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

 

Phinney Center unveils new elevator, community plaza

November 9th, 2012 by Doree

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.

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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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