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Facing redevelopment, C&P Coffee fights the power—with love

Historic Seattle is bombarding the building with valentines

Manuel V./Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This Valentine’s season, why not express your love by writing an ode to an endangered historic Seattle building?

On February 8th, your favorite architectural heritage preservation authority and ours, Historic Seattle, hosted a “heart bomb-making party” at their First Hill HQ, the Dearborn House, in honor of C&P Coffee Company in West Seattle.

For the last 15 years, C&P has operated their community arts-and-coffee space out of a gorgeous 1907 craftsman-style house, and it’s recently been put up for sale by its owner, who’s marketed it, grimly, as a “terrific development opportunity.”

Although café owners Cameron and Peter Moores still have two years left on their lease, the property seller has already accepted an offer from local real estate investment trust Blueprint Capital for $1.29 million, and the Mooreses have just a short window to secure enough funds to exercise their right of first refusal. They’ve scrambled to set up a GoFundMe campaign that’s doing well—with $75K of the $240K goal raised in just under a month—but they still could use some extra help.

The house that is now C&P Coffee as pictured in a September 1913 issue of Bungalow Magazine.
Bungalow Magazine

On Tuesday, February 13, Historic Seattle’s staff with link up with C&P supporters to “heart-bomb” the beloved coffeehouse starting at noon. “Heart-bombing” is a form of public advocacy: a display of love for historic landmarks, often endangered ones, wherein people bombard the site with paper hearts, poems, flowers, and any other kind of creative adornment they can think of, with the aim of getting the word out.

A previous “heart-bombing” outside the Ballard Bell Tower.
Courtesy of Historic Seattle

This week, Kanye West’s childhood home in Chicago’s South Side will also be the recipient of a heart-bombing; it’s presently known as Donda’s House Inc., an educational arts nonprofit named after Yeezy’s late mom, Dr, Donda West. Although it’s not under threat, the event aims remind the community of its value and to persuade folks to invest in its future.

Back in West Seattle, the Mooreses realize that their story isn’t exactly unique in this town in this day and age, but they’re still going to put up a good fight.

“The thing we’re asking for is just a shot at this,” Cameron told KIRO 97.3 FM’s Tom and Curley Show. Per their mission statement of their GoFundMe campaign: “This place has become a center for our community and we are determined to save it.” She says she doesn’t blame the property seller for trying to get the money if they can, but she’d sure hate to see the historic house replaced with a disposable-architecture chain store. That “doesn’t make for a diverse, livable, interesting neighborhood.”

If they can, the Mooreses plan to relocate if they’re not able to save the current C&P site. But if you want to spare some love, time, or money for this lovely old West Seattle building and the community mainstay that lives inside of it, you can contribute it either via Go Fund Me here or at C&P Coffee Company at noon on Tuesday.

This article has been updated to correct a dollar figure.

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4550 38th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98126 Visit Website