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


Vote on design for the new 63rd Street mural

May 21st, 2014 by Doree

A group of dedicated neighbors has been working hard to bring back a mural to the North 63rd Street underpass. The old mural was painted over by the city two years ago after problems with graffiti.

Gray wall-resized

The volunteer group put out a call to artists in March and received about 10 submissions. They’ve narrowed it down to the top three, and now they’re letting the community decide. See the designs in person at several community events over the next couple of weeks and vote on your favorite.

Stop by Umpqua Bank, 7120 Greenwood Ave. N., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday (May 22-23) and again on May 29-30 to view and vote. You can also vote at Bingo Karaoke at the Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th St., from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, May 30; or at the Phinney Neighborhood Association Garden Party, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 31. See the project website for a full list of voting opportunities (more will be added).

Here are the three finalists:

63rd Street underpass #2-resized


63rd street underpass #4-resized


63rd underpass #1-resized

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Naked City’s new beer garden officially called the Walrus, will be for all ages

June 12th, 2013 by Doree

Naked City’s new beer garden in the adjacent parking lot will officially be called the Walrus Beer Garden, in honor of the Walrus blues tavern that was originally on that site before burning down three decades ago.

Local muralist Henry painted a large mural of two walruses on one wall. And the artists who created the colorful arson mural that used to stand next to Taproot Theatre down the street, have been restoring it and added a portrait of John Lee Hooker, who once played at the original Walrus tavern.


The grand opening for the beer garden, at 8564 Greenwood Ave. N., will be Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22. That Friday night will feature live jazz. That Saturday will feature an all-you-can-eat crawfish boil for $25 a person, live music and games.

Naked City’s full menu will be available, along with table service, in the beer garden. All ages are welcome, but dogs are not.

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Arson mural re-installed in Naked City’s new beer garden

June 4th, 2013 by Doree

The mural that once covered the wooden fence where four Greenwood businesses were destroyed in a 2009 arson, has been reborn at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse’s new beer garden.


The so called “arson mural” was created by local artists as a sign of hope and rebirth for the neighborhood, after more than a dozen arsons terrorized the neighborhood over the course of several months. The worst arson destroyed four restaurants next to Taproot Theatre, which owned the building housing those restaurants. Taproot built a fence to cover the scarred ground from view, and artists painted a mural depicting neighborhood scenes, such as the Greenwood Car Show and a firefighter saving a cat, plus a phoenix rising from the flames.

The mural was taken down when Taproot began work on a new building in that space. That new building will house a second theater, scene shop, offices and a cafe. Taproot’s addition will open late this summer.



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Taproot Theatre expansion on track for late-summer completion

January 30th, 2013 by Doree

Taproot Theatre’s expansion is coming along, as crews get the site ready for the modular construction building to be installed sometime this summer.


The back side of Taproot Theatre’s existing building is on the right.

Taproot’s Producing Artistic Director, Scott Nolte, tells me the plan is for the new building to be finished in late summer. With modular construction, the building components are completed offsite, then installation and finish work takes about four to six weeks.

The expansion takes the place of the former Eleanor Roosevelt Building, which housed four restaurants and burned in the Oct. 23, 2009, arson. The new building will include a second theater, dressing rooms, offices, scene workshop and a café and wine bar at 208 N. 85th Street.

If you’re wondering about the huge mural that was installed along the construction fence two months after the arson, Nolte said it is currently in storage, waiting for someone to come forward with a new site for it. Nolte said the mural would likely need to be touched up by the artists first.



The mural used to cover most of the length of the construction fence.

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Committee forming to replace mural on 63rd Street underpass

September 13th, 2012 by Doree

The long-time mural on the 63rd Street underpass beneath Aurora Avenue North was recently painted over by the city, because of continuing problems with graffiti. Now, a group has stepped forward to paint a new mural.

Our 36th District State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson has assembled a small group to apply for a Small and Simple Project Grant to create new artwork for the underpass at 63rd Street and Aurora. The project will need a steering committee to work with the community, artists, muralists,city departments and the PNA to design and execute the new mural. The 46th Street Mural Project provides a successful example for these efforts.

Even if you are unable to serve on the committee, you can contribute to the matching grant not only with money but through in-kind donations by attending meetings or volunteering services (worth $20/hour!).

The organizational meeting for the 63rd Street Mural Project will take place on Wednesday, September 19 at 7PM on Phinney Ridge. If you would like to serve on the Steering Committee or have other questions contact Kerry Fowler at 206-412-5231 or kwfowler-at-gmail-dot-com.

The exact location of the meeting will be provided to those who call or email to join the Steering Committee.

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Phinney Ridge muralist paints ‘graffiti’ on Aurora fence at business owners’ request

August 14th, 2012 by Doree

Phinney Ridge resident Emily Gussin tells us she painted a graffiti-looking mural on a fence at Aurora Avenue North and North 47t Street. Gussin says the fence was constantly covered in graffiti, and she thought that a graffiti-looking mural could work to prevent more graffiti.

Here’s a portion of the mural.

I did the mural…after having talked with the business owners for a few weeks. They were sick of having to re-paint the fence every week or so to cover up tags, so they allowed me to put up ‘graffiti as graffiti prevention’. I am trying to work with other businesses who have walls or fences that get hit with tags often, because murals are one of the best ways to prevent that vandalism. I…am talking with a few other business owners at the moment, I just completed another one in the UDistrict. I am hoping to get a few more walls done before summer is up.

If anyone is interested in such a mural, please contact Emily Gussin at emily.gussin@gmail.com.

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North 57th Street underpass mural painted over in gray

July 31st, 2012 by Doree

City workers were out today painting over the much-graffitied mural on the North 57th Street underpass, near Woodland Park Zoo.

And now it’s gray.

The mural was created in the mid-1990s, but it was a challenge to find community members to clean up the constant graffiti, so the city decided to paint over it, as well as the North 63rd Street underpass at Aurora Avenue North.

Thanks to James McFarlane for the photos!

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Finishing touches on Chocolate Shoebox mural

March 4th, 2012 by Dale

Brandon Baker, who goes by Narboo on his artwork, finishes up a mural he was commissioned to paint outside the Chocolate Shoebox, 7410 Greenwood Ave. N. Sunday afternoon.

See more of Narboo’s artwork on Flickr or visit him at his studio in the Greenwood Collective.

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What should neighborhood do about 63rd Street mural?

May 18th, 2011 by Doree

A Phinney Ridge neighbor has decided to take action on the oft-vandalized mural on the North 63rd Street underpass under Aurora Avenue North.

This graffiti showed up in late 2008 on the North 63rd Street underpass.

Kerry Fowler has created a brief, two-question survey on what neighbors think should be done with the mural.

I have created a SurveyMonkey page to take a straw poll on how to proceed – refurbish the current mural, create a new one, or let the city paint it over. The folks from the 46th Street Mural have provided great information on how they accomplished their task and the good news is that there are lots of resources available to us from the city.

Responses are anonymous and no IP addresses are logged.

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Art for Aurora: Mural planned in Greenwood

August 9th, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

The same folks who created a mural on an empty storefront along Aurora Avenue near Green Lake are about to do the same in Greenwood.  The mural is set to go up on the side of the North Park Grocery at 10217 Aurora Ave. 

The artists who’ve been hired to do the job are from Seattle Mural Art.  Their first Aurora mural (seen below) was installed temporarily in an empty storefront and within three weeks the property was leased.  They’re asking for the public’s input on their second mural in Greenwood during a community meeting this Tuesday (8/10) from 7pm to 8pm at the Epic Life Church (10510 Stone Ave N) across from the Northgate fire station.

The mural project is funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and Greenwood Aurora Involved Neighbors (GAIN).

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Roundup of this and that from the neighborhood

May 12th, 2010 by Doree

Looking for a little more happiness in your life? Cecile Andrews, local author of “Less is More” and “Slow is Beautiful,” will guide you through “Happiness Lessons” from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

In the past few years there has been a great deal of research on the nature of happiness. What are the secrets of happiness? Why is it on the decline? What specific steps can we take for our personal happiness as well as for societal well being? How can Seattle use a Gross National Happiness measurement? To register, call 206 783 2244, $5 donation.

The 85th Street Market on the corner of 8th Avenue Northwest and NW 85th Street now has an ice cream shop.

We are ready with our ice cream shop just in time for summer. We carry 24 different flavors from Dreyr’s . We will serving hand dipped ice cream by scoop, shakes, smoothies, sundae, banana split, root beer float and a lot more.

PlayMatters at 7720 Greenwood Ave. N. is having a summer-long special of $5 for open play time from now through August.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association is looking for volunteers in a number of different areas: PNA Board Members, writers for the quarterly Phinney Ridge Review, copywriters and “information architect” for the PNA’s new website, and volunteers to help run the PNA’s World Cup showings this summer. Email Alex if you’re interested in any of these volunteer opportunities.

The Seattle Times reports today that the city is removing more graffiti that has sprung up on the oft-tagged underpass mural near Woodland Park Zoo.

The Seattle Center Foundation is looking for your memories of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair for its upcoming 50th anniversary in 2012. “The Next Fifty” celebration includes an online time capsule. You can submit an image, story, video or audio file from the fair until May 21, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a Heritage Package (annual family passes to the Pacific Science Center, Seattle Center Monorail, and the Space Needle – a $2,400 value).

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Artist(s) wanted for 46th Street mural

January 31st, 2010 by Dale

A project that recently received a Small and Simple Neighborhood Matching Fund award from the City of Seattle is seeking an artist(s) to design a mural for a wall near the southeast corner of Phinney Ridge that bridges the neighborhoods of Fremont and Wallingford.

The 46th Street Mural Project is looking for a design that will “bring a positive visual message to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists traveling under Highway 99 (Aurora Ave.) at N. 46th St.”

The wall is located on the north side of the underpass at N. 46th St. and Aurora Ave N.

Get more details on our sister site, Fremont Universe.

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