UNDERGIRDING THIS POSTSCRIPT is one of the more charming homilies in comic-strip history.

“Life is rarely all one way,” says Linus in a Peanuts installment from Sept. 17, 1973. “You win a few, and you lose a few!” Charlie Brown replies, “Really? Gee, that’d be neat!!”

Two “Now & Then”-related preservation wins emerged in 2021:

● The La Quinta Apartments on Capitol Hill became a city landmark March 22, and its new owner signed a controls agreement Sept. 27. Tenants and Historic Seattle, whose quest to save the U-shaped structure we explored Jan. 31, breathed a collective sigh of relief.

● The stunning, south-facing view from tiny Ursula Judkins Park in Magnolia was protected by a city hearing examiner’s ruling Oct. 19 that blocked proposed mega-mansions on the steep slope nearby. We featured a downtown skyline view from the park on Jan. 5, 2020.

But we were not spared the loss of the former East Seattle School on Mercer Island, near Interstate 90, at the turn of the new year.

As we noted in “Now & Then” on July 30, 2019, the 1914 building had anchored the island’s first community hub, operating as a public school until 1982 and as a Boys & Girls Club until 2008.


Filling the 2.9-acre parcel will be 14 single-family homes. But the Mercer Island Historical Society is somewhat cheered that the city will require inclusion of a physical reminder of what came before.

“We have identified 200 square feet by the northeast corner of the property,” says Jane Meyer Brahm, co-president of the historical society. “We’ve talked about a paved area with an interpretive sign and hopefully a miniature representation of the archway that faced west, with information not just about the school but the entire East Seattle neighborhood.”

The extrapolated lesson becomes a Charlie Brown corollary: In preservation, often something irreplaceable has to fall for us to make sure that others remain standing.