The Uphill Fight to Save the Showbox Begins



Who gives a genuine fuck? What a distraction. A bunch of crackers weepy-whiney cuz their Ben Folds moment is going under the bulldozer. Sigh


Quite a few people seem to give a fuck. The numbers are right there on the petition, 64,000 signatures at the moment (and counting). The Showbox’s history goes back much further than just the indie rock scene of the last 20-30 years. Quincy Jones bought his first horn at the music store located in the basement for christ’s sake. Here’s some more history, if interested:


I don't believe that any density increase in Seattle will bring affordable housing so I don't care what happens to it. But I believe the council will pretend to care but eventually do nothing. I will watch and see.


@1, @3

You kids should really get out more.


It's horrible when people take an interest in a local issue. They should just come to Slog and complain about housing.


The building has no architectural or historical significance, it's just the memories of the performances that endear its protection.


Remember the joke we used to tell out-of-towners: "why, we have buildings here that are over 100 years old!" Guess we'll have to find a new joke to tell them, since we seem hell-bent on demolishing anything that even smacks of historical or cultural significance in this town.


Easy solution:

Move existing entire Showbox building to new not very accessible location.
Build "affordable" housing as planned on vacated spot.
When Showbox at new location fails, tear it down after it becomes derelict or mysteriously burns down.
Build more affordable housing.


Keep an eye out for Ivanka and Don Jr. looking it over as a location for the Seattle Trump International Hotel and Tower.


If anyone thinks that any developer is going to build a forty-two story residential structure across the street from the Pike Place Market, with guaranteed unobstructed views of the sound and Olympic range, and include anything even remotely "affordable", that person oughta have their head examined (as Mother Vel-DuRay used to say)


Queue the assholes who want to tear the place down because they’re boring and would rather go hiking.


@11 said it best

showbox market is universally praised. why would anyone wish something like that away?

i've worked construction in those blocks of the city, and it's not pretty. in addition to stripping away a community space, we'll be blocking off the better parts of down town with construction and cranes for an entire year. who knows what's beneath that site, too. what a devastating loss for the city this might be.


Sounds like good news for the Neptune and Moore.


Wrong. Try again.


@9 Wash your mouth out with another cinnamon roll and perish so hideous a thought!


@6 Yeah and Notre Dame is really just a big pile of rocks some religious nuts piled on top of one another a long time ago. Who cares? Something something density something something housing something something liberals.


It's a terrific venue, a significant part of the history of anyone who relishes live shows. Without exerting too much mental energy, I recall seeing Ween, The The, RatDog, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, The New Pornographers, Minus the Bear, Queens of the Stone Age, and Deerhunter there. Old cracker favorites all, some of which were so long ago that I later emerged half-choking from the cigarette smoke within.

I'm not usually one for permanence (don't even have a tattoo), but there's an argument for preserving a place of cultural resonance, particularly if the alternative is hopelessly lame and soulless, as indicated by the developers. The Showbox is a bright spot downtown, a reason to go. If you've been unfortunate enough to be in downtown San Francisco for any length of time, you'll grasp the importance of maintaining those few gathering spots that give Seattle some semblance of meaningfulness.


When progressives realize what being conservative means- keeping the good parts.


It looks like the relentless development monster is about to gobble up another much-loved Seattle spot.

My favorite show, of many, at the Showbox: October 23rd, 1980. I'd been living in Seattle a little more than a year after moving out here with my girlfriend from the Twin Cities. I fell in love with Dire Straits and the guitar-playing of Mark Knopfler (millenials are going, "what's a Mark Knopfler?") when their debut album came out, in 1978 but had never seen them (I think 1980 might have been the first time they toured the U.S.) Making Movies, their third album, had recently been released and they were playing the Showbox (the Seattle show was the second night of that tour, which had started in Vancouver, B.C.) I can't remember if my girlfriend didn't like them or wasn't able to go and the one guy I had met at work who had common musical tastes was busy so I went by myself. $9.50 for the ticket. Cheap by today's prices but, for that time period, a decent price.

The place was packed. I was fairly aggressive at getting a good spot back then so I cut and dodged my way to a place about three people deep from the front of the stage.
I figured they were going to play "Tunnel of Love" as either the opening number or the final encore song. It was the opening number and the when the beginning notes of the instrumental piece that opens the song -- an arrangement of the "Carousel Waltz" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel -- started,the crowd went wild. It was a full-tilt ride the rest of night, rocking to the rhythms, the gorgeous melodies, and Knopfler's distinctive vocals and beautiful guitar solos.

Tunnel of Love:

In a screaming ring of faces I seen her standing in the light
She had a ticket for the races just like me she was a victim of the night
I put my hand upon the lever said let it rock and let it roll
I had the one arm bandit fever there was an arrow through my heart and my soul

Later in the song, Knopfler sings:

She took off a silver locket she said remember me by this
She put her hand in my pocket I got a keepsake and a kiss

As the relentless development monster continues to gobble up places in Seattle that we know and love, those places are like that girl, and our memories are the silver locket.


Not sure how this tower would be allowed given this provision of the zoning regs in Seattle. Too close to the Newmark.

“Except as otherwise provided in this subsection 23.49.058.D, in the DMC 240/290-440 zone located between Stewart Street, Union Street, Third Avenue, and First Avenue, if any part of a tower exceeds 160 feet in height, then all portions of the tower that are above 125 feet in height shall be separated from any other existing tower that is above 160 feet in height, and the minimum separation required between towers from all points above the height of 125 feet in each tower is 200 feet."


@11: I like to hike and I like to rock. Are they somehow mutually exclusive and no one told me about it?

@6: wrong again. it must be exhausting to be so wrong. have you even been inside, or looked at the exterior? I imagine you sniping at Seattle from your home in Mill Creek or Lake Stevens.

@8: the proposal is not for social housing. it is market-rate. please stop saying it is.


@4: kids? I was thinking elderly shut-ins tuned into Dori Monson all day.


@18: yeah, most progressives have always known that. hence historic landmarks, national parks, wilderness areas, the EPA, the ESA, Julia Butterfly sitting in a Redwood.

in contrast, conservatives are the ones that favor logging old-growth, burning coal, denying ACC, all in support of profit. GMAFB.


I hope they use dynamite to blow the place up. Maybe shove the SeaFair Pirates into the Showbox before it goes up in flames?


@24: wow, you're bitter. tell me one thing about 2018 Seattle that you like.

it's kind of sad that you don't know how demolition of a 1-story building works.


There's that density the Stranger has been pushing for the last decade in action


@8, yes totally made that up. But I won't be surprised if some form of affordable housing "swap" is offered to grease the skids as it were.


At the torchlight parade, Durkan gave two thumbs up at someone who shouted “save the Showbox!”
So we will see what they do.


The commentators here and The Stranger are all pro-density until the moment it become inconvenient for them. Can you smell the hypocrisy?



i don't believe anyone has been asking for MOAR DENSITY downtown. you may be the victim of fake news.


@29: because commentators or the Stranger want more housing built in a city with a highly visible homelessness crisis doesn't mean it's hypocrisy to also want historic buildings or a beloved convert venue preserved.

wherever did you get the idea that they were mutually exclusive?


@27: developers have to provide a percentage of affordable units, or pay into a fund that's distributed by the Office of Housing to non-profit developers.

it's already a requirement. otherwise no affordable housing would get built.