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Thread: Seattle, WA [Broadband Recommended]

  1. #1
    Cyburbian cdub's avatar
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    Seattle, WA [Broadband Recommended]

    Thought I'd post some photos from a trip this summer to Seattle. The following is a quick rundown, through words and pics on the city. Hopefully it makes sense. If not, just ask.

    First off, here are a few general shots of the city.







    Great little flat-iron.


    Pioneer Square is Seattle's historic district, consisting quite a few blocks of low- mid rise architecture. Former warehouses have been converted into lofts, retail, restaurants, offices, etc. There's even an example or two of pretty good urban infill, that which respects it's context both in materials and scale. This district has a really interesting story from the beginning days of the city to the early 20th Century. The Underground Tour highlights much of that and I highly recommend the tour if you make it up there. Preservation efforts really kicked off with the construction of this turd:



    In the foreground is a parking garage locals have named the 'Sinking Ship'. This replaced a beautiful Victorian flat-iron. Even trade?







    Urban infill I mentioned above. Not a bad project, but wish they would have provided a little more relief with the windows being setback a bit. Feels a bit flat (compare with the buildings above). Also not entirely crazy about the corner treatment.


    Pike Place Market
    Known for throwing fresh fish to waiting customers. Fun to watch them pull pranks on tourists and worth the stop. The rest of the market is your typical market variety turned tourist trap.
    www.sitephocus.com ...get the picture

  2. #2
    Cyburbian cdub's avatar
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    City Hall




    Seattle Center
    This area is home to a variety of museums, theaters, the Key arena, and the Space Needle. Kind of a cultural island at the edge of downtown.



    Experience Music Project - also in the Seattle Center, another of Gehry's paper-wad experiments. Kind of looks like every other Gehry produced building, just with different materials. An example, IMO, of the disconnect between architecture and sculpture in that he's trying to create sculptural objects and not buildings. You really notice the failure when you can't find the damned door.







    Seattle Opera
    Kreielsheimer Promenade - Interesting lighting installation at the Opera house. LEDs change color and illuminate the suspended mesh. Pay close attention for the self portrait.








    For the avant garde, Central Library. As expected it's completely terrible at the street level. It does create some interesting spaces on the interior/ upper levels, but something needs to be done in the future to think about the exterior relationships. There were some odd interior choices, such as fairly thin gauge metal stairs that weren't exceptionally quiet for a library and one entire floor with everything painted blood red. Guess I was in the belly of the beast.







    www.sitephocus.com ...get the picture

  3. #3
    Cyburbian cdub's avatar
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    Parks and Open Space
    Freeway Park is a 2 or so block long park that covers the interstate running through downtown. Creates a usable area out of an otherwise unusable space. Designed by Lawrence Halprin, I believe it was a precursor to Ira's Fountain in Portland with it's stepped fountain.



    Olympic Sculpture Park is the newest park in the downtown area, nestled hillside along the waterfront on a former brownfield site. Tried to get more evening photos, but was run off by security as the park was closing (9:00 I think).





    Richard Serra piece


    Even with eyes in the back of their heads, someone's always watching...


    Gas Works Park
    Park opened in the 70's, sort of began the brownfield reclamation movement for open space. Viewing mound of Lake Union and downtown and I'm guessing good swimming, if you don't trust the signage.







    South Lake Union
    This area is currently undergoing massive construction and revitalization. Much of the land is occupied by underutilized warehouses and is quickly becoming a live-work neighborhood. The Master Plan for the area was spearhead by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Most of the development currently completed or underway is mostly mid to low rise and almost all with an eye towards environmentalism. A streetcar line has recently opened or will open soon in the area, but in a comical naming blunder that's stuck with locals, the original South Lake Union Trolley can't be shaken. I wander why. Also, with neighbors like these, you know this will be a great neighborhood:


    Alley 24






    Alcyone Apartments


    More developments in SLU:










    The bus system was very easy to use and extensive throughout the city. Only used a car to and from the airport, but eventually there won't be a need for that as LRT is currently under construction. In the downtown area, buses convert to electric power via overhead cables. Adds visual clutter, but buses are almost silent. They then switch back to fuel once they leave downtown.



    And finally, for the high-rise-ophiles, Seattle's tallest. The Columbia Center, not much to speak of but it's height. I guess people are enamored with that.



    I think that's about all. You can see more of the outlying areas here.
    There are many more areas that I have photos of that you can explore at Sitephocus. It's pretty much impossible to show everything here.
    www.sitephocus.com ...get the picture

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Great photos of Seattle. Nice examples of some pretty high quality, newer, high density construction, too. My brother and sis-in-law live in Seattle, so I visit often. I do like the new sculpture park, but more for how it links to hike and bike trails near the water to routes up the hill than the art. I thought some of the sculptures did not integrate well into their surroundings, with the major exception of the Serra piece. At sunset (if there is a sun...) the shadow slowly travels up Serra's sculptures - its pretty cool (as is the view of the Olympics from up top - again, if not shrouded in clouds...)

    Strangely enough, I took a picture of some eye-benches last year - clearly made by the same artist. Only these are in Pittsburgh. Just had to share it. Go figure...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8264898...7594366753148/
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5

    More Seattle Photos

    I thought Seattle's Convention Center was very well done especially considering how it covers part of a freeway




    Looking out the window of the Convention Center


  6. #6
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    Oh my, a place in the US that looks like a nice place I might actually want to visit or live in

    Always wanted to see Seattle. Btw, i heard it has a monorail?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian cdub's avatar
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    That's what we thought when we were there. As for the monorail, it's more of a tourist gimmick that connects a downtown shopping area to the Seattle Center (Space Needle, Experience Music Project, etc). I think it traverses only 10 or so blocks, not sure.

    They are underway in the construction of light rail from the airport to downtown. Once that's in place, it will be much easier to get around without a car. Only time we used one was a taxi too and from the airport. Didn't know the bus system well enough to want to risk missing our flights, though in retrospect that might not have been a bad thing!
    www.sitephocus.com ...get the picture

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