Archive for April, 2009

Q: What Will The Puget Sound Region’s Transportation Landscape Look Like in 20 Years?

A: This. No this. No this. No this. OK, I give up. If you’d be interested in hearing some far more cogent and nuanced perspectives on that question, you may want to take your lunch this Friday May 1 in the Bertha Landes Knight Room at Seattle City Hall. There from 12 to 1:30pm you’ll […]

Startling New Evidence That Not All Conservatives Are Braindead Ideologues

Just most of them. Whoa.  Did somebody just hack this blog? As I was saying, check out this excellent essay on transit, car-dependence, and compact, walkable communities.  It was written for conservatives by a conservative (just guessing) who is assistant editor at this conservative online publication that is part of this this conservative institute.  (Yes, […]

Housing Diversity

Three neighbors, on the ridge somewhere between Leschi and Mount Baker.

Do We Really Still Not Know What Makes It Green?

First, the 411: AIA Seattle’s annual What Makes It Green? awards event is this Tuesday, April 28th, 5 – 7pm at the Farestart Restaurant at 7th and Virginia. It will be a unique opportunity to view examples of the latest and best green design efforts in the region. Second, the gratuitious rant: Can we please, […]

Dearborn Goodwill Project is Dead

Wow. And now the PI’s on it. My previous takes here and here.

It’s Much Harder To Get Where You Want To Go When You Don’t Know Where You Are

On Wednesday the City of Seattle announced some excellent new proposals to promote energy efficiency in buildings, see related stories here, here, and here (too bad the DJC is a pay site). It’s all good stuff, but what I find particularly compelling is the proposal to require commercial and multifamily buildings to track and report […]

Two Thoughts For Earth Day

1.  Worldchanging: Here are 10 big, difficult, world-changing concepts we can get behind… 10. BUILD NO NEW HIGHWAYS:  It’s time to stop building highways, and stop developing the disconnected, suburban sprawl they support… 2.  Mayoral candidate Michael McGinn: Today Michael announced his opposition to the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement plan emerging in the Legislature. “This […]

Still Getting Dressed But The Party’s Over

She was born in spring, but I was born too lateBlame it on a simple twist of fate* At the corner of Terry and Stewart, the 37-story Aspira is destined to be the last of the bubble-era downtown high-rise residential projects to come on line, right on the heels of Escala.  It’s been a good […]

Neighborhood Micro-Nuclear

Happy global warming scenarios like the methane “time bomb“  have the tendency to push my imagination toward delusional futuristic realms in which hastily built nuclear reactors sprout up in urban neighborhoods as a last resort.  But that’s just me.  And James Lovelock. Of course that’s no nuclear power plant cooling tower in the photo above […]

Three Big Bread Loaves All In A Row

In the photo above, from left to right, along the north side of Denny Way just west of Aurora Ave: Taylor 28, Hyatt Place Hotel/Apartments*, and Marselle Condos.  In Seattle, the combined effects of zoning and construction-type economics has led to the prevalence of a mixed-use residential building form affectionately known as the “bread loaf” (see for […]

Is This What All Those “Teabaggers” Were So Riled Up About Today?

Sadly, no. But ooh, I do love a good bar chart, and so couldn’t stop myself from doing my part to keep this one bouncing around the echo chamber — all the more so because I found it on that other blog with “ass” in the name. As reported back in 2003 by the Institute […]

South Lake Europe

What’s all this then, Seattle’s first Euro-modern mid-rise housing? One way to check is if you can take major sections of the building, flip them upside down in your mind’s eye, and it all still looks about the same.  As in, vertical symmetry.  Apparently the designers think we don’t need a cornice or some other […]

Seattle’s First TOD

[ Aerial photo of Thornton Place, as of March 13, 2009 ] Cruising by Northgate Mall on I-5, the nearly completed Thornton Place evokes images of sci-fi outposts rising from the barren landscapes of distant planets.  In reality, Thornton Place is, in fact, a daring pioneer in a built environment that is likewise hostile to […]

Let’s See If This Blog Can Accomplish Something Useful For Once

I’m doing some research on the relationship between density and energy use in buildings.  Can any of you big-brained readers point me to sources of the best available science? The EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey and Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey are good sources, but do not provide quantitative data on density. In general, energy […]

Where’s My TOD?

[ Rainier Beach Light Link Station, at the corner of MLK and Henderson: no TOD happening here any time soon ] According to this Seattle Times piece, the recession ate it. But that’s too convenient a scapegoat — no doubt partially to blame, but there’s more to the story. When Sound Transit Light Link Rail […]

Design Review Marathon

This is what Alaska Junction in West Seattle looks like today, looking southeast.  The building in the background is a nearly completed seven-story residential building known as Mural, developed by Harbor Properties, and designed by Hewitt Architects. Shown below is a rendering of the proposed building for that money corner site.   The project just […]

What The?

On California Ave, just north of Fauntleroy, this is West Seattle’s tallest building:  the 73-unit, eight-story Cal-Mor Circle, low-income housing owned by Seattle Housing Authority. UPDATE:  Tracy from WSB corrected me:  “We actually have a NINE-story building in West Seattle … Alaska House in The Junction, 42nd SW just north of Alaska.”

It Comes Every Year Without Fail, But Still We’re Amazed

Drilling Baby Drilling

Hey, what’s that Boart Longyear drilling rig doing down at 1st and University?  Even though my late-night couchbound googling could produce no confirmation, I’ll take a stab at it:  borehole testing for the deep-bore tunnel. Meanwhile the bill that would fund the tunnel was approved by the Senate last week, and passed out of the […]

The Disappearing City*

“Nobody can be satisfied with the form of the city today. Neither as a working mechanism, as a social medium, nor as a work of art does the city fulfill the high hopes that modern civilization has called forth–or even meet our reasonable demands. Yet the mechanical processes of fabricating urban structures have never before […]