It's a house out of a dream!

It's a house out of a dream!
Unknown Carpenter Gothic home

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Razed and Put Right Back Together Again

I grew up in Seattle and spent many years carpooling past the William O McKay Ford and Pacific Lincoln Mercury Showroom buildings. Built in the 1920's, they were sort of like a lost sad sagging wedding cake among a drab stretch of the city; nothing like the construction boom enveloping South Lake Union today. A few years ago, when heading home for some holiday, I was kinda pissed when I noticed that the buildings were completely gone. Just gone. What I didn't know was that the buildings were registered historic in 2006 and what was replacing them would include them. So fast forward a few years when I saw the shiny new Allen Institute for Brain Science and Allen Institute for Cell Science buildings rise from the site. Only there was something odd. There was a flat concrete wall right at the sidewalk that was the exact shape and size of that beautiful pile. Naturally I took to "the Google" and found that the original structures, all 2,760 pieces of terra cotta, had been painstakingly removed and were going back. Well this Thanksgiving I again passed right by and pulled off to take some photos. What's even more amazing is it's not even really Facadism. There's an entirely reconstructed interior. Every piece just as it was. This is what we should expect of respectful builders in historic parts of the city. Without these 2 buildings if you stand at the corner there would be nothing more than 5 years old to be seen. Even the roads in the area have been entirely rerouted, widened, and even their directions altered. Paul Allen has financial ties to Portland so I wonder if we could have something this amazing here too.

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