A Hopefully Great New Home (in the Same Spot) for Hugo House

Comments

1
I think that's amazing.
2
There is no reason to tear down this building. None.
3
No reason to tear down another historic Capitol Hill building! I agree. Bad choice, Hugo House. You're supposed to be about community.
4
The Bellevueization of Capitol Hill continues apace.

How about we delve into this statement a little: "The ownership group is devoted to Hugo House, but trying to figure out a way to allow us to stay here has not been easy".

What's "not easy" about it? The ownership group can't resist the piles of money that can be made by re-developing the property?
5
"The building was slowly falling apart—Swenson says one of the most exciting aspects of moving into a new building is that "we won’t have to be distracted all the time by things that are breaking and broken" they way they are now—and some kind of change was inevitable."

I live in an old house. The heat alone in the winter costs a third again of my rent. I get this. It'll be sad to see the gorgeous old building go, but sometimes things outlive what they were designed for.
6
But what about the baby coffin and secret panel on House Right of the theatre space ?!?!?!!
7
Well, shit. Hugo House has legitimately been the only fucking reason I've put up with Seattle. I am not pleased.
8
Honestly, I'm pretty disgusted with the city's response and the community's general negligence on the importance of all this shit being swept away from under them. When I hear these fucking cheerleading voices of the community looking at it from purely economic perspective—such as the man who paid 1/3rd of his rent in heating—honestly I want to just slap you. Physically? No. (Because then I could get reported, and this would be deleted.) Slapped in a metaphorical sense. Yours is a dumbshit pedantic view. I lived in a place with expensive heating, too, but did that because the old shithole I lived in was never brought up to code. The most minor renovations can fix issues old buildings have.

The huge quantity of destruction around this town is not merely just gentrification or rejuvenation, it's a redefinition of a place of culture that has generally been accommodating to people of all classes, but is not just being raped by developers and investment firms because, well, they can get money that way, and everybody's pretty nonchalant or powerless about it, so they will. Fuck the city, basically. What's very likely is that they don't even live here, and give no real shit about cultural anchors within the community. What matters is that, for one, they can make serious bank off Amazon employees, and are just scouring lists of properties (used or unused) to see where they can dump the cheapest buildings that they could make the highest money off of. As liberal as many of you make yourself out to be, this is an entire goddamn neighborhood being gutted and refitted for a single class of person. White, upper-class, accepting of arts the way one is accepting of a wolf feeding at the zoo—at a distance very pretty, but not too close. To waive Hugo House off as "Oh, it's outlived it's use" is hugely frustrating. It is indicative of a profound ignorance of anybody outside your own goddamn self.

Let's look at the actual fact of the matter: Hugo House as a building has specifically not outlived its use—were it an unused husk of a building, fetid and rotting, why, sure, it has outlived its use. However, Hugo House is used every almost every goddamn day of the week for long hours by many, many, many people. There are readings from published and unpublished authors, classes open to all (which they will kindly offer scholarships for if you're strapped), open-hours with published authors—it's the sole spot in the city that pushes the idea of a literary community. Its consistent use has not let up. If it has heating issues in the winter or any other issues, you treat it as you would anything: you fucking fix it. You renovate it. All of the stuff it can pull off is because they have fucking room. They have the fucking space, and they have a willing community. The space has shaped its culture and its community, and to believe it can be nearly the same or on par shows the blindness one has to have about how community is developed and sustained.

If this goes through, what will be built in its stead will very likely be the same modulated type of building built cheap and tall and quick, and will overcharge all the tenants. These buildings being thrown up are built with a Depression mentality of cheap and quick and able to fit as many bodies as possible. In 20 years when its veneer of newness fades, it'll merely be a ragged lifeless condo tower you'll have to deal with until another developer wants to put something up of equal impermanence. All this shit around us compared to houses and old brick buildings that have been up for over a hundred years—for fuck's sake...how does that not trouble you?

Another thing: Hugo House, if it has the deal it has now, will probably no longer exist in whatever tiny space its allotted. Remember when B&O was advertised by the developer as having a whole new space after it rapes its land (and the adjoining housing complex that was basically an old-style condo from the 80s or 90s that was built cheaply and quickly and largely)? B&O ended up being thrown into tiny ballard hole below a condo tower, not being able to afford all the relocations and the bullshit, and ended up just folding as a company.

Point to two new buildings within Capitol Hill that are accommodating to the poor, do not look like garbage, and allow large spaces on par with what Hugo House has.

I will allow my diatribe to continue just a little bit more: let's look at two basic pillars of the Seattle arts community that are within proximity of Cal Anderson: The Stranger and Hugo House. Both are large, accommodating, and are basically the center of the arts culture in Capitol Hill (if not Seattle as a whole). Both places are being forced from their homes of many many years by 2015/2016. Those buildings will be condo towers. The heating will be irrelevant compared to the sense of emptiness they exude.

This is the fucking legacy you goddamn people will leave behind if you continue dragging this line of irrational sympathy with developer's numbers games.
9
Heard the same sort of crap about the market back in the day,kids
We saved it for you

Stop destroying Seattle. It looks awful now as it is.
10
How sad. A beautiful old house, filled with years of soul, to be torn down and replaced by yet another bland box of corrugated metal, devoid of character. This city is getting uglier by the year. I love living here, but the architecture of this place is lacking. The majority of it is boxy, cold and waterproof. That terrible, offensive brownish/red metal triangle of a building on 12th and Madison is a perfect example of the bad architecture (yeah, yeah, I know it's all subjective) in the new developments of Seattle. I know it may not be cost effective to save the old Hugo House building, but that's what most everything boils down to - money. Sad.
11
so, er lose another performance space for theatre on capitol hill? I notice no mention of performance space for plays....
12
@3 Did you read this part of the article?: "Swenson is quick to point out that "Hugo House is not doing this project"—that they're only the beneficiaries of the decisions of the ownership group."
13
@3, @12:

Well, fucking grow a pair and do something about it. This article is literally the first time I've ever heard about development plans.

Picket line! The more negative publicity you give to a developer the less likely they'll go through with the plans. Make a big fucking show out of it.
14
@6 Also my first thought.
15
#3 - Did you read the article? Hugo House didn't make the decision. They've been housed in the building, rent free, for 20 years, and now the landlord is tearing it down. Your misplaced outrage could be better directed at another target - like the landlord, or the developer, or the City permitting process.