Archive for January, 2008

Double Vision

[ Photo: Dan Bertolet ] [ Photo: Dan Bertolet ] Do I detect a pattern here? Both projects were designed and built by Pb Elemental. Now don’t get me wrong — for the most part I love this firm’s work. But I couldn’t help noticing how many of their projects have this mirrored dual symmetry […]

23rd and Union

[ Photo: Dan Bertolet ] This is the front door of Philadelphia Cheese Steak at 23rd and Union, in 2003. The sign on the door says “Closed for Troy’s funeral,” referring to the owner who was shot dead in his car a few blocks away. Today the subsequent owner was shot and killed, and a […]

Blogs and Information Contained Therein

Townhouses Not Feeling The Love

No need to post a photo. If you live in Seattle, chances are you can throw a rock and hit one from your front door. Over in West Seattle, architect and design review board member David Foster has been grumbling about micro-permitting, received this response from Richard Conlin, and even SLOG piled on. No doubt […]

Does Live-Work Work?

UPDATE: See comment #1 for a clarification on the building shown below from the developer. In short, it is not live-work, but “live above work,” consisting of five separate mixed-use buildings. [ Photo: Dan Bertolet ] This is a recently constructed live-work unit development at 25th and E. Union in the Central District. There are […]

LEED Silver Townhouses

[ Photo: Dan Bertolet ] Seattle’s first LEED certified townhouses, designed by OPA, built by Cascade Built. Located in the Central Area, at 712 26th S (one block west of MLK Way, two blocks south of Jackson), currently priced at $450k. They claim these townhouses will be 30-50% more energy efficient than a typical home. […]

Worst Open Space Design EVER

This is the open space on the roof of the the City’s Medgar Evers swimming pool, on 23rd Ave between Jefferson and Cherry, in the Central District. I have yet to see a more pathetic open space, anywhere. It was designed by firm of the late Seattle architect John M. Morse, who had previously worked […]

Cars and Posthumanism: Chapter 1

(Note to self: If you ever want to murder someone, use a car to do it.) The driver who killed a pedestrian in a crosswalk in November 2006 in West Seattle was convicted of assault, with a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $5000 fine. An appeal is expected, because the city […]

Same As It Ever Was, Ballard-Style

Reality today, in Ballard, on NW 46th St, between 14th and 15th Ave NW: [ Photo: kurt schlosser; ] And below, an illustration from the children’s book The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton, published in 1942: Read all about the Ballard holdout here. The project is filed under Seattle MUP #2500969. I couldn’t […]

Green Vegas

This is MGM Mirage’s $7.5 billion CityCenter, currently under construction on the Las Vegas strip, touted as the most expensive privately funded project in U.S. history. But mark this: the glowing, other-worldly mega-gambling mecca you see above is actually targeting LEED certification, in exchange for rebates on state sales and property taxes. This thing is […]

We’ll Never Figure it Out, but we still Bitch about it


How does more taxes, pro-abortion, pro-partial birth abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-regulation, how does that play…(ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX News senior judicial analyst: The Big Story with John Gibson, 7/7/04) So I am thinking about that bland phrase “pro-regulation”, and how it’s actually code for “tree hugging mother f*k*r”. And how pointless, really, it is to point […]

Also Blame Where The Buildings Are

The “blame the buildings” series (here, here, and here) was meant to emphasize how energy use in buildings accounts for a bigger chunk of total CO2 emissions than is generally recognized. Of course it also matters where buildings are located relative to other buildings and services, since location has a big impact on transportation-related CO2 […]

Hell to the People

I really feel like an outsider. Maybe it’s just red state/blue state sort of thing. I feel foolish because I insist on believing that it’s OK that our government should raise taxes in order fix problems. Especially problems like bridges threatening to break apart, or even Seattle’s Ferries rusting towards decrepitude. So when Chris Gregoire, […]

12th and Pike is Getting All Mod On Us

That big hole in the ground that’s been there forever at 1111 East Pike on Capitol Hill is finally getting filled with building. Designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen; five stories of condos over ground-level retail over two underground parking levels, currently under construction. Looks to be a good mate to Agnes Lofts up at […]

Mainstream = Time Magazine = LEED-ND

The LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program was only launched last summer and already it has been discussed in Time Magazine. A quote: “What is causing global warming is the lifestyle of the American middle class,” says Duany. “It’s terrible for nature and for humans.” Great to see this in one of the most mainstream […]

Genius Compromise on Ballard Denny’s

After extended weekend meetings, the Seattle Design Commission and the Landmark Preservation Board have unveiled a draft compromise agreement on a proposed mixed-used development at 15th Ave NW and NW Market St that would require the demolition of a building recently nominated for landmark status. The artist’s rendering above illustrates the bold vision of the […]

15th and Market: Fuggettaboudit

Grok the intersection above. Classic suburbia, no? Six lanes meets seven lanes, a gas station next door to a Burger King with a drive-through, a chain drug store set well back from the street for convenient access by car, a grocery store lost somewhere behind a sea of parking. This is the intersection of 15th […]

Googie Ga Ga

  In today’s PI… The Landmark Preservation Board voted 8-1 Wednesday to move forward with the nomination of the former Denny’s at 15th Ave NW and NW Market St (in Ballard) and, if the board affirms the decision at its Feb. 6 meeting, demolition would be blocked, preventing Rhapsody Partners from constructing an 8-story 261 […]

A Subway to the U-District

The Feds just approved $88 million for the “U-Link” section of Sound Transit light rail, which will connect downtown with the U-district, via one station on Capitol Hill at Broadway and John. Word: It will be a three-minute subway ride from Capitol Hill to the U-district. More details over at Seattle Transit Blog here and […]