How wonderful for the residents of the townhouses before which Mayor Puddin'face delivered his proclamation...they will forever be known as THE ugly Seattle townhouses. I guess he won't get their votes?
He should have done that from City Hall. I feel sorry for the people in those units.
This whole line of discussion seems incoherent.
@1: Larry points out in a post below that one of those residents is none other than local hip hop treasure Jake One. And, he is holding up a Sonics jersey.
The mayor is a jackass.
Who is the city to call anything ugly? Who is the city to legislate the "ugliness" away? The city is here to keep us safe and prosperous. Yes, at times that means requiring some civic mindedness in the building code. These new measures may make the buildings friendlier to the street but they will not make them less ugly or less "cookie cutter".
You won't find any ego packed commentary digressing from me here about my personal perspectives and rants and hammering at the city and it's love affair with itself and it's political cultural conflagellations with law and prosecution puzzles.
Today I believe The Stranger can handle that all by yourselves.
Is their any other poly on ploy off pile in to my brain teletype i'm space chatter you'd like to add while or after I leave this site and give Peter Gabriels site an update??
If so please send your I'm space mind fills to
www.GeorgeW.Bush.org and maybe the U.S. Government can give Bush his Brain back.
On second thought, I did not like the way Thursday July 3, 2008
Seattle Post Intelligencer
used my mind or e-mail list given to The Seattle Times Frank Blethyn's
front security desk....
( actually it was my name and 1 e-mail address and I fully believe it is possible that he paid for a background check to see what the big deal is all about with one little problem Seattle Native Born Home-eee.)
and then pulled pulled pulled some of the usual ROVEisms and OBAMA newisms to paint predjudice onto the face and minds of the uninitiate.
Maybe I can't buy an election but I can comment on the press commenting on what it won't comment on.
And since they won't contact me, and I can't afford to take them to court,
....and they can't prove I need therapy since I am not an ax murderer,
....I guess we are at a stand still as to if they will admit that they aren't responsible for some bleed through from the
BRAILLE LIBRARY SYSTEM TOUCH TONE TELEPHONE CALL INFO LINE HACKERS IN MY BRAIN MYSPACE / I'M SPACE VOCALIZATION TRANSLATION ADVERTISING SYNAPSE TRANS- NUERAL NETWORKING PATHWAY SOLIDIFICATION PROCESS FROM EARLY MORNING ALL DAY LONG POWER BEAM FOCUS SATTELITE TECHNOLOGY DENIAL REPORTS on my skull.
@5, either you're an interesting new spam system or you need to lay off the drugs.
@6, you haven't met our own DBK yet? He's a Slog legend. He apparently doesn't like taking his antipsychotic medicine.
A couple of points about the mayor's announcement, besides the obvious one that he's a fucking shithead. He's calling for WIDER DRIVEWAYS! The kooks who are whispering in his ear want BIGGER AND MORE paved space in the middle of these things, not less.
Secondly, there is not a scrap of evidence that anyone who has ever been employed by the city in the past 50-odd years has the design sense of a rotting corpse, so it's unclear what they're going to be reviewing WITH. Is there going to be anyone on this board with proven urbanist credentials? Is there such a thing as proven urbanist credentials?
Thirdly, great design is EXPENSIVE, which is why you don't see a lot of it in INEXPENSIVE housing.
Fourthly, these "horrible" new developments are no worse and in many cases better than previous spates of apartment and condo building in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. If you drive around Ballard's apartment houses, or up Greenwood north of, say, 90th, or any of a hundred other places in the city, you'll see shitty buildings all over the place. Nobody cares, because DESIGN ISN'T IMPORTANT. The buildings fade into the background after a year or two, and you'll never notice them again -- which is what buildings are SUPPOSED TO DO.
Lastly, or lastly for now I suppose, I guarantee that any post-design-review projects will be MUCH UGLIER than the pre-design-review ones are. And they'll cost $30,000 more. And another hundred city employees will be needed to maintain this farce.
Fnarf, ugly buildings are killing Seattle. There is no price you can put on the aesthetic integrity of Seattle. We should hire 1000 employees if it'll preserve the architecture style pervasive in Seattle.
You assert, but here and historically, that these Townhomes are "ugly" and "flimsy."
Can you quantify either charge? What's the metric by which you'll have this travesty fixed?
Much as I hate seeing ubiquitous ugly apartments--and I do!--Fnarf @7 is exactly right.
The only hope I can see is that a spike in bad PR will prompt developers to start socializing design costs and using the same talent on affordable housing as for higher-end projects.
I know, let's not build 40 to 100 story inexpensive residential rental apartment buildings, so we can drive up the cost of townhouses even further in the city and ship all the poor and middle class out of the city ...
That said, most areas are zoned for 2-4 stories and are only really using 1 story in this city. And along arterials most are zoned 4-6 story or higher ...
Vancouver BC had the same problem in the 80s with the Vancouver Specials. Builders build to max their profits, not to make it pretty.
I agree with both Timothy and Fnarf. The uproar about shitty townhouses seems utterly incoherent, and the townhouses don't seem any worse than the shitty apartment buildings that were built in the '60s and '70s. This is just a non-issue, and it's painful to watch the political dance around it.
dbk makes sense I tell you, he makes sense. I like to picture him as Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory.
"Thirdly, great design is EXPENSIVE, which is why you don't see a lot of it in INEXPENSIVE housing."
I disagree with fnarf on this point. This one only cost $5000 (back in the day, but still...):
Great design can be inexpensive (a newbie architect looking to make a name for themselves), as can great construction using readily available, pre-fab, low-cost materials.
Great design can be inexpensive (a newbie architect looking to make a name for themselves)
Sure, it can be inexpensive. That notional talented newbie will be the rare exception, though.
Most cheap designers are anything but great, and prioritizing cheap design over good design has predictable results.
Please help!! I was forced to buy a shitty townhouse!! Everyone is to blame except ME!!
- Stranger Socialist World View
And another hundred city employees will be needed to maintain this farce
ding ding ding!
@15 -- Completely agree, in principle. It requires some homework to find that talented newbie.
But there's more talent out there than you might suspect. Many of the poor drones working in the big firms have some great ideas they are not allowed to exercise in service to their box-building overlords. Many of them would jump at the chance to do a "bootleg" project.
Jube @18, you make a good point. I'm not optimistic such trapped talent could realistically be put to widespread effective use, but I'd love to be wrong.
First, everyone stop saying "townhomes". Second, those townhouses remind me of Kent.
@14, that $5500 was half again the average price of a new home in 1936. That's something like $600,000 in modern-day King County.
@21 -- Yes, fnarf, I'm well aware of your immutable position that there is no such thing -- no POSSIBLE such thing -- as affordable design. We've been over this road before. Frankly, I cannot believe you haven't swooped down on this thread already.
(BTW -- $600,000 is affordable housing to me.)
Well that makes one of you.
Bully for you - the rest of us can move to Tacoma, I guess.
C'mon down y'all to 1229 and 1231 - 42nd Ave. E. in Mad Park to see the $2.3 million UGLY houses. Look for the rainbow of triangle streamers surrounding the lots and borr'yed from Jack's Ak-shun Kar Haus on Aurora. The poor neighbors (okay, they're not REALLY poor). Bad housing design, be it apartments in Greenwood or Faux Chateaus in Washington Park with NO GREEN SPACE, isn't limited by price. The above-mentioned spec houses look like some public health clinics from the 50s wedged into what was a liveable area (and I don't live in that 'hood but rather in a '60s condo that likely was looked at as an eyesore 4o years ago and perhaps today). Sure, if eyesores can be hidden by landscaping, that can help a lot. But many of these faux chateaus don't provide room for large trees (they leave nasty leaves and are threats when there are winter storms, anyway). So the crappy large 3 and 4-story houses surround themselves with high walls or shrubbery. GO TEAM GO!
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