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Friday, October 19, 2007

Eye Sores

posted by on October 19 at 21:16 PM

Do you live in or near a butt-ugly condo/townhouse development? Y’know, one that reallllllly doesn’t fit into the neighborhood. Where’s it at? We want to know.

Conversely, do you live near or in a beautiful development? Where’s it at? We want to know.

Leave a comment or send me an email.

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I'm kind of fond of some of the condos on Bellevue Ave E in the blocks immediately north of Denny Way. Of course, they don't really fit into the neighborhood, but that's mostly because the surrounding apartment buildings are hideous.

Posted by jon | October 19, 2007 9:32 PM

I'm sure you're already familiar with the much-maligned Vertigo on E Republican, with its unfortunate name (how about "Tinnitus" for the next one?), more unfortunate advertising materials, and even yet more unfortunate color scheme.

Posted by tsm | October 19, 2007 10:05 PM

i live near both.

the fremont lofts @ 39th & evanston are phenomenal, walk up the drive to the alleyway for an italian-esque exoerience.

just up the hill is one of the fugliest condo developments (well, they've had sex at least a few dozen times, their offspring can be foudn wrecking a neighborhood near you) or down the hill is the recently remodeled project featuring a stone soffit. i repeat, stone basically gorilla glued, to the ceiling. i smell a lawsuit waiting to happen.

we really need a design review board or some kind of oversight so that all of fremont doesn't become cook-cutter shitty as wood condos that won't last the next wind storm.

Posted by holz | October 19, 2007 10:12 PM

A stone soffit? You are shitin' me right? where is this?

Posted by jamesb | October 19, 2007 10:22 PM

Lumen on the bottom of Queen Anne is just LAME. The 20ft sandwiches stuck to the side of it doesn't help it's street appeal either. Yummy!

Posted by bc | October 19, 2007 10:28 PM

check out the corner of 17th and Spring...beautiful street coming from Union down 17th...then on the corner of spring, a fucking grove of townhouses...bad enough that they are all cookie cutter replicas...but they have to cram 6 of them to a lot.

Posted by curiousadam | October 19, 2007 10:39 PM

don't forget "the mezzo" on denny and boylston... yuck

Posted by kinkos | October 19, 2007 11:33 PM

Does it have to be in Seattle, or is this one of those 'Can't Seattle be more like _______?' features?

Posted by Rottin' in Denmark | October 20, 2007 12:15 AM

I think everything is butt-ugly and doesn't fit into "the" neighborhood.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 20, 2007 12:35 AM

North 85th St. to 90th St., Aurora to Wallingford. It was one of the earliest places to go through the change. It went from nice single family homes to ugly townhouses. All. Bleh.

Posted by Al | October 20, 2007 7:36 AM

the biltmore on summit is wonderful-- i have the pleasure of having it as the focal point of my view from my window at the st florence on denny. too bad that starbucks is next to it....

Posted by Kim | October 20, 2007 8:39 AM

@8: I hope this is focused on Seattle area and not look to Europe/Vancouver/etc. I'd love to know of good design around here.

Also, I second the Fremont Lofts. Gorgeous. The architects are Johnston Architects:

Posted by please | October 20, 2007 9:00 AM

Seconding on the 85th NE area, that is the ugliest neighborhood in Seattle. Every block dozens of vinyl clad, 3 story detatched townhouses with plastic faux-craftsman trim. Four to a lot that previously had one single family house. Because the driveways and garages are too small for any auto larger than a Mini Cooper, each lot adds four to eight cars to the residential street. Each block has 6 to 12 lots converted to 4 town houses. At least 18 more cars on the street(assuming the six sf houses each had one parked on the street).
This seems to be the development "Old Seattle" prefers. They fight real apartment or condo buildings on arterials next to bus stops, blocks away from their own single family house. Too much traffic! Taking away all the parking! in front of MY favorite coffee shop! And they get all anxious about residential towers downtown, because that will mean they can't park at a meter on their bi-monthly shopping trip.
While the zoning codes allow these POC townhouses without a review. Are the so-called neighborhood activists waiting for some developer to buy their house?

That said, Columbia City has new, nice looking attached townhouses, on a former parking lot behind the restaurants on Rainier. They have better looking exterior materials but their modern architecture would probably offend old Seattle. Since they are attached, they have more interior space and garages large enough for one average size car. Hopefully the garages will be used for parking instead of more storage. Of course these aren't cheap.

Posted by anna | October 20, 2007 10:03 AM

There are a group of homes (townhouses? Condos? apts? I dont' know...) on Federal Way on the north end of the hill that I really like. They're oriented in a very non-symmetrical way, use rich, deep blues, olive greens and other colors and have a gardeny feel. I dig 'em.

Posted by Dod | October 20, 2007 10:16 AM

The NoMa development on 24th in Ballard - just North of Market (obviously) - is terrible. It's right next to thst dilapidated QFC, and it's too tacky even for Ballard.

Posted by Ballard | October 20, 2007 10:18 AM

This is a lil' story I was told by a former tenant
of the Vertigo Condos at 704 east republican
Apparently a little old lady whom having lived there 20 odd years was kicked out for the now rather pedestrian reason of not being able to buy her unit.
When the developers asked her what she thought of the paint job they had done to the facade, she dismissively said, " It gives me Vertigo".
And they liked her comment so much, they named the condo Vertigo.
So they also thumb their noses at the elderly.

Posted by orangekrush | October 20, 2007 11:29 AM

@5, I second the Lumen. Looks like a buch of FEMA trailers stuck on top of a QFC.

I do like the new Mosler Lofts. It fits with the area, has a nice combination of brick, steel and glass, and most importantly, none of that disgusting, cheap-looking metal flashing that is being stuck to the sides of apartment buildings all over Seattle. I also like the four townhomes on Madison and 27th. There are so many faux-craftsman townshacks being built in this neighborhood, and the building stands out as an example of what could be done if a competent architect was in charge. They fit in terms of scale, are well-built, and the color scheme works with the surroundings.

Posted by rb | October 20, 2007 12:44 PM

My wife and I bought a 1914 Craftsman style home in West Seattle (just off of Delridge close to Skylark), we purchased it from a developer that
had just flipped it while adding about five large townhouses sorrounding it. Halfway down the block there are three more townhouses currently in construction that so far look similar. We actually think
the homes look relatively nice, they appear to be loosely modeled
after our Craftsman and seem to fit in nicely. Our attitude is that
townhouses are a practical design for a city growing in density,
hopefully making homeownershop accessible to more people as land
values increase.

Posted by todd | October 20, 2007 12:53 PM

I am at 74th and linden, right behind beth's cafe. WE have had 4 town homes join the area in the last year, and they sold within 1 month of completion. I now have gotten 2 DPD notices, we are getting 8 more soon, and I see constuction/delveloper teams scouting the neighborhood houses all the time. At least I have parking.

Posted by wisepunk | October 20, 2007 1:00 PM

the harbor properties (ellipse and helix) in the u-district have the ugliest color schemes EVER. they look TOTALLY out of place. i like the architecture and the increased density they bring to that part of the hood, but damn, who the hell would choose colors like that? somebody was on autopilot for that one.

i dont live there but i needed to vent.

Posted by Cale | October 20, 2007 2:21 PM

I agree about the grove of townhouses at 17th and Spring. The developers had an opportunity to do something cool but instead cheaped out and built an eye sore. They're 1990s beige with white trim and shaped like one of those top-heavy commuter mugs. Also a too-tall unpainted fence abuts the sidewalk, totally shirking community. It looks like only one townhouse has sold since construction completed more than a month ago. At night, all but one unit is dark.

Posted by H | October 20, 2007 3:05 PM

I live next to a butt ugly giant structure named Ken Hutcherson. It blocks out the sun and makes horrible sounds. Its also attracting a lot of Russians who are littering my yard with Vodka bottles. Make it go away.

Posted by the troll | October 20, 2007 9:33 PM

the under arms, up near where madison/pike/pine converge. it is both beautiful and hideous, all at the same time.

Posted by superyeadon | October 21, 2007 11:06 AM

I lived in a gorgeous old house on Fremont Ave and 46th, which is currently being turned into some more baby crap colored townhomes.

Like Fremont needs any more of those.
We can't get back our old houses Seattle!

Posted by abbey | October 21, 2007 3:31 PM

What if you know of a townhome that replaced a butt ugly old house with enough garbage in the backyard that it looked like a dump? What if four families now live on this same lot instead of the one person who lived in this big old house that he couldn't maintain? And the former owner of the single-family home that was torn down got enough money to live in a new condo that he doesn't have to maintain and has enough money that he doesn't have to worry about things? And what if some of the new townhome residents moved in from the suburbs so they can bike or ride the bus to work instead of drive, allowing for the density that is needed to stop global warming and urban sprawl? And who do you think lived on the lot that your shitty-ass studio apartment with the rising rents sits on? Do you think it just sprang from old growth forest in the 1920s? It replaced a single-family home, you hypocrite. I don't think for a second that any of you wouldn't jump into the ugliest looking townhome on the hill in a second if you could afford it.

Posted by Justy | October 21, 2007 4:19 PM

the project @ 45th and Bagley in the Wallingford is an excellent example of a large mixed use project fitting into the neighborhood. Another great example of new multifamily is a project called The Opal on capital hill just south of Madison near the radio towers. It a brick contemporary condo @ 1605 E. Pike St. I tried to buy a unit there when it first went on the market but was sold out.

Posted by JJ | October 21, 2007 5:21 PM

Poulsbo Place is adorable and candy-colored.

Posted by giantladysquirrels | October 22, 2007 8:18 AM

While I don't live there, there are some choice examples of BAAAAAAD ideas of how to design the exterior of a condo/townhome one 11th Ave. NE between 50th & 65th.

Posted by ick | October 22, 2007 9:19 AM

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