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Built in 1906 as a shelter for young wayward or orphaned girls, the Good Shepherd Center Chapel in Seattle provided a new sort of haven for two hundred Artists Den guests on a crisp autumn night. Now a Historic Seattle landmark and performance space, the intimate chapel is framed by high wooden arches, which were lit by candlelight while the latest incarnation of the Swell Season – led by Glen Hansard and backed by Marketa Irglova on piano and two of Hansard’s band mates from The Frames on bass and violin – gave a special performance of their melodic, original songs.
The Swell Season is a musical project fronted by Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard (of popular rock band The Frames) and featuring Czech singer and pianist Marketa Irglova. The duo is best known for their breakthrough lead roles in the hit indie film and musical Once, which won them the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2008.
The Good Shepherd Center, a 1906 Catholic Home for Girls that was slated for demolition, was nearly destroyed but for a purchase by the City of Seattle in 1975 that saved the building. It was then transferred to Historic Seattle and is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and was even designated a Seattle Landmark in 1984. Today, the Good Shepherd Center provides an answer to the Wallingford neighborhood’s desire for community space by housing nonprofit organizations, a school, artist domiciles and a performance space hosting over 100 musical events each year.