The following is a Press Release just sent out by the Maple Leaf Community Council:
Maple Leaf Community Council welcomes MMSC Day School
Historic Waldo Hospital and significant urban tree grove to be preserved
MAPLE LEAF, SEATTLE – The Maple Leaf Community Council, an organization representing over 3,700 homes and businesses in north Seattle, publicly welcomes Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder (MMSC) Day School to the Maple Leaf community. MMSC closed purchase yesterday on historic Waldo Hospital (formerly the Camp Fire offices), which they will remodel into a school serving over 80 children and young adults. School officials have indicated they will preserve and remodel historic Waldo Hospital, built in 1924 for the purpose of educating new doctors, and preserve the significant urban grove of trees on the site.
“We welcome MMSC into the Maple Leaf neighborhood,” commented Maple Leaf Community Council Executive Board President Marc Phillips. “We have already had preliminary conversations and are very excited they plan to preserve the historic building and urban tree grove.”
The announced purchase closes a three-year effort by the Maple Leaf Community Council to positively affect planned development at the site. Original plans for over 40 high-priced townhomes would have removed nearly 90% of the trees on the site and potentially exposed the community to toxic dust. Despite multiple offers of alternatives to both the previous owners and the developer, which included securing a $300,000 King County Conservation Futures Grant to protect the grove of trees on the site, the project ended up in court where King County Superior Court Judge Timothy Bradshaw agreed with the Maple Leaf community’s position that neither the developer nor the City correctly followed state environmental protection rules.
“It is hard for me to overstate my excitement that MMSC plans to preserve both the building and the trees,” stated David Miller, Chair of the Maple Leaf Community Council’s Waldo Working Group. “Returning Waldo Hospital to its historical use as an educational institution is an amazing outcome.”
“I’ve spoken with MMSC,” continued Miller, “and they’ve indicated a strong desire to work closely with the community on student pick-up & drop off routing, permitting, and the possible addition of a new building to the grounds. We’re all looking forward to working closely with MMSC, working together with them to hasten the permitting process so they can open their school on time.”
Hundreds of people from across Seattle donated time and money to the three-year effort to save Waldo Woods and Waldo Hospital. This effort led directly to new tree grove protection rules, the first meaningful update to Seattle’s tree ordinance in over a decade, and a higher understanding of the need for lead dust policies in the City.
The Maple Leaf Community Council would like to particularly acknowledge the efforts of attorneys David Mann, Kathy George, and Charlotte Cassady, arborist Tina Cohen, architect Susan Boyle, the staff in the archives at the Chicago headquarters of the American Osteopathic Association, and the staff at the AT Still National Osteopathic Museum for their assistance at various times over the past three years.
The above press release is taken from an e-mail sent out by the Maple Leaf Community Council