A happy crowd of members and donors helped the Phinney Neighborhood Association unveil its new elevator and community plaza, complete with a more welcoming staircase to the front door, on a beautiful, crisp Thursday evening.
PNA Capital Campaign Co-Chair (and former Board President) John Smith told the crowd that the Capital Campaign has raised $6.4 million to renovate the historic buildings, once home to the John B. Allen School. That includes $1.15 million from community members. The elevator, plaza and stairs cost about $2 million.
“I wanted to say a big hearty ‘thank you!’” Smith told the crowd.
The PNA made an elevator a priority so that it could be more accessible to the entire community, whether it was someone who was mobility challenged, or a parent with a stroller who needed to get to a class on the top floor.
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles told of bringing her elderly mother to the PNA for functions, but it would take forever for her to walk up the stairs. “She’s turning 97 and I’m really looking forward to bringing her back,” she said with a smile.
PNA Executive Director Lee Harper, Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson and Kohl-Welles toasted the plaza and elevator with champagne.
Then they got to work on cutting the ribbon. (Former PNA Executive Director Ed Medeiros got to use the huge scissors.)
The Phinney Center is listed on the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places. Susan Rohrer from the Washington State Historical Society told the crowd, “Historic buildings like this add depth and character to the communities they reside in.”
Here’s a shot of the plaza from above.