Hans Pederson, my father, built Seattle’s Washington Hall in 1908 following the design of architect Victor Voorhees. Well along in years when I was born, Pederson died when I was one month old. An East Coaster, I’ve mostly learned about my father’s work through old newspaper articles.
Recently I joined Historic Seattle and learned that Washington Hall has continued to serve many and varied ethnic groups as a social and performance hall. Through the years the building has hosted Marian Anderson, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimi Hendrix, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and Joe Louis.
Historic Seattle purchased Washington Hall from the Sons of Haiti in 2009. They are in the final stages of a nearly 10,000,000 capital campaign to restore the building to full use as an “affordable, diverse arts and cultural facility that serves Seattle and King County’s arts, heritage, and preservation communities.”
To learn more about this vibrant project, please contact Historic Seattle, or the Washington Hall website.