Tag Archives: Jefferson Advisory Council

Historic Seattle Acquires Beacon Hill’s ‘Garden House’ for Community Use

by Ronnie Estoque


“The story is really a women’s story — [a] women’s leadership story,” Maria Batayola, chair of the Beacon Hill Council, told the Emerald regarding the decades-long journey leading up to Historic Seattle’s recent acquisition of the “Garden House” property on Beacon Hill. 

In a 2016 lawsuit brought by then-owners the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs (WSFGC), a covenant that had guaranteed the property’s use for community purposes was deemed invalid, preceding a domino effect that ultimately put tenants of the property in a state of uncertainty. Tenants at the time included the Italian language school Dante Alighieri Society and Beacon Arts, a volunteer-run nonprofit that provides opportunities for artists and community members on Beacon Hill to create. The covenant had been part of the agreement between the Jefferson Park Ladies’ Improvement Club and the WSFGC when the former gifted the property to the latter in the late 70s. 

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