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Archive for the ‘Urban Matters’ Category

Pink Floyd -- Animals

Last month the Dispatches section of The Atlantic included a piece about architecture entitled:  The Nostalgia Trap  In Brooklyn and London, the Future is Losing to the Past.  The London part of the article was about the iconic Battersea Power Station.  The image above is the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals.  Note the pig floating between the chimneys to the left.  It’s not the work of photoshop, but a helium filled balloon, the size of a double decker bus.  

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Buy a Seat Save a Cinema

I took these photos at the beginning of March.  Buy a seat, save a cinema.  I thought at first that it was a statement akin to buy a sandwich, save a restaurant.  But I was curious enough to look into it a little further.  In fact the owner of the cinema had been selling seats for $100 to raise money to keep the business in operation.  That was only part of the saga that ended with the cinema closing earlier this month.  The Seattle Times reports on the closure and the cinema’s protracted struggle with the city here.  The Cinema has its say here with a detailed post-mortem.

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Target: Ballard Branch Library
Address: 5711 24th Ave NW, Seattle
Status: Temporary Reprieve

Proposed Land Use -- Cancelled

The Proposed Land Use Action signs at the Ballard Branch Library have been replaced by a “For Lease” sign.  So much for Ballard West, the mixed-use development proposed for the site.  Despite receiving conditional approval from the Design Review Board back in December (see Tripartite Massing and the Ballard Branch Library), it seems pretty safe to assume the project is on hold, at least for now.  The DPD web page for the project ends with the following: “Permit Remarks: Cancelled for failure to pay fees 12/29/2010.”

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"Contextual"

I wrote last week about Your New Home … Coming Soon at Market Street Landing and noted that the approved design looks a lot like the other large blocks in the neighborhood, only supersized, with an extra tower thrown in for good measure.  What is up with that thing?  It’s been a few years, but the tower was reported to have been originally conceived as a cross between the old Ballard City Hall tower and a lighthouse.  A lighthouse, really?  Don’t we have enough light at that intersection already, what with the traffic lights and the automated traffic cameras?

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The Rocket Apartments R.I.P?

OK.  Well, I’m confused.  Here are what I’m guessing will soon be the former Rocket Apartments in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.  Not just chain link, but Honey Bucket chain link, for added appeal.  I wrote here less than two months ago about the recent “rebranding” of The Rocket Apartments in Fremont, complete with new sign, new name, and some colorful paint, not to mention some new windows on the building closest to the Red Door Ale House.  The sign is gone; the new posts remain.  (Compare with the picture here.)

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Notice of Application

I’ve written a number of posts (here, here, and here) about relatively small-scale projects in Ballard — that is, projects that aren’t multi-story, mixed-use developments.  The large-scale mothballed projects in the neighborhood are obviously not hard to spot.  Just look for the huge vacant lots and chain-link fences.  Although not nearly as conspicuous, there are also smaller projects-in-waiting that are readily apparent if you live nearby.  It didn’t take a crystal ball or an internet connection to know that the developer that owns this house — or lot, as they probably view it — at 17th Ave and NW 59th Street has just been biding their time.

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Someone's getting paid off

Scooped again.  This time by the spectacularly incompetent Ballard News Tribune.  This is starting to become embarrassing.  I’ve tried to photograph this entertaining fence and house—I know, easy for me to say, I don’t live next door—on several occasions, but the light never seems to be quite right.  In the meantime, the Ballard News Tribune reports that the addition of “Sarah Palin 2012 – 2014 1/2” to the fence is “somewhat ironic” and a comment on Palin’s failure to serve her term as Alaska’s governor.

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