aren’t sure what to do with all those Prime envelopes. Enter a 4-year-old Seattle startup called Ridwell! Their mission is to make it simple to get rid of your stuff responsibly.
We have written about recycling in the past, and it can be frustrating as the rules keep changing. Who accepts used pillows? Do old car seats really need to go to landfills? What should I do with burned out lightbulbs? There are many items in our modern lives that don’t have great recycling solution. Ridwell, a unique subscription-based program, offers a rotating recycling pickup program that deals with these used items that live in that “complicated to recycle” category.
Started on Queen Anne by Ryan Metzger and his son Owen, the two were simply trying to figure out how to recycle batteries. After making several calls to locate a battery recycling center, the pair thought perhaps other neighbors had the same issue, so they began what they called a “recycling carpool”. Things snowballed, and word of mouth fueled the growth of this neighborly endeavor. Recycling carpools became so large that it was clear the pair were onto an innovative solution to a common problem. There was so much demand for help with recycling, that the family turned it into a subscription service company.
To assist with decluttering and keeping things out of landfills, Ridwell offers a rotating category calendar to assist you in planning. There are so many items that don’t fit into curbside recycling programs that many items (that could have been recycled) end up in landfills.
Plastic film is picked up with each visit, but what about polystyrene, packing peanuts, old cords, chargers, or electronics? Ridwell heroes come to your home on a rotating schedule, take items away, and deliver them to the proper place for recycling. Polystyrene foam is taken to Styro Recycle in Kent. Prime envelopes? It turns out they can be recycled to make Trex composite decking. Who knew?
Simply sign up (plans begin at $10 per month if you sign up for a full year), log into your account, check the calendar for pickup items, and leave items on your porch in the darling vintage style box the company provides.
One of our team members signed up for the service and has found the user interface and dashboard to be well organized and easy to use. With several software engineers working on the website, it is intuitive, beautiful, and functional. The program has been rolled out in Portland, Denver, and Seattle, and more cities will follow soon.
While Ridwell can’t guarantee that each of these categories will be on the pickup rotation, they are eager to hear from their customers and get their feedback. Some of the items they are planning to pick up this year include:
Electronics, Eyeglasses, Bras, Halloween candy, Holiday lights, Kitchenware, Loose diapers, Kid’s clothes, Winter/summer wear, Kid’s toys, Car seats, Pet toys & supplies, Jewelry, Wine corks, Canned and packaged foods, Formal wear, School and office supplies, Birthday decorations, Tennis balls, Lego blocks, Cords and chargers.
If you are working to declutter your home or simply looking for better recycling opportunities, give www.Ridwell.com a try.