Category Archives: Crown Hill Center

Volunteers at Work at Crown Hill Center

On Saturday, May 14th, a group of 10 volunteers working under the direction of Catherine Weatbrook spent several hours working on the grounds of and inside the Crown Hill Center. Catherine reports substantial progress on the following projects:

  • Playground landscape improvements
  • Spreading wood chips around the oak tree at 13th and 95th. This project effort is ongoing and was started by Doug Gresham and several other volunteers.
  • Back-filling behind the repaired brick wall on the side of the property facing 14th Ave NW
  • Assembling the new cabinetry for use inside the building to address earthquake safety concerns

Thanks to all the volunteers for their efforts. If you are interesting in volunteering on the next volunteer party, please contact Catherine at

Crown Hill Center Grant to Repair Roof Moves Forward

At the Ballard District Council meeting on May 11th, a grant to repair the roof of the south wing of the future Crown Hill Center received an excellent rating. This means the grant will move forward to the next round, a city-wide review of all large project neighborhood matching grant applications for this year.  The Department of Neighborhoods administers the Large Project Fund for awards up to $100,000 to foster community members in projects which build community involvement in large projects.

The Ballard District Council review committee headed by Joe Wertz, rated the project at 96 out of 100.

The Crown Hill Center was purchased from the Seattle School District two years ago as the result of a community supported effort to acquire the former Crown Hill School, creating the Crown Hill Center and the soon to be Crown Hill Park. The roof project is one of the most critical at the Center, and will prevent deterioration of other elements of the building. Although this project is called the ‘roof project,’ it actually includes many additional elements:

  • Gardening, digging, planning including the rain garden for the west side to address drainage issues
  • Creating signage for the building
  • Building a fence between the playground and the new park
  • Restoring the south lobby
  • Turning the nook outside of the south lobby into an active space to compliment the park
  • Arts Festival activities (all aspects of)

Catherine Weatbrook recently appealed for pledges of community support for this project. Thanks for all the offers, and we look forward to completing the project with your help.  The actual roof work will be done by a contractor rather than volunteers, so no worries about climbing up there and toiling in the hot sun with roofing tar!

Crown Hill Center Playground Survey

Recently Small Faces completed work on a grant to install a new play structure in the playground area. This is Phase 1 of a plan to revitalize the playground area. The playground and new structure are open to the public when Small Faces is not using them.  Crown Hill Center/Small Faces are asking folk to complete a survey to be sure that the new Crown Hill Center Playground reflects the interests and needs of the Crown Hill Community at large. Please take a few moments to answer the four question survey here.  Thanks!

Crown Hill Arts Festival, November 13th, 2010

Crown Hill Arts Festival 2010
Crown Hill Arts Festival 2010

November 13, 2010

Admission is FREE!

The Crown Hill Center
is proud to present the 2010 Crown Hill Arts Festival!

Doors open at 6:30pm

Stroll the Artwalk and enjoy paintings and photography from local artists. Local community groups and building tenants will have information tables in the hallway.

View amazing performances including yoga, flamenco and ballet.

Beer Garden
Listen to live music, drink a beer or glass of wine and eat yummy appetizers donated by Honey, I’m Home Catering.

Instant Wine Cellar Raffle
the Arts Festival by buying raffle tickets for an Instant Wine Cellar!

For the Kids
Childcare by donation from 6:30 – 9:30pm provided by Small Faces Child Development Center.

9250 14th Ave. NW
Seattle, WA

The Big Dig: Asphalt Missing from Small Faces Playground

Missing Pavement
Missing Pavement: Scene of the Crime


It has been recently reported that asphalt pavement has been removed from the playground area at Small Faces (on the east side of the building). Some neighbors reported the perpetrators were operating “a trencher or maybe a backhoe and a dump truck.”

Seizing the moment, retired Small Faces director, Lynn Wirta indicated the now missing pavement fits perfectly with the Crown Hill Center’s plans to renovate the playground. Wirta indicates volunteers are needed to help filling in the hole and proceeding with the playground 2.0 renovation plans. If you are available on Saturday, July 10, please contact Small Faces (206) 782-2611 or Food, tools and  child care provided.  No experience necessary!

The pavement removal and hole creation were accomplished with generously donated labor. ;)

Crown Hill Center Playground Update

We’ve just received this from Lynn Wirta about the Crown Hill Center Playground version 2.0. You can view the plans presented at the April 28th meeting here. This is a great opportunity to meet neighbors and community members interested in helping out with this community resource.

The Committee is looking for large landscape rocks-2 yard size to expand the existing rockery on the playground.  If you have any or know of someone who is getting rid of large rocks, please let Johnny know at  We are also looking for large driftwood to create a beach environment in the sand area.

Tentative date for the playscape install is the weekend of July 10 and 11.  We’ll need at least 25 volunteers that weekend so please mark your calendar for helping out.  The $17,000 grant we received from the City is a matching system.  All volunteer hours will contribute to making the $17K match. Lunch and childcare will be provided.

The new space is getting closer and closer to reality!  We are delighted to have Tom Grover, President of Kompan Play Equipment living in our neighborhood.  He plans to attend our next meeting on June 10th to lend his expertize along with his local consultant and child development specialist.

Gilbert & Sullivan Housewarming and Open Rehearsal, June 8th, 2010

G&S Housewarming & Open Rehearsal
(click to enlarge)

The Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society cordially invites all members of the Crown Hill community for a gala housewarming and open rehearsal preview of selections from their upcoming productions HMS Pinafore and Cox and Box.

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
Crown Hill Center
9250 14th Ave NW

Perhaps you noticed all the construction going on in the former covered play courts behind the Crown Hill Center? The newest center tenants completely transformed the space most recently used for storage into a palatial production facility and rehearsal space.  Now we’re all being invited to celebrate their arrival with tours of the new facility and previews of selections from their upcoming productions. For those not acquainted with the G&S Society’s productions, they are grand affairs with a cast of more than 40 performers, and tremendous musicality.

HMS Pinafore, a rollicking, sea-going comic opera, shreds class distinctions and pompous bureaucracy in the Royal Navy. The heroes are British Tars and the laughing stock is the First Lord of the Admiralty, who wants to marry the Captain’s daughter. She in turn loves a member of the crew.

Cox and Box, the 19th century version of “The Odd Couple,” features two inadvertent roommates sharing a shady landlord and a fiancee that neither cares for.

Both shows have happy endings. There is no charge for admission. Free show posters and postcards. Complementary refreshments. Show T-Shirts will be available for purchase.

Crown Hill Park Meeting Wrap-up

Crown Hill Park Meeting

On April 28th, 2010, more than 50 community members gathered in room 4 of the Crown Hill Center (formerly Crown Hill Elementary School) to hear about, see and provide community input on the latest plans for the soon to be Crown Hill Park. Kim Baldwin, Pamela Alspaugh, and Shwu-Jen Hwang of the Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept presented the latest version of the schematic for the new park. Lynn Wirta (former director of Small Faces) presented the latest version of the schematic for the playground which will be on the adjoining Crown Hill Project/Small Faces property.

April 2010 Schematic Park Plan
April 2010 Schematic Park Plan (click to view full size)

The last schematic (developed in 2006) was out of date, and needed to be updated to reflect the change in ownership of the park and school land. When the plan was last looked at, the future park land and buildings were owned by the Seattle School District. Subsequently, the School District surplussed the property and the Crown Hill Project acquired the building(s) and associated land on the northern portion, while the city acquired the actual park land on the southern portion.  In the map below, the park property is shown in green while the Crown Hill Project property is shown in red and blue. Additionally, the project has suffered delays due to the temporary relocation of SFD Fire Station #35 to the southernmost portion of the property. The fire station will be relocating to its newly revamped headquarters in late summer or early fall, clearing the way for the development of the new park.

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New Playground Plans for Small Faces

Lynn Wirta unveils the new playground plans
Lynn Wirta unveils the new playground plans

At the recent Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept. community meeting to present the proposed plan for the new (as yet unnamed) Crown Hill park, Lynn Wirta presented the conceptual drawings for the new Small Faces playground. Lynn is the recently retired director of Small Faces, and she now serves as a volunteer on the playground renovation project.  Small Faces recently received a Small and Simple Grant from Seattle for $17000 to update the playground. The working group has been meeting on alternate Thursdays for a number of months now, and recently asked for community input in the form of a survey. Community input and especially volunteers are always welcome — contact Small Faces (206.782.2611) or simply come to one of the meetings.

Below are closer views of the actual proposed plan the first is visionary and the second is bare-bones:

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Our New Crown Hill Park Needs a Name….

We received the following press release from Seattle Parks and Recreation about naming 3 new parks in Seattle. One of the parks is our new Crown Hill Park.  They are actively seeking submissions of names from the community now until June 2nd, 2010. Please submit suggestions for park names in writing by June 2, 2010, and include an explanation of how your suggestion matches the naming criteria. Send suggestions to Seattle Parks and Recreation, Park Naming Committee, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109, or by e-mail to

Guidelines for park names:

  • Park names can be based on geographic locations, historic or cultural significance, and natural or geological features.
  • A park may be named after a person deceased for a minimum of three years who made a significant contribution to parks and/or recreation.


Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the public to submit potential names for parks in the Ballard and West Seattle neighborhoods. Suggestions for names are due to the Park Naming Committee by Wednesday, June 2.

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Poll: Crown Hill Community Center Playground

The Crown Hill Community Center recently received a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple grant for $17000 to work on upgrading the play ground at the Crown Hill Center.

We received an appeal from Johnny Otto, Director of Small Faces Child Development Center for community input in the form of an online survey. Please take a few minutes  to complete the survey ( Your input is important to ensure the needs of the community are met. The play ground area is marked in red, and the park area is marked in green on the map below.

View Crown Hill Center Playground in a larger map

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Crown Hill Park Public Input Meeting

The future Crown Hill Park is nearly here! The temporary Fire Station #35 will be moving back into the new quarters later this year. And that clears the way to move forward on the Crown Hill Park.  The park is to be located on the southern portion of the former Crown Hill Elementary School site. Seattle Parks and Recreation worked with the community a few years ago to develop a plan for the site. Since that time, the land for the park was acquired, the Crown Hill Project acquired the school building, and there was money allocated in the recently voted on parks levy for development. It is now time to review the former plans with respect to a revised park  footprint, and site conditions. Seattle Parks and Recreation is convening this public meeting to define a preferred schematic plan based on the formerly developed plans and current site conditions. This is your chance to see what is in store and provide input.  More information on the project (including links to the complete PDF for the schematic below) is available from the Parks department website at:

Crown Hill Park public meeting, Wednesday, April 28th, 6:30-8:00 PM, Crown Hill Center, 9250 14th Ave NW.

Crown Hill Park Schematic
Crown Hill Park Schematic, Click to enlarge

Small Faces Fences

Lynn Wirta, Small Faces Emeritus Executive Director, has asked for community input and assistance in designing the play field fences east of the school building.

Small Faces is slowly moving towards renovating the playground, (including the fence issue) now that the building has been secured.  We have several draft drawings that are a result of children, family, staff and neighborhood input. Now we need someone to take the ideas and create a formal picture that can be used for marketing our plan.  Are there any neighbors who might have the architectual skills we need who would be interested in helping?

The fence model we like is patterned after the one at the Phinney Neighborhood Association.  It has planters as the safety barrier and will include a people gate and a vehicle gate for access to the future City Park.  See the attached pictures.

What do you think?

Phinney Fence 1
Phinney Fence 1
Phinney Fence 2
Phinney Fence 2

Interested in contributing ideas or skills to this project, contact Small Faces at or John Otto (the new executive director) at or phone at (206) 782-2611.

Small Faces Playground Structure Dedication, 35th Anniversary!

Small Faces Child Development Center will be dedicating their new playground structure and celebrating their 35th Anniversary on Saturday, September 11th, 2010 from 11 AM to 1 PM. Small Faces recently received a Seattle Dept of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Grant to procure and install a new play structure on the playground. With the help of Small Faces Parents, Staff and Community Volunteers who generously donated their time, the play structure is now a reality. This event will be held immediately after the Crown Hill Landmark Tree Walk, so no hard choices to make. Come for the tree walk, and stay for the celebration.

Small Faces Child Development Center is celebrating its 35th year as a Seattle non-profit with a BBQ Potluck We’re inviting any and all alumni and current families to join us for the joyous event.  Come share memories and enjoy musical entertainment and activities for kids.  We’ll be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, debuting our new school age play structure and creating a mural for the south entrance of the building!

When: Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 11:00 (we’ll be eating at noon)
Where: Small Faces playground
Price of admission: You choose!  We are asking for a donation of any amount to the center for playground and building improvements and a potluck dish to share.

Call Small Faces office for tickets (206) 782-2611