Boom Last Days
posted by July 13 at 21:04 PMon
Several businesses on Broadway are vacating their spaces tonight to make way for construction of the light-rail station. As psyched as I am for real mass transit in Seattle, I’m really sad these gorgeous old buildings will be demolished. Most are two-story brick gents—the sort with details and materials too expensive for new construction. The most nostalgic of these losses, by far, is the space occupied by Vivace Rosteria.
So long, Vivace. And so long former site of Pizza Haven and that nail salon and the piroshky place… I don’t think I’m just being sentimental about Capitol Hill, either. On Eighth Avenue and Seneca Street, the wrecking ball is halfway done leveling this old brick building, which is three blocks from this recently demolished brick building on First Hill. I know I do a lot of the cheerleading for new development here on the Slog, but it’s one thing when a ’50s duplex is razed or a parking lot is transformed into something more useful, but it’s pretty mournful when solid old buildings with local businesses are taken out. Even if losing these few spaces on Broadway was inevitable—I’m really excited for light rail—or if they could have been spared is a moot point. Seattle needs a better mechanism in the future for preserving these old buildings—the ones that wouldn’t qualify as historic landmarks but have the sort of character and quality new construction always lacks. Maybe disincentive to redevelop those sites through some sort of zoning penalty, a bonus for developers who renovate old buildings, or maybe zoning incentive to build somewhere else… Any ideas?