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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 30, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 26
END OF AN ERA: Two Seattle LGBTQ landmarks demolished in one week
Section One
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END OF AN ERA: Two Seattle LGBTQ landmarks demolished in one week

by MK Scott - SGN Contributing Writer

We knew this day was coming, but to lose not one, but two buildings, that each meant so much to many in the Seattle LGBTQ Community (during Pride Week, no less): I am talking about the house on 303 17th Ave. E. (home to the Seattle AIDS Support Group, later called Dunshee House, and then Seattle Area Support Groups & Community Center for 26 years) and the former Brass Door and later Brass Connection and later incarnations (a Gay bar and dance club with various owners and names for over 20 years) at 722 E. Pike St.

For SASG, who vacated the house and moved in late 2015 to its current location on 15th Ave. E. between E. Denny Way and E. John St., it was not clear that the 2,460 SF house that was built in 1906 would ever be torn down. So last week's demolition surprised even myself.

Even when Seattle had its LGBT Community Center from 2002 to 2008, SASG House (also called Dunshee House, from 2004 to 2011) was home to many gay men and home to special potlucks, Pride BBQs and game nights. A few other groups I belonged to (Q-Squared) would rent the space there for a potluck and social. While Lambert House was for the youth, SASG House was precious for the adults.

SASG's first Christmas tree sale was in 1990. John Kolling had to do a lot of talking to convince the volunteers and staff that this would make money. What SASG would give for him to see how that event has grown: from net sales of $11,768 in 1990 to nearly $80,000 net in the year 2010. Today, the annual Christmas tree sale is SASG's largest fund-raising event, according to the SASG website.

Now that the house is gone, it looks like according to a plan revealed in June 2016, a 3-unit row-house development with common parking garage will be constructed.



For the building that housed the bar and nightclub at 722 E. Pike Street, this week we also said goodbye to a place that housed one of Capitol Hill's first gay bars, The Brass Door in 1981ish and later the Brass Connection. The restaurant portion was next door, which would later become an Indian eatery.

By the late 1990s the space housed Seattle's first all-male strip club, Mr. Paddywacks, which later led to the emergence of the Blu Video Bar in 2001 with owners of a who's who in the Seattle LGBT Business community headed by former Manray co-owners, Mark Spalding and Patrick Winslade; Rosebud co-owner, Robert Sondheim and former GSBA chair, Mario Morales. Blu closed in 2004, and was considered in many circles a failure.

When it was Blu I put together a fundraising event with a circus theme that was hosted by Mark Finley with Circus Contraption and Victor Janusz as headliners. The dance floor with a large screen was fabulous and the rooftop bar was unlike anything on Capitol Hill.

In between times thorough the years the place was also called the forgettable Harvard Tavern, Forum Tavern, Beat Box, Ghetto Technologies, and Hunter Gatherer Lodge.

Straight clubs like The War Room, followed by the sports grill, 99 Slide, took over. It was never the same again, and the space has been vacant since Spring 2015.

Expect a 7-floor 90-unit 'affordable' aPodment building with no parking to go in its place.



Capitol Hill has seen many endings to establishments in the last decade with Thumpers, the original CC Attle's at 15th Ave & E Madison St (which has since relocated to Boylston Ave E & E Olive Way), Manray, and the 1200 Bistro.

Losing these two iconic structures this past week is a loss that many of us will never forget.

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