Archive for April, 2008

One Evening on Denny Way

[ Taylor 28 ] [ Borealis Apartments, complete with dedicated planter balconies. ] [ Rollins Street with Enso in the foreground ] [ Looking south on Westlake, the core of Touchstone’s 28-story office tower rising. ] [ Mirabella senior housing ]

Tall and Slivery

Above is a rendering of The Aspen, a 17-story, 194-foot tall condo building under construction in Boise. This building is only 32 feet wide at the base — exceptionally narrow for a building of that height. For comparison, 1310 East Union is 40 feet wide, but it’s only 65 feet tall. Nothing else remarkable about […]

Lake Union Park

Phase 1 of Lake Union Park opens this Wednesday, April 30, 2008. What’s not to like? And a reason to ride the SLUT. P.S. I need help covering open space on this blog. If you are interested in contributing please contact me at:

Good Building

[ Mosler Lofts, at 3rd and Clay in Belltown ] Every single molecule is right When all of the subatomic pieces Come together And unfold themselves In a second — The Flaming Lips There was some good chemistry with this building, one of those rare projects with just the right combination of people, place, and […]

We Don’t Build These Anymore

[ 16th and Howell on Capitol Hill ] But we should. (I’m talking about the building, though that is a pretty sweet two-tone pickup.) This apartment provides about twice the housing unit density of today’s typical townhouse 4-pack. And because of its modest scale and substantial setbacks, it would also be less obtrusive in a […]

Good Read On Regional Growth

Over at Crosscut, former WA State Secretary of Transportation Douglas MacDonald discusses how since 2000, the Puget Sound Region’s urban centers have been capturing a far lower fraction of growth than the PSRC’s Vision 2040 goals. His suggested medicine for rectifying the situation is to make the big cities more attractive, e.g. with better schools, […]


[ “Othello South” rendering by Ruffcorn Mott Hinthorne Stine ] This widget rocks — the Seattle Times is all over the future of TOD (transit-oriented development) along the Martin Luther King light rail corridor. “Over the past year private, for-profit developers have proposed more than 1,500 condo and apartment units within a 10-minute walk of […]

Apartments Coming To The Neighborhoods

Today’s PI had a cover story on the shortage and high cost of apartments in Seattle, reporting that average rent is at an all-time high of $1071/month. The market is already responding — see my recent post that summed up 3217 new or planned apartment units coming to downtown Seattle. Below are several more that […]

“Biofuels Aren’t Part Of The Solution At All.”

“They’re part of the problem.” So concludes Michael Grunwald’s recent Time Magazine cover story, “The Clean Energy Scam.” Most readers are probably aware that biofuels have been the subject of increasing scrutiny over their potential to cause a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to deforestation, as well to raise food prices. But I […]


Apparently we better get used to this view of Press Condos across the fresh new gravel lot on the 500 Block of East Pine. But hey, nothing lost, nothing gained: the Press site was once a surface parking lot.

Decent Duplex

[ 18th Ave between Thomas and John on Capitol Hill ] Townhouses don’t have to be awful. But even though the fence is better than most, it’s still an unfriendly barrier that pushes right out to the sidewalk.

No Density In My Backyard

The rendering above shows the mixed-use building proposed for 1126 34th Ave in the Madrona neighborhood. As reported here and here, there has been significant opposition to the project from the neighbors. I kept an open mind, but the more I learned about this case, the clearer it became that it is a quintessential example […]

Not a Bad View of Thompson’s

[ Thompson’s Point of View in the brick building, not associated with the defunct General Bar-B-Que ] I have been living in the Central District for the past six years, and I must admit that in that time my culinary ventures have not taken me further than the half dozen or so Ethiopian restaurants in […]

“I Was Living in a Devil Town…

  Didn’t know it was a Devil Town.” - Daniel Johnston All the prattle on design and development is getting old, no? Last night I saw Daniel Johnston at Neumos.  Sold out show, the room totally packed with the youngest and hippest Seattle has to offer, and out walks this guy on stage all alone who looks […]

Old vs. New

[ Old streetscape at 17th and Spring in the Central District ] [ New streetscape in the Central District ] [ Old apartment on Capitol Hill ] [ New apartment at 23rd and Jackson in the Central District ] This isn’t about nostalgia for old buildings. The old streetscape reaches out to the passersby, while […]

The Eco-Fascist Liberals Are Coming To Take Your Cars Away!

“We’re talking about two different visions, one of trying to force people out of their car or of freedom for you to choose how you’d like to move about the region.” So says the eloquent Dino Rossi. And also, “she wants to force 50 percent of us out of our cars by 2050.” (She being […]

Tower in the Park

Today’s puzzler: where in Seattle is this magnificent pile of concrete located? Check out the random arrangement of those seriously cantilevered decks. Check out the openings in the roof overhangs at the top of each of the building-high pseudo-columns. Check out the vertical and horizontal concrete scoring. Check the two stories of blank wall at […]

Smartcar Spotting

They’re getting less rare to spot. (That Lusty Lady marquee reminds me of a maxim about the relationship between the size of your car and the size of your, ahem, manhood. It’s probably too early to tell if it applies to Smartcars. And in this case the flowers are yet another variable to consider. If […]

Believe It Or Not, We Are Now Allowed To Use The Water That Falls From The Sky

…also known as rainwater harvesting. Humans have been doing it for tens of thousands of years, of course. But until this month, it has been illegal to harvest rainwater for indoor use in Seattle. Given that rainwater harvesting has the potential to reduce both potable water demand and sewer system load, how did this odd circumstance […]

Busting The “Drive Till You Qualify” Myth

[ In the turquoise areas housing and transportation costs are higher than 48% of the area median income ] The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s new Affordability Index, which includes transportation costs, has already buzzed around the local bloggies, see here, here, and here, but I can’t help piling on. Not least because I enjoy it […]