Community Post

Washington House Visit: a trip back into CD and U.S. history

Via Jen Graves of The Stranger, we learned of Washington House, a small art museum and studio space at  1816 26th Avenue.   Washington House was the home of James (1909 – 2000) and Janie Washington (1908 – 2000), two pillars of the CD community in their lifetimes.  James was an artist, expressing his art mainly through stone carving.  They married each other in 1943, moved to Seattle from the segregated South in 1944 and lived in the Central District the rest of their lives.  During their Seattle years, the Washingtons were community and civil rights activists.

Washington House provides Free Admission by appointment.  Contact Tim Detweiler by phone (709-4241) or by email ([email protected]).  In addition to paying homage to a beloved artist and community figure, Washington House also hosts artists-in-residence.  The application deadline just passed (3/31/10) but contact Tim if you would like to be considered in the future.  Here are a few photos from my visit there two weeks ago.

Starting from upper left:

Painting by Washington of the main street of a small Mississippi town (very much like the street he grew up on)

Frontage of Washington House on a foggy day

Sculpture by Washington

Executive Director Tim Detweiler

Two mementos of Southern segregation: Mr. Washington’s poll tax receipt & drinking fountain sign

0 thoughts on “Washington House Visit: a trip back into CD and U.S. history

  1. You may also see The James Washington House as one of the stops on the 2010 CD Garden Tour May 22nd 11am-4pm. Wonderful art, garden w/ runaway mini horse and goat, water-collecting cisterns and ten more private gardens, what more could you want?

    All funds raised go toward creating more public art in the CD, a 2011 project.

    $5 Advance Tickets available April 23 – May 21 at Central Cinema, City Peoples, Cortona Cafe, & Madison Market. $7 Day of Tour Tickets available at Midtown Center Plaza @ 23rd & Union.

  2. Wow! I have walked by this house so many times and seen the plaque out front and never known that it was a museum dedicated to Washington’s work. Thanks very much for doing this story. And for the comment re’ the house being on the CD garden tour.

  3. It would be great to see an effort to restore the fountain – and to save it if that corner ever gets redeveloped…

  4. We’ve been working on this for some time – watch for visible progress on it soon!