Garden House Letter of Support

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Ciao Dante members - 

As you may know, the Garden Club of Washington is considering selling the Garden House on Beacon Hill where we have had our meetings for many years.  There is an effort by the Garden Club of Seattle, a member of the Garden Club of Washington, to rally community support for keeping the Garden Club and its garden intact for community use, whether or not the property is sold. 

To that end, Betty Jean Williamson, from the Seattle Garden House, asked to speak at our last Dante meeting in May.  The Dante members present unanimously passed a resolution to " join the WA State Garden Club and write a letter on behalf of Dante A recommending not to sell the Garden House and if sold to keep the property intact " 59 to 0.

It seems that organizations cannot be members of the Garden Club but, instead, Dante has joined an ad hoc group called the Seattle Beacon Hill Historic Preservation Coalition for organizations that support the Garden Club and Beacon Arts' effort to preserve the Garden House and its grounds.

At that meeting several members expressed interest in joining the Garden Club which has a campaign to increase its membership to 200 as part of the preservation effort.  If you are interested in joining the Garden Club as a member, you can do so by mailing your $20 annual membership fee to the Treasurer, Marina King, at 4833 S. Morgan St., Seattle, WA 98118. 

To be kept appraised of the  preservation process, you can join the Beacon Hill Garden Club email group or subscribe to the Beacon Arts email newsletter

I have attached below the letter Dante wrote to the Garden Club of Washington executive in support of the campaign to keep the Garden Club available as a community resource.

Thanks for your support.  We hope that we can enjoy the Garden Club as our meeting place for years to come.

Grazie -

Dan DeMatteis,

To the executive of the Garden Club of Washington:

   I am writing you as a representative of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington.  We are an Italian cultural association with membership open to anyone interested in things Italian.  We meet twice a month, September through May and feature a speaker at each meeting.  Our meetings are free and open to anyone in the community, member or not.

  For many years we have been meeting in Garden House on Beacon Hill.  We feel privileged to be able to meet in this warm and comfortable historic setting, well equipped as to allow us to host dinners and present speakers as well as musical evenings.

   We recognize that the opening of the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station is leading to redevelopment of properties throughout the Beacon Hill neighborhood and that redevelopment is necessary and  valuable for the community and the city as a whole.  But the Dante Alighieri Society also believes that it is important for the neighborhood and community not to cut off all connections with its past. The  Garden House and its pear orchards and gardens are one of those connections that once gone cannot be replaced. We hope that this valuable community resource will be kept intact as an open community gathering space vital to the neighborhood's health and well-being.

  As an organization the Dante Alighieri Society is a supporter of the Seattle Beacon Hill Historic Preservation Coalition and many of our Club's members are Seattle Garden Club members as well.   At a recent Dante Meeting the membership voted unanimously to write a letter on behalf of Dante to the Washington State Garden Club,  recommending that the Garden House not be sold and if sold, kept intact and available for community and neighborhood use.

Sincere thanks for your consideration,
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