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.”

23 Responses to “What The?”

  1. Paulish

    I am an urban designer!
    I live in West Seattle!
    And i fucking LOVE this building!!!

  2. lostinAmerica

    Good Professional Colleague “Paulish”. If you are dead serious and not in fact smoking crack or from the south of Renton…there is probably no hope for a relationship between architects and urban planners. There is so much wrong with this building and the attorcious site planning that there is no place to even begin a discourse. To compare it to a turd would be quite the complement. You were just yanking our collective chains and checking to see if we are awake, right?

  3. Cow

    Huh. I wonder what the shape of the units are — pie-piece, with elevator/lobby in the middle?

    One of the weirdest places I’ve seen in Seattle, in terms of room layout, is UW’s Haggett Hall; it’s designed like a sort of beehive, with all hexagonal rooms. Which is actually really clever and neat-looking, until you realize that all your furniture is designed for rectangular spaces, and now everything goes together horribly wrong when placed in a hexagon.

    I figure whatever the shape of the rooms in this building are, it’s a lot like that.

  4. EeePC

    Looks very… Euro-project.

  5. Kathryn

    It’s more amusing than the stack of records towers downtown. One of these should be enough.

  6. rbj

    It’s to keep those going into senility busy. The nurses have them help out by trying to find their corner office.

  7. BrianM

    Purty colors. :) It needs to be beige. Or “taupe”. With moss green trim.

  8. Andrew Cencini

    Looks like a giant freewheel removal tool.

  9. justin

    and I thought the westin was ugly

  10. Joshua Daniel Franklin

    $20 says this was originally a motel. It looks a lot better than either of the two “project style” highrises SHA has in the U-District.

  11. Romaine Q. Sivalinga, Esq.

    I have to agree… this building — and the ad hoc conceptual ‘site planning’ that supposedly should surround it like a 19th century ether, visible even then only from blocks away, and at great cost to even subsequent practicable efforts perceiving that “buildings are buildings mostly when people are inside them, at long last…” (and yet even then, are still somehow, nevertheless, essentially “most” visible, in an ‘actual’ way, only to the initiated and the canny) — is, how you say in English? truly attorcious.

    Also, and this is just my .02 cents’ worth here, but I always thought that at least one of the twin Westin Towers was quite original, and even engagingly bucolic, in its slyly incongruent fashion; invoking a fey, Jetsons-era visual aroma that is not completely disconnected from other pieces-of-shit just like it that puncture the historically verified Seattle skyline, already, from way back in the day, whether we enjoy or approve of those, or not (like for example the so-called ‘Space Needle’, etc etc etc.)

    The other Westin Tower, however, (and you KNOW the one I mean!), is just more derivative dreck; typical by now, even then, of the narrow outlook we all likely once came to finally expect from those PREVIOUS few ’eminence grise’ robberbaron generations of fuck-and-run, anti-ergonomic, hubristically ‘theory first!’ smug hacks who would eventually go on, in the 80’s and mid-90’s, to pretend to countenance even absurdist ornamental train wrecks like the Venturi & Brown SAM facade, on their watch. (FACADE, indeed!)

    “Much better now, thanks.”

    And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do some ‘carbon indulgence’ Tai Chi calisthenics, to prepare for my eventual ‘compulsory volunteer’ assignments under the forcible direction of un-Constitutional ‘Green Corps’, newly minted and engineered, like money itself, while Rome is being imploded by proxy, all at the whim of offshore globalists who none of us dare name or perceive; yet too and so, by just such a self-deterring strategy, and at inverse proportion to how much energy we expend bitching about ‘solar panels’ and ‘BTUS’ and ‘square footage’, here, on ‘Internets’.

    I full well know that these things are right around the corner. (The Green Corps and carbon indulgence taxes, I mean; not the actually longed-for solar panels, LOL).

    (PS. “Around the corner”, like in urban planning… get it?)

    It is to laugh!

    Kind of like in Auden’s poem, ‘Spain, 1937’. That one always cracks me up.

  12. ktstine

    i love this building too! much better with the recent rehab and new coat of paint, but i think it really distinguished morgan junction from other places in ws.

  13. Tracy @ WSB

    We actually have a NINE-story building in West Seattle … Alaska House in The Junction, 42nd SW just north of Alaska.

  14. reality based commute

    Virtually this same building is a dorm on the Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg. Horrible, but the rehab and paint job play up its horrid design.

    I don’t think we should evict the tenants and tear it down for bad design, so we might as well have fun with it.

  15. Keith

    Aha!! This must have been the coloring inspiration for that monstrosity next to the Capitol Hill Trader Joes!

  16. Molly Moore

    I practive both Tai-Chi and meditation on my spare time. It is really good for general health.`–

  17. Charlotte Hughes

    i would also like to learn Tai-Chi but there seems to be no practitioner in our area”.”

  18. Kitchen Canisters 

    my dad is an expert in Tai-Chi and i am taking lessons from him this coming winter:*~

  19. bags

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

  20. Electric Cement Mixer :

    i find tai-chi a bit harder to learn, but i am really interested in learning tai-chi*..

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  22. Angele Corazza

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  23. Zackary Cheser

    You can be right, but I think that better stay neutral to this case.

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