A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Reminder: PNA ribbon cutting ceremony for new community plaza and elevator is Thursday

November 7th, 2012 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Association is celebrating its new elevator and community plaza with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. Thursday, at 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

The new elevator will serve all three floors of the Blue Building, allowing mobility-challenged folks to enjoy the building’s many events, as well as parents with strollers. The new community plaza creates a more welcoming entrance to the building.

Rep. Frank Chopp (Speaker of the House, 43rd District) and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles from the 36th District will be there, along with project donors and PNA members, to celebrate the $2 million project, which is part of the Capital Campaign to upgrade the PNA campus.

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Construction begins on elevator inside Phinney Center

July 25th, 2012 by Doree

Construction crews have begun work on installing the new elevator inside the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Blue Building, at 6532 Phinney Ave. N. The elevator is part of the PNA’s Capital Campaign, which paid to purchase the buildings from the Seattle School District, will bring the campus up to ADA and seismic standards, add a community plaza, and fixed many things, such as the roof, sewer and insulation.

The elevator will service all three floors. On the main (second) floor, it will be in the current front-door foyer, about where the soda machine was (below).

And here’s where it will be on the third floor, near the Phinney Center Gallery.

Thanks to the PNA for the photos.


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State budget allocates $995,000 for Phinney Center renovation

April 11th, 2012 by Doree

Phinney Neighborhood Association Executive Director Lee Harper tells us that the state legislature’s early-morning budget proposal contains $995,000 for the PNA’s renovation.

The state had originally allocated the money through the Heritage Capital Projects Fund, but Gov. Gregoire canceled all the fund’s grants during massive budget cuts last year.

The PNA had scaled back its renovation plans after losing the money, but will now start looking at which renovations can be completed. The PNA’s Capital Campaign includes a new entryway for the Blue Building, plus an elevator, ADA upgrades to bathrooms, seismic upgrades, better landscaping, and improved access from Phinney Avenue. The work will be done in phases as money allows.

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Phinney Center exceeds fundraising goal for elevator

December 9th, 2011 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Center tried to raise $30,000 from the community to help pay for an elevator to make the building more accessible – and ended up raising $40,161.

Those funds come from 249 households and businesses, 11 company matches, 33 Beer Taste patrons, a generous donation from the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op and $2,443 worth of potholder sales at the Winter Festival. Thank you for all you’ve done to help put an elevator in the Blue Building.

We expect to start construction of the Blue Building elevator by July 2012. In addition to the elevator, we also plan to do seismic retrofitting on the building, an improved entryway and a small community plaza. Barring any unforeseen complications we hope to complete the project by late fall. In the meantime, thanks to a grant from 4Culture, brickwork on the two small outbuildings on Dayton Avenue – the former fan building and the boiler room – is being restored and both buildings will be reroofed.

For a quarter of a century, the PNA has had a vision to create a living, enduring place that allows people of all ages and abilities to gather together and share their lives, ideas and experiences, creating a sense of belonging and a deeper commitment to our community. Our Community Begins Here Campaign has successfully raised $5.3 million in a very difficult economy, allowing us to purchase the Phinney Neighborhood Center campus from the School District, preserving a neighborhood landmark, and ensuring its ability to serve our extended community for generations to come. We are proud of our accomplishments to date!

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PNA needs just $6,000 more for new elevator

November 15th, 2011 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) needs about $6,000 more to install a new elevator as part of its Capital Campaign.

The Capital Campaign has raised about $5.3 million so far to purchase the site and buildings from the Seattle School District, create a more accessible campus both inside and outside, construct a more welcoming entry way and community plaza, perform seismic upgrades, repair the Brick Building’s slate roof and the main sewer line between the two buildings, update the boiler, insulate both buildings, and install an elevator in the Blue Building to make it more accessible to everyone.

The elevator will be installed in the current front entryway, about where the soda machine is now. The PNA received a grant from Wyncote Foundation NW several months ago, and is using part of that grant for the elevator. Community leaders, including Red Mill Burgers and several individual donors, also contributed, for a total of $60,000, and are challenging the community to come up with an additional $30,000 to help pay for it.

PNA Development Director Ann Bowden said 157 community members have contributed $23,840 towards that goal, leaving $6,160 to go by the end of the year.

The total cost for the elevator, entryway, community plaza and seismic work is expected to cost about $1.6 million, and the PNA still needs about $175,000 to meet that. Bowden said they are working on a few more grants and will probably have another fundraiser in the spring.

“We’ve raised almost $5.3 million, we’ve done some pretty significant repairs, and we’ve done all this in the middle of the recession,” PNA Executive Director Lee Harper said proudly. “We’re incrementalists here at the PNA. This is the next increment. We’re getting the elevator so we don’t have to carry 95-year-old women up the stairs to the Beer Taste.”

That actually happened last summer. Harper said Jeannette Miss came to the Summer Beer Taste with her granddaughter to celebrate her 95th birthday , and both were dismayed to find steep stairs to the second floor. So a group of men got together and carried Miss in her wheelchair up the stairs.

Four men carry 95-year-old Jeannette Miss in her wheelchair up the stairs to last summer’s Beer Taste. Photo courtesy of the PNA.

“You always talk about accessibility, and that right there is the problem. We cannot serve our whole community,” Harper said.

The PNA hopes to begin construction of the elevator in spring of 2012.

(Disclosure: We’ve donated to the Capital Campaign.)

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