The Good Arts Building is a gem at the corner of First Avenue and Cherry Street at the north gateway to Seattle’s Pioneer Square District. Historically known as the Scheuerman Block, it was designed by Elmer Fisher in 1889 for Christian Scheuerman and completed in 1890. Over the years, the building has been a hub of entrepreneurial, creative, and colorful endeavors. It has been the home to department stores, a two-story diner (“Good Eats”), a cigar store, a jazz club , a boxing gym, brothels, speakeasies, and the original office of Washington Mutual Savings Bank.
In the nineteen-seventies the basement housed the first gay and lesbian community center in Seattle, followed by the Skid Road Theatre, in which such local theatrical stalwarts as Kurt Beattie, R. Hamilton Wright, and Linda Hartzell produced original shows during the theatre’s ten successful years.
In 2011, a dozen artists who had been evicted from the nearby 619 Western Building established ’57 Biscayne studios on the second floor.
In 2015, Good Arts LLC purchased the building with the mission of preserving its artistic heritage and affordability to creative enterprises.
Currently, the artist-run underground tour Beneath the Streets is headquartered in the building’s basement. This past summer, we hosted pop-up galleries in three vacant storefronts, welcoming the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), Seattle Art Fair, and LaSala Latino/a Artists’ Network.
Later this fall, Cherry Street Coffee House will be combining and renovating the three storefront spaces at the corner of First and Cherry to create Cherry Street Public House, founder Ali Ghambari’s newest incarnation of the beloved coffee house with the additions of evening hours, wine, beer, art, and more.