We first noticed this new sign in front of these old buildings in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood a month or so ago. Built in the 1940s, this cluster of small, one-story apartment buildings has not aged well. Located in the shadow of Fremont’s Rocket, adjacent to the Red Door Ale House, and not just close to the Center of the Universe, but the Epicenter (Development), The Rocket Apartments likely owe their continued existence to the current economic downturn. In the meantime, the buildings appear to be experiencing a limited renaissance and a “rebranding” with the new sign, new name, and some colorful paint.
In 1991, the Fremont Business Association purchased this cold war-era rocket from a surplus store in Seattle’s Belltown District for $750. After being spruced up and marked with Fremont’s motto, delibertus quirkas (“the freedom to be strange”) the rocket was erected on June 3, 1994, and stands today as one of Fremont’s most recognizable features.
[NOTE: AJ’s Surplus in Belltown, the former owner, had also used the rocket as a sign.]
UPDATE April 11, 2011: The Rocket Apartments are now fenced off. The DPD web site indicates a demolition permit for the site was issued on February 7, 2011, as well as a permit to “Construct a new 5-story office retail structure and basement garage and occupy per plan.” See this post for more details