City Gives the Showbox Landmark Status, Citing Stage, Dance Floor, Domed Ceiling, and Exterior

Comments

1

The irony is, now every single property owner that is leasing to a music venue is questioning that decision.
Any property owner thinking of leasing to a venue in the future will question whether their property might be subject to people with pitchforks coming for it.
This will hurt music venues in Seattle for decades. Good work populists.

3

@1: So option one is let the venues get torn down to build condos.
Result: no music venues.
The other option is to prevent the venues from being torn down to build condos.
Result: maybe fewer music venues.

4

"The Showbox was originally built as the Central Public Market building in 1917, which was an extension of the expanding Pike Place Market across the street. In 1939, it was converted to a music venue called the Show Box, and it hosted thousands of acts from Muddy Waters to the Mars Volta over the next eight decades."

Then, in 2006, the Seattle City Council upzoned the property to allow a structure up to 400 feet, and expressly told the owner the property was unlikely to qualify for landmark status, A subsequent upzoning in 2017 connected with Seattle's Mandatory Housing Affordability legislation allowed a structure up to 440 feet. https://thecisforcrank.com/2019/06/21/king-county-judge-overturns-save-the-showbox-law-rules-against-city-on-all-counts/

How does the city plan on defending the most recent decision from the inevitable legal challenge? Are they going to say the property didn't become "historic" until after they told the owner it was totally o.k. to tear it down and build a 400 foot tower in its place?

5

"He is not interested in preservation unless someone pays him a lot of cash for it"...

Seems like the solution is obvious... "Friends Of The Showbox," or some other party interested in maintaining it as a performance venue, should start raising funds now!

6

Pitty we don't have a Paul Allen in the wings to do a Cinerama style restoration of the property...

7

This will all be for nought.

Embrace your 40-100 story present, Seattle. Welcome the fleeing climate refugees with open arms, and return to your original 6 story Multi Family zoning that used to exist in your 2-3 story Single Family zones you created to keep out immigrant populations.

8

@2 It's appraised at $12,655,000, of which only $1,000 is attributed to improvements.

https://blue.kingcounty.com/Assessor/eRealProperty/Dashboard.aspx?ParcelNbr=1975700560

10

I told you the interior had the historic elements. Good job, applicants.

@1: there's no other music venue remotely like it in Seattle, so stop fretting. this isn't a slippery slope.

12

Yeah @4, the city seems to have some tough sledding ahead. Because they're being reactive now but they didn't actually plan around it being something to preserve. I wish they had, but they didn't.

14

@13: one would imagine Forbes will settle for less than 41 mil, or maybe just die before a ruling, and his heirs will settle for less.

but sure, if that's what it takes, i'll sacrifice "human rights enforcement". priceless things are worth a dear price.

they aren't building any more deco-era sprung-dancefloor ballrooms. that's the only one.

16

@7 Bingo.

This fracas over nothing is so absurd, but that's what I expect from sheltered first worlders who have no idea what is coming.

18

Kshama Sawant wanted to nationalize Boeing, Amazon and Microsoft.

Instead she got the Showbox, toilets and all.

19

@17 Says one of the whiniest assholes on SLOG.

20

@19 Professional moocher shocked when people complain about their mooching.

21

I have seen many opening acts at The Showbox who tried very hard and with great sincerity, but could not achieve anything close to the entertainment value provided by this abjectly ludicrous farce.

First we had the spot-rezone, coming just a year after the same City Council has raised the height limit to 440 feet. Then CM Sawant’s pathetic hope that a motley crowd of would-be musicians and has-been scenesters would join with her to reanimate the putrefying corpse of the EHT. (And then, she begged for “street heat” to keep going, admitting to the paucity of her own team’s “ground game.”) The predictable punchline came in the form of a size 22 boot straight up the ass, delivered by Forbes’ attorneys to our city. As pie-in-the-face gags go, it’s been comedy gold throughout.

But wait, there’s more! Now the Department of Silly Landmarks Preservation Board perserveres in bringing the laffs, stamping their widdle feetsies in another blatantly illegal, post facto blunder of exactly the same type as just got the City laughed out of court. (Where were they during the original re-zone in 2006: bestowing BJs on band members in the back room of the Showbox, perhaps?) This is what happens when self-described masterpiece artisans mysteriously find themselves with no other option but to crib material from last season’s sit-coms.

“The controls and incentives process is expected to begin in the coming weeks but could stretch out over multiple months. The process involves negotiations between Forbes and the city and could be subject to multiple delays or extensions.”

The process also gives us a chance to hear what, “even you must know you can’t stop me, you impotent losers, you, Nyah Nyah, go piss up a rope,” sounds like when a rich guy’s smooth mouthpieces deliver it in the media and in court.

Remember: it’s all fun and games, until the rich guy pockets even more of our money than he could have had if our City Council had exercised power of eminent domain.

22

@17: that you are so motivated by spite and care nothing for the history (or future) of the city's cultural life is sickening to watch. as is most of this thread of malcontents.

in a 100 years, a preserved showbox will be a beloved asset, and forbes will be a barely remembered footnote, not even rising to the head-shaking amusement level of sam Israel.

build the goddamn tower on the site of the deja vu. there's already a 2-parcel parking lot there.

23

@22: What’s “sickening to watch” are established governing processes getting twisted to serve blatantly political ends. This cheapens the value of landmarks preservation, and to top it off, the ends (which supposedly justified the means) won’t be achieved.

If the city wanted to preserve some aspect of the building, that’s great. All over town are new buildings which incorporate facades, functions, or other aspects of the older buildings they replaced. It can be done.

So far, they’ve put on a clinic in how NOT to go about it. They’ve tried nothing but the stick, never the carrot, and Forbes has no reason to play along. So here we are, with legal bills but no Showbox to show for it. Congratulations.

You do understand Forbes won easily in court, right? Do you understand why? Because if you don’t, little you type here has value.