Block 41 first came to life in 1927 as a garage for the Kennedy Wagon Company which relocated from a building on nearby Battery Street. Soon after being completed, however, the building was taken over by the Ice Delivery Company.
The ice distribution business was managed by a kindly sensitive ice man named Albert L. Ewing. “Bert”, as he was known, believed in paying it forward. In a meeting of the Northwest Association of Ice Industries in 1920, he boasted about his company’s profit sharing plan and how it helped with employee loyalty. Bert also was a poet who wrote heartfelt poems about his wife, Anna, known as “Tot”, and about his love of Seattle and the Northwest. Some of his poems were recently compiled into a book by Bert’s grandson, Peter Cameron. This collection of poems is aptly named “Musings of an Iceman”. Bert also was a dedicated gardener and outdoorsman. He was a longtime president of the Seattle Cactus Society and held a patent for an outdoor camping stove.
Block 41 has chosen to honor the spirit of this special Seattle ice man by dedicating our event spaces to his memory. You can rent the Musings Gallery, the Ewing Theater or the Bert and Tot Ballroom. Bert’s family members are happy about that and we think Bert would be too.