A midcentury monument to retail banking and place to buy stuff to clean your bong. HK

Comments

1

The start of this article is just ridiculous.

If no one is taking photos of or gawking at a building on a January afternoon that means it has no value?

3

@2: the Showbox is anything but overrated. it's a historic music venue with no equivalent on the West Coast - a spring-action dance floor. it's exactly the sort of building we should landmark. Old Strip Club asshole can develop a tower on the Deja Vu site.

the Walgreens BUILDING is what was landmarked, and mostly the Deco entry. that could be saved I guess.

4

@3 I really wish TS and the other urbanists would stop being dishonest about this as well to drum up the outrage. The SCC does not have the ability to change the landmark designation. Hannah even sort of references this in her article "the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board could grant changes to the building if the owner asks really nicely". That's the key sentence. Regardless of the action the council took you can not knock down that building to build apartments without overturning the designation and that is outside the scope of the council.

Here's my fav part though "or in Sawant’s case, they didn’t want to make things easier for corporate developers, even if it's to the detriment of density"

So now even TS is beginning to see that Sawant only cares about the movement and is not really about helping people. If it doesn't benefit her goals to rebuild society in the image she sees fit she can't be bothered. I really hope SECB takes this sort of thing into account when they inevitably start writing propaganda in support of Sawant's re-election later this year.

5

I would advise everyone to visit this amazing historic site soon, before Walgreens starts charging for admission.

6

The Stranger's 'density at all cost' groupthink (if think is the right term) is just one example of how the fringe left seems to see just about everything in Manichean terms. No grays in this world, we are either for the good, bulldozing everything in the name of density (and fellating every developer in the process, who are certainly in no way among the most bloodthirsty capitalists out there), or we are evil nimby obstructionists. It is quite possible to promote density without turning every neighborhood in every city into an office park. Here's an excellent article that was in the Guardian yesterday about just that: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2023/jan/11/people-think-apartments-are-for-losers-the-homes-that-could-help-solve-las-housing-crisis

7

I somehow don’t think “missed opportunity for tech bro housing” is the campaign zinger some think it is.

8

3 no equivalent on the west coast? Ever heard of the Fillmore? The Warfield? The El Rey? The Wiltern? The Showbox is a dump!

9

@9 the Crystal Ballroom in Portland OR also came to mind.

10

It would be nice if we built statues of all our city councilmembers who voted to preserve it, so that we could douse them in red paint

11

Hannah sweetie. I know that TS employees are more than a little snarky and tight assed....but if you are shopping for chips and Miralax you probably need to change your diet. A nice kale salad once in awhile will help.

12

The Stranger's current writing staff (and some of their more pathetic alums) seem to be just feckless ninnies. No wonder no one takes them seriously. When was the last time The Stranger covered anything of importance? It's really been years.

Instead of just being a petulant little drip, Hannah dear, How about pointing these things out?

1) Another old Seafirst that is almost identical is still around on First Ave S in Sodo.
2) The facade of another old Seafirst was preserved when they created a pocket park at 125th and Lake City Way (of course some of our "unhoused neighbors" trashed it for a few years, but I think they finally cleared them out)
3) MANY old building in Seattle have essentially had their facades preserved while entirely new buildings went up behind them. There's one across the street from The Stranger's old offices, for God's sake.

At least the Seattle Weekly did some good stuff up until the end. Why is The Stranger even published anymore?

13

@12
Indeed there are buildings all over Belltown and central Seattle that have preserved the original facades (typically brick) in front of new steel high level structures.
Why anyone would fuss over a building housing a Walgreens is beyond me!

14

pat L dear, I think the building has historical merit to a point. I also think that's mostly in its facade. Instead of just whining about the landmarks process, as The Stranger writers and former Stranger Writer ECB are doing, why not do some real research and reporting? At least try to understand the process.

In a similar situation, many years back, the ill-fated Seattle Monorail acquired the old Ballard Denny's at the corner of Market and 15th. When I say "Denny's", people probably think it was a typical low-rise restaurant with a parking lot. But that building had begun life as a Manning's restaurant (a long-gone local chain) and was quite architecturally unique, both inside and out. It would have been a prime candidate for preservation and redevelopment (keep part of the original structure and build the condos where the large parking lot was) but the city declined in that instance to keep the building, which I think was a real shame.

You can read about the discussion here.
https://www.westsideseattle.com/robinson-papers/2008/01/07/old-dennys-landmark

15

@14 "Instead of just whining about the landmarks process" hasn't this been the biggest gap in this whole discussion? They keep dwelling on the council but it's outside of the council's authority to change the landmark status of the building. It's such a weird obsession and I don't get it because usually TS is all about how great the SCC is doing. I have yet to read anything from TS or the urbanists who are tweeting furiously over this building about how they could engage the landmarks board to even reconsider the designation. Maybe I'm missing something but wouldn't that be where they should focus their attention?

16

@8: do those venues have spring-action dance floors? if they do, then i apologize for the inaccuracy.

it may be a dump, but seattle doesn't have any other dump like it.

17

@4, @15: The point is not to tear down the building, but to provide incentives to redevelop the site into high-rise residences — whilst keeping the building’s architectural details, which made it worthy of landmark status in the first place. Our Very Own Divine Mrs. Vel-DuRay kindly explained that @12.

You’re so hung up on making an analogy to the Showbox fiasco, you can’t see how this is almost the polar opposite.

18

@17 no I’m not hung up on the Showbox I honestly don’t fully understand the process and of course TS and all the whiners don’t really lay out what they want to happen instead. Wouldn’t they still need the landmark boards permission to make changes of that magnitude?

19

In a time period where Seattle is loosing basically every small music venue, due much to developers, it's pretty gross to have the city memorialize an ugly ass 60's seafirst bank. (wallgreens)
Furthermore, affordable housing is a joke as far as new development goes. they are going to get theirs no matter who suffers as a result.

20

"How about pointing these things out?"

She linked to Erica's twitter thread that had photos of all the places you mentioned I supposed that's why she didn't list out all those places specifically.

21

Who’s going to read ECB’s Twitter feed? Linking - especially to Twitter - is lazy. Our Dear Hannah just wanted to snark.

22

If this building were torn down it would be replaced with high end housing for the rich, not affordable housing. How is this supposed to help the actual housing crisis?? We have plenty of overpriced housing in Seattle already.


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