History

Founded in 1980, the PNA has grown to become much more than a community center.

Before We Were PNA…

The buildings that make up the Phinney Center have been serving the community since 1904 when the wooden building opened as the John B. Allen Elementary School. Named for one of Washington's first senators, this building housed 278 students by the end of its first year. In 1917, the brick building was added to the campus and enrollment increased, peaking at 758 in 1933. The school officially closed in 1981.

Our Founding.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association was founded in 1980 with a federal block grant to serve residents living between 65th and 75th Streets, from Aurora Avenue to 3rd Avenue NW. As time went on, many community members brought ideas and energy to the PNA, forming the basis for new activities and an expanded geographic scope. The PNA now boasts over 2,500 members in neighborhoods all around Seattle.

In 1981, the Seattle School District agreed to lease the John B. Allen Elementary School property to the PNA. With the space for a community center came the creation many of the programs now associated with the PNA, including the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op, Phinney Center Gallery, Tool Lending Library, and many of our popular annual events such as the Winter Festival & Crafts Fair.

Growth and Change.

In 2006 the Greenwood Senior Center (GSC) and the PNA voted to merge, formalizing their informal partnership. GSC is a full-service senior center, offering a lunch program, social worker, support groups, classes, computer lab, social events, and more.

Our child care services expanded greatly in 2006 when we took over the before and after-school care and preschool program at Whittier Elementary School in Ballard. Whittier Kids is now one of our largest programs.

In 2008 the Phinney Center site received City of Seattle Landmark designation and the Community Begins Here Capital Campaign was launched. PNA was able to purchase the campus from the Seattle School District the next year, thanks to the generosity of our community.

In 2016, we completed the Campaign for Accessibility, which made accessible improvements to the 1917 Brick Building, including adding an elevator, a ramped entry and ADA restrooms.

For more PNA history, see a timeline of our first 30 years, highlighting our many programs, events, and partnerships. You can help support the PNA and all of our programs with a tax-deductible contribution. Donate now.

See our programs
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Support the PNA

When we work together, we make the world a little better. We hope you’ll consider making a donation in support of the programs that keep our community thriving.

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Volunteer

Meet people and get involved! From serving salad at our hot meal program to beer at Bingo Karaoke, joining a committee, or helping in the office, there's a variety of opportunities.

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Calendar

Check out what's going on at the Phinney Center and the Greenwood Senior Center with our events and class calendar.

Calendar