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Archive for December, 2010

Notice of Proposed Land Use Action

I highlighted the CHS blog’s review of 2010 development in Capitol Hill here and figured that Ballard could use a similar review.  The first part of this post’s title is from the introduction to the 2007 book Early Ballard, in which the author laments:

Ballard is rapidly becoming a community of carpetbaggers and commuters.  More than 100 years after the first land boom in Ballard, another land boom is making affordable housing a faint but fond memory.

Here, then, is a rundown of the “land boom” in 2010.  Let me know if I’ve missed anything.

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Curtiss Apartments from Leary Ave

W. M. Curtiss Hardware reportedly started business even before the City of Ballard was incorporated. It opened its doors in 1905 at 20th and Ballard Avenue, and it was a “full service” hardware store with a sizeable staff to serve the commercial, industrial and residential needs of the community. In 1916, Mr. Curtiss built a larger, more modern building to house his expanding business. That building at 20th and Leary still bears the Curtiss Building name but has been converted to residential apartments.

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Coming out of the new Elliott Bay Book Company on Boxing Day we walked right into this.  We show up a couple of times in the Capitol Hill part of the footage (the above clip switches between Capitol Hill and Seattle’s University Village).  I’m the tall thin bloke looking slightly bemused.  Lisa is the shorter blond, looking like she wishes she’d seen the teaching videos ahead of time so she could join in.  Apparently these particular mobs were something to do with Janet Jackson.

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Cascadia Center Proposal

I lived in First Hill a few blocks south of the Pike/Pine Corridor from 1996 to 2006.  There was development in the neighborhood over that period.  Harvard Market, the Elysian, and the Break Room opened.  New shiny mixed-use buildings anchored by Madison Market and Trader Joe’s opened on Madison, and another highly visible mixed-use block appeared at the north end of Broadway.  Moe’s became ARO space became Neumos.  Other businesses—record stores, bookstores, bars, restaurants—came and went.  Things changed in other words.  But that all seems like nothing compared to the onslaught of development that has happened since around 2005.

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Harrods

Merry Christmas.  We’re celebrating in Seattle this year.  There are last minute gifts to be purchased, friends to visit, and lots of food and drink to be consumed.  Next post will be on Tuesday December 28.

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The Depot Exchange

Frank Pyle, like many of the pioneers in Ballard, served the community in a variety of ways over the years. He was an early town marshal of the community, served at one time as superintendent of lights, as street commissioner and as head of the water works. After retiring from public service he opened a saloon called the Depot Exchange at about 5419 Ballard Avenue, where his name is still inset in the tiles of the building entrance.

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Standardized Signage

The S.H. Kress & Co was a “five and dime” department store chain that operated from 1896 to 1981.  This sign adorns the back of the former Kress department store in Ballard, now known, rather originally, as the Kress Building.  There was also a Kress department store in downtown Seattle at 3rd and Pine.   According to the National Building Museum

Kress achieved retail branding success not merely through standardized signage and graphics, but through distinctive architecture and efficient design  …  Kress stores were designed to be integral parts of their business districts and helped define Main Street America.

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