Throwback Thursday: 110 years since Seattle annexed Ballard

Ballard was its own city from 1890 until May 29, 1907. The City of Ballard’s short-lived independence ceased to exist when it was annexed to Seattle, adding the new neighborhood to the northwest as well as 17,000 people to Seattle’s population.

The vote to annex had passed by 996 to 874 votes on November 6, 1906, following Ballard’s increasing difficulties in keeping its services abreast of a growing population. Particularly problematic was the clean water supply.

On the day the City ceased to exist, the Ballard City Hall was draped in black crepe, and the flag on the city flag pole hung at half mast.

Ballard Avenue from City Hall, Ballard, ca. 1900 postcard


Sources: Patrick McRoberts,, ( Essay 1421, 1999); Walt Crowley, National Trust Guide Seattle (New York: Preservation Press, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998); Myra Phelps, Public Works in Seattle: A Narrative History The Engineering Department 1875-1975 (Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department, 1978), 222; Passport to Ballard: The Centennial Story ed. by Kay Reinartz (Seattle: Ballard News Tribune, 1988), 64; Jeannie Yandel


Ballard gets community tool library with city’s matching funds award program

Mayor Ed Murray announced a near $1.3 million in matching funds awards to support 27 community-initiated projects across the city, including Ballard’s own community tool library. The awards come from the Neighborhood Matching Fund’s Community Partnership Fund which offers matching funds of up to $100,000 to community organizations committed to fostering and building our community.

Individual district projects were approved in Districts 1,2,3,6, and 7. Ballard’s biggest takeaway will be $12,000 to Sustainable Ballard to launch a tool library in Ballard that will promote community learning and help build skills of self-sufficiency and empowerment around crafting, repair, and general tool operation and safety procedures. The goal is to open by the end of 2017. (Community match: $42,446)

Additionally, four citywide projects will be funded this summer cycle: Fiestas Patrias, a free 2-day Latin American cultural festival; the 30th Annual Italian Festival ‘Festa Italiana’ running this year from September 22 – 24; Seattle Latino Film Festival to host free events including a panel on Latin-American Women in Film, and a screening of seven documentaries produced by universities in Mexico; a weekly youth education program by Skate Like A Girl and Youth Employment Skateboarding for youth ages 12-18 to learn topics as financial literacy, creating safer spaces, career paths, etc.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund’s Community Partnership Fund awards range from $12,000 to $100,000 with the 27 organizations pledging a total of $1,282,518 in community match resources of volunteer hours, locally raised money, donated materials, and in-kind professional services.

Over its 29-year history, more than 5,000 projects have been funded in partnership with the NMF Program. The next Community Partnership Fund application deadline is September 25. For more information about NMF and this cycle’s awarded projects, click here.

Discarded smoking materials cause $250k total of damages in Greenwood condo fire

An accidental condo fire– caused by discarded smoking materials– broke out in the heart of Greenwood yesterday afternoon, August 23rd. The fire displaced residents in the multi-residential structure near the intersection of N 87th Street and Greenwood Ave. in the north end of the neighborhood’s commercial district, none of whom were reported injured.

According to 911 records, the first call came in at 1:21 p.m. Around 1:45 p.m., Seattle fire PIO Kristin Tinsley reported that the fire was out.

The Seattle Department of Transportation warned locals to watch for road closures near the incident, of which continued to effect the area another hour after the fire was put out. Metro Transit rerouted Route 5 in both directions between N 85th Street and N 105th Street, because of the fire trucks blocking the street.

The Seattle Fire Department has since reported the estimated loss was $150,000 in structure damages and $100,000 in contents.

Bat found at Green Lake tests positive for rabies

A rabid bat, appearing sick and unable to fly, was found at Green Lake Park in Seattle on Thursday evening, August 17th. Public Health – Seattle & King County tells us the bat was captured by a park visitor as it was being moved by four persons who appeared to be teenagers on the pathway near the Green Lake boathouse on the east side of the park. The bat later tested positive for rabies at the Washington State Public Health Laboratory on Saturday, August 19th.

Officials advise parents in the area to check if their teens were at the park on Thursday evening, and if so, to ask them if they had any contact with a bat. Anyone who touched or had contact with the bat or its saliva could be at risk of getting rabies, which is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. But rabies can be prevented if treatment is given before symptoms appear.

“If you or your child had any contact with a bat at Green Lake Park on August 16th or 17th, please contact Public Health immediately to get information about preventative treatment,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, who explains that contact includes touching a bat, being bitten, scratched, or any other bare skin contact with a bat or its saliva.

Public Health – Seattle & King County tells MyBallard there are currently no additional updates or known related cases to the Green Lake rabid bat. Contact Public Health – Seattle & King County to report human bat exposures at 206-296-4774 or read more about rabies, pets, and bats here.

Street crossing improvements made near Ballard High and 85th

City Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang has been helping to implement street improvements near schools and other dodgy pedestrian throughways. Recently, noticeable new paint jobs and additions were given to roads outside of Ballard High School and along 85th St.

The first project included street crossing improvements with flashers, paint, and posts on 65th and 14th on the edge of Ballard High School.

“Engineering improvements at key locations like this provide options for easier transit, walking, and biking, especially near schools,” writes Chang.

More school crossing enhancements were made with flashers and a median island on 8th and NW 75th. (third pictured)

Furthest north, new speed humps, cushions, and an improved layout were facilitated with the intent that it would help bicyclists to safely cross 85th St. along the school access route on 1st Ave NW.


photos provided by Dongho Chang

Pop-up park designs and ice cream sundaes tonight at community block party

Supported by a Small Sparks grant form the Neighborhood Matching Fund, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition hosts a community block party tonight, August 23rd from 6-8 p.m. The block takeover will be at the 7700 block (NW 77th St) of 28th Ave NW.

The meetup hopes to bring community and partner groups together and inspire folks with pop-up park designs by UW students. Ice Cream Sundaes, Root Beer floats, lawn games and more.

Where to Trivia around Ballard tonight

It seems Tuesdays have always had a stake on trivia (and, of course, the taco). If walking to a spot nearby to enjoy trivia and a brew sound up your ally tonight– or any other Tuesday– here’s where to go:

Ballard Loft (5105 Ballard Ave NW). Hosted by at Ballard Loft starting at 8 pm.

Ballard Station (2236 NW Market St). Starting at 7:30 pm, rotating breweries give swag and cash prizes.

Park Pub (6114 Phinney Ave N). Usually free, hosted by the lovely Rachel with at 8 pm.

The Barking Dog Alehouse (705 NW 70th St). Hosted by Gonzo and various breweries at 7:30 pm. Free.

Trivia does exist other nights of the week as well.

On Wednesday, catch trivia at Kangaroo and Kiwi (2026 NW Market St) at 7:30 pm or Market Arms (2401 NW Market St). Thursday trivia at Norm’s Eatery & Ale House (460 N 36th St) has been popular for awhile for a reason, as has the recurring first Thursday trivia at Peddler Brewing (1514 NW Leary Way) at 7:30 pm. Stoup adds that they will be starting recurring trivia in the near future.

Ballard Patagonia opens its doors; hosts event this Thursday

If you blinked, you may have missed the soft-opening of Patagonia’s Ballard location over the weekend. The new-kid-on-the-block is located at 5443 Ballard Ave NW, on the corner of Market St. and Ballard Ave, and is open from are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday.

This Thursday from 7-9 p.m., the community is invited to a free all-ages discussion event at the shop’s location to talk with some of the brand’s designers about products, materials and mission. Snacks, beer,  and drinks from Timber City Ginger Beer will be available, as well as representatives from Puget Sound Restoration Fund. For more info and RSVP, click here.

Store manager Matt McConeghy still plans to host a grand opening party in September. We’re told to count on catered food, beer and live music. This party’s date is not yet final.

Photo taken opening day by patagoniaballard

Real Estate update: Ballard vacancy rate higher than neighbors; hottest neighborhood list crowns First Hill

GeekWire’s Nat Levy reports that tech-powered real estate brokerage Redfin predicts that Seattle’s housing market will stay hot this year, particularly in the First Hill neighborhood just east of downtown.

First Hill sits atop a new list predicting the 10 hottest neighborhoods for home sales for the rest of 2017. Redfin makes its predictions by examining recent growth in listing page views and favorites on its site.

Looking back at the first half of the year, no Seattle area neighborhoods landed among the top 10 hottest in the country. But that hasn’t stopped the momentum of the region as a whole, which has been the nation’s hottest housing market for months.

North Seattle Quarterly, associated with Neil Walter Company, have added their 2017 2nd Quarter findings with a current look at the commercial real estate market in Ballard, Fremont, and Interbay.

According to their data, the outlook on the real estate market hasn’t changed. Industrial market statistics, provided by North Seattle Quarterly, show a high mean commercial real estate average, and Ballard and Queen Anne as having the highest vacancy rate compared with nearby areas, Magnolia and Greenwood/Fremont.


Late night car crash damages Choice Deli storefront

An accident on the corner of 8th and NW 65th late last night has caused exterior damages to Choice Deli. During the motor vehicle incident, an SUV crashed, ending up on the corner market’s doorstep a little after 2 a.m., August 22nd.

Despite damages, Choice Deli says they will continue operating normal business hours today.

An employee at Choice Deli, asking to remain nameless, described the state of her shop to MyBallard: “The inside of the shop is okay; the car did break through our doors and bottom window. It took out a side piece pillar in the entryway.”

The employee says her business has not received the full police report of the incident yet. She tells us that her coworkers observed passengers of last night’s accident appearing visibly disorientated.

“They likely had injuries; none of our store employees were hurt,” says the Choice Deli employee.

Footage of the event was made public earlier this morning by nearby resident Jason Tice‎, who said he arrived to the scene shortly after the accident. View here.