Thursday, November 12, 2009


After the last rain the clover is beginning to sprout again and the elves and mushrooms are about. When I turn around and look towards the mountains I see Echo Mountain and Mount Lowe, actually visible from my bedroom and living room windows! This shot epitomizes my interests: historic architecture, Colonial Revival Moderne style, 1950's sports cars, czecho-germanic-anglophile culture, travel, trees and blue sky thinking.
Normandie Cottage is a lot of work to keep running, being 1924 vintage and my having so little time at the moment to give it attention. The 1958 Austin Healey 100-6 is also a lot of work to keep running, as well. As a matter of fact, trying to keep myself running, vintage 1950, is a lot of work.
Some of us still believe and hope we might bring back this part of town to what it was almost a hundred years ago. A small group of enthusiasts actually believe we may see the reconstruction of the Mount Lowe Incline Railway and the reinstallation of trolleys up and down Lake Avenue, taking tourists to a rebuilt Mount Lowe Alpine Tavern hotel at Crystal Springs, all this happening within the next 20 years or so.
First we must have a grand reopening of the restored Washington Theatre and the establishment of a Lake Washington Village Arts District. All good things take time. Let me know if you want to get involved to bring back the economic vitality of the old tourist days. Up Lake Avenue can be a vacation destination for all once again, as it once was.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


As promised, I recently took some photographs of Woodbury Creek and the former Lone Pine Ranch, all near the intersection of North El Molino Avenue and Atchinson Street, just west of North Lake Avenue.
The first photo shows the entrance pillar to Lone Pine Ranch on the northwest corner of El Molino and Atchinson, and this is apparently the location that one person remembers having a corral back in the 1950's still, which had smelly runoff into the creek. The original house appears to still be on the lot nearest to the intersection with the rest of the lot having apparently been subdivided for other homes starting in the 1950's and later. Atchinson wasn't put through to El Molino until sometime around 1907 and and the original ranch home in Craftsman style was built around 1903, so originally the ranch had a large area with Woodbury Creek running northwest to southeast through its parcel, where the corral would have been, most likely behind the house to the west on Atchinson, making a slope into the creek.
The next photos show the storm drain which passes under Atchinson just west of Madison, and then the natural creek is visible, although channelized, as it passes further south. A Craftsman era home is built on the lot directly to the west and the lot slopes down to the creek, allowing this seemingly one story bungalow actually to have a substory with windows below the street level. Sorry the pictures don't show the situation too well, but there is a lot of shrubbery and if you look closely you'll see the substory in a couple of the photos. All of the creek photos are looking south off of Atchinson towards the house located on the southside of Atchinson just west of Madison.
If you're in the area, take a look at this in person. It is truly amazing and can't be covered over by the city since the house has a substory below the street level!
If you have any stories about our lost Woodbury Creek, please comment.