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PNA History

The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) was founded in 1980, with a $200K federal block grant to develop programs 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. Members now live in many Seattle neighborhoods and join for a variety of reasons. Membership donations represent an important part of our budget, with additional funding coming from program fees, facilities rentals, special events, and grant support for human services.


Phinney Center
In 1981 the Seattle School District closed John B. Allen Elementary School and agreed to lease the property to the PNA. With the acquisition of space for a community center came the capacity to implement many of the programs now associated with the PNA, including the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op, Phinney Center Gallery, Well Home Program tool lending library, and many of our popular annual events such as the Winter Festival & Crafts Fair. Over the years, the Phinney Neighborhood Center has become the focus of Seattle’s Phinney/Greenwood neighborhood, offering a wide variety of programs and activities for the whole community, with particular emphasis on programs for children, families and education.


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 at the end of its first year. In 1917, the brick building was added to the campus and enrollment increased, peaking at 758 in 1933. In 2008 the Phinney Center site received City of Seattle Landmark designation and the Community Begins Here Capital Campaign was launched to raise funds to acquire and renovate the campus. The following year the PNA was successful in purchasing the campus from the Seattle School District.

Allen School



Allen School


While the Phinney Neighborhood Center forms the heart of the organization, we have grown to offer programs at four additional sites in northwest Seattle:


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


Whittier Kids! at Whittier Elementary School
Our child care services expanded greatly in 2006 when we took over operation of the before and after-school care program at Whittier Elementary School in Ballard. With the addition of full-day and half-day preschools, Whittier Kids! is now one of our largest programs.


Ballard Preschool Co-op
The Ballard Preschool Co-op was founded as the 65th Street Preschool Co-op in 2001, based on the very successful Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op, which could no longer accommodate all interested families. The program found a new home at Crown Lutheran Church (managed by Compass Housing Alliance) in 2010. The Ballard Preschool Co-op moved to the Northwest Christian Church in 2013.


Hot Meal Program
Wednesday lunch and Tuesday dinner have been served at St. John Lutheran since 1980, originally as a partnership with the Fremont Public Association. The PNA took over operation of the Hot Meal Program in 1998, eventually adding a Monday dinner at the Greenwood Senior Center.


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.