Historic mural vandalized in North Seattle

Vandals destroyed a well-known mural in Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood last weekend, and Seattle police are investigating.

The mural showing historical scenes of Seattle is on the north side of the building at Northeast 66th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast. It was painted in 1989 by Larry Kangas.

Kangas, who lived in Oregon, lost his seven-year battle with follicular lymphoma in November 2013, the Portland Tribune wrote.

It is not clear if the mural can be restored.  

The mural showed the Kalakala, construction of the Aurora Bridge in the early 1930s, the old Colman Dock, a Seattle trolley car, Jimi Hendrix, the Space Needle, and other early Seattle scenes.

The mural was painted on the side of the former Hollywood Theatre, which was a Ravenna neighborhood staple, opening in 1923. It remained until the late 1950s, when the Cloud 9 consignment shop took its place on the building that retained the Hollywood "H" on the front.

The building was remodeled in 2012 to remove the former theatre marquee -- but Kangas' mural remained.

The area around 65th and Roosevelt has undergone major changes with Sound Transit construction.

Northeast 66th Street becomes a dead end just past Roosevelt Way Northeast with the construction of Sound Transit's Roosevelt Station.

The former QFC building, which opened in 1955 as Ray's Thriftway, and the former Standard building around the corner, were both demolished in 2012 to make way for the Roosevelt Square station, which will be part of the Northgate Link Extension scheduled to begin service in 2021.

Neighbors have questions about the amount of light in the area, and are concerned that the decreased visibility is bringing problems.

The vandalism occurred sometime late Friday or afterward. Neighbors were upset to see the damage – and because it was done to private property, the city requires the property owner to address the problem.

Generally in graffiti cases, the city could try to enforce a fine if someone complains and the graffiti is not removed. But owners can avoid the fee by saying they authorize the graffiti is authorized on their building.

That's the loophole that let the former Tubs building remain covered in graffiti for years despite neighbor complaints. The building was eventually demolished in March 2014.

Neighbors in Roosevelt also wonder if there's a way to remove the graffiti without also damaging Kangas' mural.

The Roosevelt mural is not the only one that has been damaged by vandals. A mile and a half away at Golden Oldies Records, a painting of the Herb Alpert "Whipped Cream" album was recently damaged on a store wall. Another wall painting of Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" cover also was marked by graffiti. Those covers, at 201 NE 45th St., were done by local mural artist David Heck.

A Seattle Police detective is investigating the Roosevelt case, but additional details were not immediately available.