02/19/2019
Jonathan Shipley
“Dancing feet need expert care,” noted a Frederick & Nelson ad in the February 15, 1919 edition of the Town Crier. “Dancing feet need expert care to keep them always well-groomed and graceful, whether one dances barefoot or in slider silver slippers.”
02/13/2019
Jonathan Shipley
"St. Valentine’s day and the worst snow storm of the year form a rather unusual combination for this section," a Town Crier writer wrote on February 17, 1923.
02/08/2019
Jonathan Shipley
The February 8, 1919 editors of the Town Crier sang the praises of Seattle’s libraries in an article entitled “The Use of Books.”
  • Listening Guide
02/07/2019
Alexander Eby



In this bonus episode of In The Moment, get an inside look at the past and present of our Global Rhythms series! Host Jini Palmer talks with Spider Kedelsky, the founder of the Global Rhythms series. He recalls how the music series came to be and shares his experience working with different groups and musicians over the years.

02/06/2019
Jonathan Shipley
The sorrowful mother was standing. This is the rough translation of “Stabat Mater dolorosa,”
02/04/2019
Jonathan Shipley
It's a snow day in Seattle.  Let's hearken back, then, to January 1, 1937.
02/01/2019
Jonathan Shipley
The Super Bowl is this Sunday. The New England Patriots will be battling the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta for the trophy. Some people will be watching the game. Some people will be watching the ads. 
02/01/2019
Jonathan Shipley
There was quite a program that took place on February 1, 1919 at the Women’s University Club. This, according to the February 1, 1919 edition of the Town Crier. Dr. Alexander Konanowksi was speaking.
  • Listening Guide
01/31/2019
Alexander Eby


In this music-oriented bonus episode of In The Moment, host Jini Palmer sits down with with Joshua Roman, curator of our Town Music series, for a conversation on all things chamber music. They explore the theatrical aspects of live performance,

01/30/2019
Jonathan Shipley
Howard Schultz is considering a run for the White House. The former chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company also has a new book.  With From the Ground Up, Schultz writes two interwoven narratives of a conflicted boyhood in Brooklyn and a behind-the-scenes look at his unconventional efforts to challenge old notions about the role of business in society. Town Hall and Seattle Theater Group is presenting him at the Moore Theatre on January 31 at 7:30.
01/25/2019
Jonathan Shipley
There was a discussion of the citizenship of the Japanese in the January 25, 1919 edition of the Town Crier. “Really, The Town Crier, ever sincere in its admiration for consistency, is not at all able to convince itself that there is any justice in racial discrimination in regard to citizenship.”
01/24/2019
Jonathan Shipley
While we’re eager to open our doors again, we’re starting a new series entitled “If These Halls Could Talk,” highlighting specific upgrades and enhancements to our building. One renovation we’re particularly happy with is our elevator. We’ve installed a gleaming, bright, state-of-the-art thyssenkrupp elevator. It recently had a talk with our old elevator, Otis.
01/18/2019
Jonathan Shipley
There is an ad on page 11 of the January 18, 1919 edition of the Town Crier highlighting superb productions, coming soon, by the San Carlo Grand Opera Company. “America’s greatest touring organization,” the ad exclaimed, “one hundred people, distinguished American and European stars, symphony orchestra, brilliant chorus, superb stage settings.”
01/16/2019
Jonathan Shipley
The Town Hall building was originally built as Seattle’s Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist. Construction began in 1916. It was designed by Portland architect George Foote Dunham (1876-1949). Built in the Roman Revival style, he wanted it to resemble, in updated terms, Rome’s Pantheon.
  • Announcement
  • Town Hall News
01/15/2019
Wier Harman
Our general contractor, Rafn, has encountered new and significant issues with plaster in the Great Hall and on the second floor that will affect the timeline of our reopening. Complications like these are unusual so close to completion, and we’re working with Rafn to understand the problem and its implications for our schedule. While they have yet to propose a new timeline, as of today they’re anticipating a 60-day delay. This team was selected especially for its experience with historic renovations, so we’re relying on their expertise to choose doing the work "right" over doing it "fast."
01/14/2019
Jonathan Shipley
Mozart has been the toast of Seattle for quite some time. The old Town Crier (that ran locally from 1910 to 1938) has a plethora of references of concerts done by symphonies and choral groups; chamber music orchestras and soloists playing the renowned work of one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
01/11/2019
Jonathan Shipley
90 years ago the Town Crier was crying about the lack of good restaurants in the city. “If all the little French and Italian restaurants in San Francisco make money, and surely most of them must on account of how old they are, there is no reason why someone sufficiently ingenious couldn’t start some similar eating houses in Seattle.”
01/11/2019
Jonathan Shipley

The Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed forever tonight. Viadoom, we’re calling the traffic problems we’ll now have for a few weeks and months now that it is no more. Viaductpocalypse, we’re calling it. Here’s the Seattle TimesSurvival Guide for it.

01/09/2019
Jonathan Shipley
There was much concern in the February 25, 1922 edition of the Town Crier. The writers were concerned of this thing called jazz music. They questioned, “Will the willingness of some musicians yield abjectly to the existing ‘jazz-craze’ even though momentarily financially remunerative, not eventually prove socially demeaning?” They thought most certainly it would prove socially demeaning.
01/04/2019
Jonathan Shipley
“A portrait of quality and distinction,” the ad reads in the January 4, 1919 edition of the Town Crier, “will always bear the name Curtis.” It continues, jovially, “We heartily solicit your patronage for the New Year.” The name Curtis is a famous one in photography circles.
  • Listening Guide

Favorite Town Hall Moments, Recap Episode

01/03/2019
Alexander Eby

In this 2018 recap episode, host Jini Palmer speaks with Megan Castillo, Town Hall’s Community Engagement Manager, about our community’s responses on social media about favorite Town Hall moments (2:15) and then Jini and Steve highlight a selection of interviews which didn’t make it into previous episodes. Speakers include: Blair Imani with Monica Guzman (31:25);

12/31/2018
Jonathan Shipley
Many Seattle homes were open on New Year’s Day in 1912, according to the December 28, 1912 edition of the Town Crier. Miss Helen Starr, on 1208 Marion Street, the Crier noted, will give “an at home to the maids and bachelors of her acquaintance from three until six o’clock.”
12/28/2018
Jonathan Shipley
There’s an ad on page 11 of the December 28, 1918 edition of the Town Crier. It lists the faculty of the Cornish School of Music. Piano teachers include, amongst others, Miss Mabel Fett, Miss Fedelia Burgess, and Mr. Dent Mowrey. Voice teachers include Brabazon Lowther and Mrs. Sara Y.B. Peabody.
12/28/2018
Jonathan Shipley
“Big houses at the Moore this week,” noted the January 11, 1919 issue of the Town Crier. “It might be added, ‘as usual,’” the story continued, “and the entertainers mostly come in pairs - pairs of peaches.” The story took note of Stanley and Birnes, who “sang a little and danced a great deal of absurd stuff,” and The Irish Barry girls with “clever variety stunts.” The Moore has had big houses since Seattle’s iconic theater house opened, on this day, in 1907. It is the oldest still-active theater in Seattle.
12/21/2018
Jonathan Shipley
Last night was the longest night of the year, and yesterday the shortest day. The seven days preceding and the seven days following the winter solstice are said to be halcyon days, deriving from the ancient tale of a fabled bird, the halcyon, that bred in floating nest on the sea at the winter solstice, charming the winds and waves into calm for the purpose.
12/19/2018
Jonathan Shipley
The March 12, 1921 edition of the Town Crier had on its cover Madame Mary Davenport Engberg. She was a violin virtuoso and became director of the Seattle Civic Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra’s first concert was April 24, 1921, and they held their last concert on May 4, 1924. The Town Crier reviewed that first concert, writing, in part, “It was a novelty to see a smartly gowned woman on the conductor’s platform wielding the baton, which she did with emphatic manner.” By leading the orchestra she was thought to be the only female conductor in the world.
12/17/2018
Jonathan Shipley
There is certainly no shortage of references to the Hotel Sorrento in the original Town Crier publication that ran locally from 1910 to 1938. In fact, if you do you a quick online search of the Seattle Public Library’s holdings of the Town Crier, there are 612 mentions of Seattle’s famous hotel.
12/14/2018
Jonathan Shipley
On the cover of the December 14, 1918 edition of the Town Crier is a gentleman sitting at the keyboard of a Mason & Hamlin piano. The caption reads, “Claude Madden, leader of the Amphion Society, at one of the many new Mason & Hamlin pianos recently received by Montelius Music House, going over a new score just written and probably to be presented at this season’s concerts.”
12/13/2018
Jonathan Shipley
Our Inside/Out season has come to a close, folks. We’re thrilled to be able to enter our newly renovated building come March. We’ve had a wonderful time out in the community these past months offering up civic, arts, and educational programs that have reflected and inspired our region’s best impulses: creativity, empathy, and the belief that we all deserve a voice. We’re eager to showcase all of that and more soon.
12/11/2018
Jonathan Shipley
The October 9th, 1920 edition of the Town Crier has a small piece on the age of animals. It reads: Sparrows have lived to be forty years old. A horse does not live much more than twenty-seven years. Cats get to about thirteen years old. The tortoise is supposed to live to be between 300 and 400 years old.
12/11/2018
Jonathan Shipley
Jazz legend Duke Ellington (1899-1974) called his sacred concerts “the most important thing I have ever done.” What he did: brought jazz into church. This year, Earshot Jazz is celebrating its 30th anniversary of presenting Ellington’s music.
12/07/2018
Jonathan Shipley
The December 7th, 1918 edition of the Town Crier was very excited about the arrival of Carter the Magician. He brought with him “a company of twenty-five people with fifteen tons of marvelous illusions.” Carter, the Town Crier writes, has “astounded the world with his incomparable mysteries and uncanny, laughable entertainment in conjuring.”
12/06/2018
Alexander Eby

In episode #27 of In The Moment, our correspondent Tammy Morales interviews Randy Shaw (2:17) about the rising price of housing. Shaw cites a 50-year-old federal law which states that the government would be responsible for providing citizens with houses. But that law has been ignored,

12/05/2018
Jonathan Shipley
Most Western democracies have few or no people serving life sentences, yet in the United States more than 200,000 people are sentenced to such prison terms. Steve Herbert, University of Washington Professor of Law, Societies, and Justice, will be on Town Hall’s stage on 12/11 with Ashley Nellis of The Sentencing Project, to discuss the flaws in a life-sentence based criminal justice system. Herbert’s new book, Too Easy to Keep: Life-Sentenced Prisoners and the Future of Mass Incarceration, shares moving personal profiles of individuals affected by life sentences. He sat down recently with Town Hall’s Jonathan Shipley to discuss regret, redemption, and reform.

November 30, 1918/2018

11/30/2018
Jonathan Shipley
With the holiday season comes children with eyes of wonder and glee, looking towards the skies for Santa and his reindeer, or looking under the hearth for festooned holiday packages. In the November 30, 1918 edition of the Town Crier, there was an ad put out by the Grote-Rankin Company. They suggested parents get wheel toys for their children. “To those who are going to buy practical toys for the children, this announcement is but an introduction to the comprehensive stocks of wheel toys that we have assembled for your inspection.” Among the wheel toys, “moderately priced,” they assembled included automobiles, hand cars, coaster wagons, velocipedes, choo-choo cars, Sam-E-Cars, doll cabs, and more. “The assortments afford countless opportunities to make the little folks happy.”
  • Listening Guide

Denise Hearn, Alex Rosenblat, Rob Reich, L.A. Kauffman

11/29/2018
Alexander Eby
In episode #26, correspondent Alex Gallo-Brown speaks with Denise Hearn (1:55) about her book The Myth of Capitalism. They explore the notion that our apparently open capitalist society is being undermined by a few goliath corporations who are stifling the competitive market. They discuss workers’ rights, de-unionization, racial inequity, non-compete clauses, mandatory arbitration (which prevents workers from filing class action lawsuits), consumer activism (how we vote with our dollars), and much more.

Maia Ruth Pody at Blair Imani’s Town Hall Event

11/28/2018
Town Hall Seattle

Welcome to the first installment of Poets in the Pews – where a poet attends a Town Hall event and writes a poem about the experience afterwards.

Maia Ruth Pody, an 11th grader at the Center School, is a Youth Poet Laureate as part of Seattle Arts &

11/27/2018
Jonathan Shipley
The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. On 12/3, Town Hall will present Adrienne Mayor, Research Scholar at Stanford University, to discuss her new book, Gods and Robots. We’re delighted to bring her to the stage for a first look at the ancient origins of humanity's timeless impulse to create artificial life. To offer us a preview of her upcoming event, Mayor recently sat down with Town Hall’s Jonathan Shipley to discuss automatons, Medea, and Siri.

November 23, 1918/2018

11/21/2018
Jonathan Shipley
Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like,
11/20/2018
Jonathan Shipley

Late nights and ear damage helped convince Chris Ballew that perhaps there was something new in store for him during his run as lead singer of Presidents of the United States of America. The band was a big deal in the 1990s. The Seattle-based Presidents released a self-titled debut album in 1995 and it peaked at No.

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