this place matters

Come Celebrate the Alki Homestead
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During Fourth of July festivities on Alki Beach, at 1:30 p.m. sharp, a crowd of diehard fans and friends of the old Alki Homestead Restaurant will mysteriously gather on 63rd Avenue SW in front of this venerable 1904 log landmark. What’s it all about? It’s a rally and group photo/video event to raise awareness of the current threat to the Homestead, and to make it clear to the world that This Place Matters!

People from all over Seattle share a collective memory of down-home fried chicken and mashed potato dinners at the Homestead’s elegant white-clothed tables. Yes, the ambience was always straight out of the 1950s, when the restaurant first opened. Before that it was “Fir Lodge,” home of the William and Gladys Bernard family, and after that it served as the Seattle Driving and Auto Club. But today, the restaurant is dark, and there’s a threat to the survival of the building. The current owner has announced plans to demolish it and redevelop the site, citing damage caused by a small interior fire.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, together with Historic Seattle, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and 4Culture say there just may be another way. Everyone is working with the owner to find alternatives to demolition. In the meantime, to raise awareness of the threat, these groups will sponsor a mass Independence Day photo shoot – complete with signs, buttons, cameras, and a little speechifying.

Appearing in this history-making photo will be State Senator Joe McDermott, our very own King County Executive Dow Constantine, City Council member Tom Rasmussen, and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, along with Alki neighbors and Homestead fans from far and wide. Everyone is welcome because the bigger the crowd, the better. You just may see yourself flashed around the world on YouTube and Facebook.

The Alki neighborhood will be packed with beach-goers, especially if the sun shines. If you come, allow plenty of time to find parking.  Better yet, take the King County Water Taxi from downtown, and walk, bike, or take the METRO Dart shuttle bus Route 775 up over the hill and down to Alki Beach. For more information on the rally, contact the Southwest Seattle Historical Society at (206) 938-5293, Thursday-Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m.

Image: © 2007, Homestead Restaurant, Courtesy of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society