The Terminal 86 Grain Facility Is Hideous. It Must Be Painted.



Won't someone think of the tech bros and property owners of Magnolia?


Technically, Queen Anne I guess... All that waterfront and all those parks tainted by the dreaded eyesore of blue collar jobs.


Reminds me of those rusting, crumbling commie blocks you see all over former Soviet states.


I'm glad I've lived long enough that the worst visual offence in Seattle's skyline is that grain terminal.
I always thought that the out-of-scale black monolith that was the Sea-First building was the worst, a Darth Vaderish presence that dominated the region for a good two decades until it was gradually absorbed by other taller, better designed buildings.
And of course I was giddy at the dismantling of the visual blight of that poor, sad, exhausted old viaduct.
By contrast, a busy grain terminal?
You have all the cranes at one end of the skyline so the grain terminal at the other end works to bracket the visual splendor of the central waterfront with utilitarian visual statements about commerce and power.


Well, as far as weird Stranger writer obsessions go, this is at least small scale and might actually get done.





You know you're a god damn liberal in Seattle when we're four years into a homelessness crisis and you're bitching about how we need to paint a grain facility.

Stay classless, ya dumb f-cks.


I love that grain elevator! A beautiful structure and keeps a bit of history alive before the scruggs of seattle yuppify Seattle culture into bland homogeny. Keep the grain elevator alive!


@9: Agreed. The soft gray of industrial art.

Or, let the taggers get at it - as some folks think that's art.


Outdoor climbing gym perhaps? Train parkour ninjas & those who do 'urban escalade'? Seems like we could put it to good use instead of indulging this modern frenzy of "Destroy it!" or "Paint it!" or whatever.
Look at Gasworks for example: Excellent ninja/tagger training ground.

@8 - "Four years"? Just move here did you? The city has not effectively addressed the homelessness crisis here for easily 10, arguably 20 years. But let's not quibble.
My suggestion to build a tiny house for each P-Patch and house someone willing to watch over the P-Patch in return was all too casually dismissed.

My other suggestion to establish regularly-cleaned porta-potties at public camping sites --to support their dignity, and improve health standards-- and also offer any person in need a P.O. box so they would have at least an address for mail ... was again ignored. Cheap options that would help, yet nothing. Seems they prefer the typical authoritarian class-reinforcement methods of "sweeps".

Maybe the old grain storage terminal could be turned into vertical housing pods? IDK


Talk to Betty Winfield.


Poppycock! The Eliot Bay grain terminal is the only beautiful building in Seattle since the Darth Vader Towers on 5th avenue were torn down. The rest of the entire waterfront is an architectural scab.


Does the author know where the fine cities of San Diego and Long Beach, California, exist in space? Maybe he can accuse Long Beach of "hiding" their port in their own city? Derr derr derr.


Oh please, you live in a port city.

Get over it.

If you want to paint it, offer to pay the full cost to paint it from your neighborhood improvement district funds.


@16: You do understand, that there are many in Seattle who wish it wasn't a port city right?
For that matter there are many (most really) who while they may like the idea of living in a port city, neither understand, or want the infrastructure that is required to support a major port?

Just ask the Seattle City Council how this region should come into compliance with IMO-2020.


While some fresh paint, or maybe just a nice "Welcome to Seattle" sign would be nice. I think due to it being an active grain silo that so much dust is generated that any new look would quickly be dirtied up and look worse than the simple industrial look it has.


How about just a really big "12"?


@17 well, if they don't like being in a port city, they're going to live in a cider city. You can leave when you want to, we won't miss you.

@19 or maybe a "42" ...


You're just noticing this now?


Seriously? A Stranger writer took an Argosy cruise? Ha ha ha ha ha. That view from the light rail could use some sprucing up, in or out of the tunnels. As could the future view of cruise ships on the new beauteous waterfront. Yeah urbanists, bulldoze the golf courses, never enough concrete or grey in this city.


It’s pigeon poo. Embrace it you urbanist hypocrite.


Did Expedia commission this article?


Just paint over the windows on that side of the Argosy boats, FFS, and all will be well.


"As Tarleton argued, we made a conscious decision to keep our working waterfront and not hide it somewhere like dirty laundry as San Francisco did (Oakland)"

If Tarleton said this, he's full of shit. San Francisco would have been happy to retain its port for shipping, but several factors prevented that.

It was historically based on wooden piers along the Embarcadero and China Basin, an infrastructure that was unsuitable for conversion when containerization came along in the '60s. At that point, much of the rest of any appropriate bay frontage was occupied by the U.S. Armed Forces (Hunters Point, Fort Mason, Chrissy Field, Treasure Island.) And the only way for trains to access San Francisco is from the south, so to get freight out to points north and east meant either going as far as San Jose or across the South Bay over the Dumbarton Cutoff, which included a swing bridge prone to delay from ship traffic.

Oakland had easy rail and highway access from all directions and more available bay frontage, and that's why it was poised for success as a container port.


I view the grain facility from my apartment and I appreciate the structure just as it is. Embrace its grit and beauty as an industrial object.


@3: So...the blue collar jobs will vanish if the building no longer looks ugly? In what universe is THAT a logical conclusion?

The writer isn't calling for the facility to be shut down-just saying it could be made to look a bit nicer. How is that an intolerable burden?


I looked into whether the idea of painting the grain silos was a possibility, and it turns out the Port considered it a few years ago. The determination was that the concrete, which is already somewhat weather-worn, could be damaged by paint, especially if it eventually started to peel away. Instead, they initiated the "Let There Be Light" project mentioned in the article.
Ryan Calkins (Port Commissioner)