Death of a Street Wall

[ Photo: Dan Bertolet ]

This was the mother of all street walls, on Airport Way in Georgetown: about 50 feet straight up, and only 5 or 6 feet back from the curb. The sense of enclosure you’d feel along this street was like nothing else in Seattle.

Though some speculate otherwise, the demolition of the Rainier Cold Storage “Stockhouse” building is not just another case of gentrification run amok. As reported here, the floor of the building had frozen the ground underneath it, and after the cooler was shut down in 2002, severe settling rendered the building structurally unsound.

As for gentrification in Georgetown, there are some fundamentals working against it. The neighborhood is buried in freeways, offramps, railroads, airports, industrial warehouses, paint factories and the like. Another Wallingford it can never be. It’s hard to imagine it going to much more upscale than All City Coffee. Good thing that.