This painting shows Ballard Camera, a long-time Ballard business that closed in 2009, after 61 years in the neighborhood. Their going-out-of-business sale was named the “We Quit” sale. Mandrake’s Antiques, Custom Furniture and Great Things, a few blocks away, announced they were closing earlier that year in a similar fashion, with a sign saying “Uncle.” The space formerly occupied by Mandrake’s is now the Market Arms. The Ballard Camera location is still vacant, but had something of an exterior makeover last year.
The City of Seattle notes with respect to this building, which was originally a supermarket (grocery store):
Although white paint now obscures its ornamentation, this is one of the most ornate and intact small commercial buildings in the Market Street business district. … Now that the building has been painted white, it is difficult to see the detailing. The shallow gabled parapet has ten floral motif plaques covering most of the area above the transoms. Three brick pilasters, covered with terra cotta, pierce the cornice.
Couldn’t have put it better myself. While the new exterior painting is perhaps a bit half-hearted, it’s a huge improvement over the white, with the eight “floral motif plaques” on the front of the building detailed in white and black. Now, like the vacant Epilogue Books storefront across the street, it’s just a liquor license away from becoming the latest new bar/restaurant on the scene.
The painting that kicked off this post is from Lina Raymond’s “Bearing Witness/Adaptation” show, which consisted mainly of paintings of closed businesses and demolished buildings. The Ballard News Tribune recently reported that Raymond has a new show a little further down Market Street at the recently opened bar/restaurant 5 Corner Market. [Is it just me or does the air around 5 Corner Market smell of charred flesh?]