Boom Looking Down on the Olympic Sculpture Park
posted by November 16 at 15:50 PMon
The best thing about the Olympic Sculpture Park is Wake—graceful and industrial. The worst thing about the Olympic Sculpture Park is the concrete warehouse right behind Wake—a “historical site.”
Behold them both.
And say goodbye to the ugly box. Constructed in 1939 for Glaser Brothers, purveyors of wholesale cigars and tobacco, the utilitarian one-story building at 3031 Western Avenue is now used as a parking garage. The Department of Neighborhoods calls it one of the category 4 historical sites, which “have been so altered that they would not qualify as Seattle landmarks.” But according to city data, there have been few alterations to the property. It’s just ugly.
Good riddance. Martin Selig, Seattle’s most infamous developer and delinquent payer of electricity bills, owns the site. And earlier this month he paid $2,370 to start the application process to obtain a master use permit. The preliminary proposal, says Michael Dorcy of the city’s Department of Planning and Development, is for a 14-story, 78-unit apartment building. Here’s a rendering.
More after the jump.
Here's the side view. Wake would be in the bottom left corner.
This is the description on Selig’s Web site.
While the project is in an early programming and conceptual stage, the vision calls for layers of glass “veils” with various degrees of translucency and transparency to create an ephemeral and ever-changing canvas for light and shadow as viewed from the park. Balconies of each unit will feature floor-to-ceiling glass, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces while providing further solar shading and privacy.
In other words, residents will be able to gaze at Wake without people gazing back at them. Those folks looking at Wake, however, will feel like they’re in a fishbowl even more than they already do. Constructing residential property is a shift for Selig, whose 20 other Downtown spaces are primary rented as offices. Residential buildings are allowed up to 125' at that site; commercial developments are only allowed up to 65', says Dorcy.
I’ve placed calls to Selig Real Estate and the architects, Ruffcorn Mott Hinthorne and Stine – designers of the crucifix-themed IDX Tower – to ask about the plans, and will update if I hear back.
DPD has scheduled an initial meeting for design guidance, open to the public, on Tuesday, January 8.
BONUS: Commenter Dr. Awesome points out that the parking garage, in addition to being ugly, is creepy as hell. He's totally right. Here's a picture--sadly, you can't see the foreboding wooden owl hanging from the ceiling just outside the frame.