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In Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, scruffy art spaces are bulldozed to make way for fancy apartment buildings all the time. Why would this be any different?  

We made a film about it.


Team Demo Hugo is a collective of geographers, archivists, planners, animators, filmmakers, writers, Seattleites, transplants, poets and literary geeks, coming together to document the life of 1634 11th Avenue, the once and current home of Richard Hugo House.




Where the House Was is a film that follows the tear-down of a place for writers—Richard Hugo House.

Richard Hugo

Sketch of space needle
Sketch of poet Richard Hugo

The film witnesses the demolition of the building, but also grapples with the way time has shaped and reshaped the fate of the building over decades. The ultimate note is one of hope and appreciation. After all, where the old building once stood, a new one, built just for the writers, stands in its place.


Yes, things are changing, but no, not everything is doomed.

"All memory resolves itself in gaze..."


Richard Hugo, from

"Degrees of Grey in Philipsburg"

It’s also a film about the erasure of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood as we knew it. And about the erasure of cities all over the country, and the world. It's about how we attach to places. And about sometimes we have to let those places go. 




The documentary weaves together stories of the building, the neighborhood, and the writers who passed through the literary organization with the personal experiences of one particular writer—Frances McCue, a co-founder of Richard Hugo House, long time producer of literary art, and one-time resident of 1634 11th Avenue.





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