Slog: News & Arts

RSS icon Comments on Designs So Nice, They’re Building Them Twice


twins are hot, man...everyone has a twins fantasy...

Posted by michael strangeways | February 14, 2008 3:38 PM

too thick. need to be thinner.

and why does everything in seattle have to be so furiously modulated? smooth surfaces can be nice.

Posted by max solomon | February 14, 2008 3:55 PM

more excellent work, mr. holden!

Posted by dpa | February 14, 2008 3:56 PM

@1, not those of us with siblings.

Posted by Giffy | February 14, 2008 4:02 PM

Doesn't the Seattle skyline have enough of this BS?

Posted by nbc | February 14, 2008 4:03 PM
Posted by nbc | February 14, 2008 4:06 PM

are there really enough people moving to seattle (either from the suburbs or from outside wa) who can afford the prices of these snazzy new towers? i have a feeling that in about 5 years, there's going to be a crap ton of overpriced empty glass-condo inventory.

Posted by Judith | February 14, 2008 4:17 PM

Great post, thanks for continuing to feed my inner skyscraper geek.

Posted by geekboy | February 14, 2008 4:23 PM

The Westin towers aren't twins. One tower is shorter, and ten years older. The older one used to have a Trader Vics, but they closed it for an "upscale" sushi restaurant that is now closed. I still haven't gotten over it.

I just thought you should know that.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | February 14, 2008 4:35 PM

Giffy, I'd have to agree with you...In theory, doing it with sexy twins SOUNDS hot; in reality, it's kind of oooky.

Posted by michael strangeways | February 14, 2008 4:35 PM

More condos, no inexpensive residential rental apartments ...

Sad, very sad.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 14, 2008 5:02 PM

I remember when the Westin (was it called the Olympic then?) was a single tower, and I'm still not used to seeing two there.

I agree with Max @2. The problem with these has nothing to do with trivialities like design and style; it has to do with how they relate to the street; and the number one problem with how they relate to the street is that they TAKE UP TOO MUCH BLOCK. The city should stop futzing around with stupid design rules that do nothing and RESTRICT THE FOOTPRINTS. Go as high as you want, but don't take up the whole block -- forbid it. Our blocks are too big as it is -- bigger than most other cities -- and the masses should change as you move along the block.

The Heron and Pagoda towers are freaking hideous. They should have forced them to develop them as three separate parcels, or better yet five or six, with different architects and different developers. The towers' identical ugliness doesn't bother me half as much as that gigantic mass at the base that craps on Fifth Avenue and all the people who might ever walk there.

Posted by Fnarf | February 14, 2008 5:11 PM

density, yes.
affordable apartments, YES.
overpriced CONDOS to generate more treacly bullshit in the saturday real estate section ("mere steps from the theatre! host a wine-and-cheese party in the entertainment lounge!")? turning downtown into a sunless clausterphobic wind tunnel? pushing the last shards of working-class reality into the periphery?
it makes me feel nostalgic, bitter,
pissed off, and really fucking poor.
and it makes these projects look incredibly ugly.
seattle in 10 years: a retirement community of affluent caucasians, wondering where their fabulous city went.

Posted by pretentious | February 14, 2008 5:30 PM

1200 Stewart looks like a two-fer on Sharper Image room air de-ionizers. All the others, save one, are "meh."

The only standout-- Heron & Pagoda's central court is amazing. That's a fantastic looking space.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | February 14, 2008 6:31 PM

#12 FNARF -

The original tower of the Seattle Westin was The Washington Plaza Hotel. It was built in the 1960s after the parcel owner made room by demolishing the gorgeous old Orpheum Theater:

Posted by Slip Mahoney | February 14, 2008 7:05 PM

Washington Plaza, of course. That was it.

Posted by Fnarf | February 14, 2008 7:08 PM

Jubilation @14 -- what are you seeing? It doesn't look fantastic to me, unless the Convention Center or Pacific Place counts as fantastic. Which they don't. It looks hideous to me.

Posted by Fnarf | February 14, 2008 7:11 PM

@12: fnarf nails the issue regarding block size. Most of the blocks in the regrade are 360 feet long, compared to the 200 foot blocks in Portland's Pearl District that urban designers nationwide drool over.

When one of these superblocks is redeveloped, we get a once in lifetime -- literally -- chance to break these blocks up, ideally with new ROW's across the middle. Of course, it ain't gonna happen in a culture where property rights rule.

The scale of development on the street matters more than how many towers above. Full-block projects destroy the diversity of architectural style, building age, affordability, use, and occupants. And this is why people tend to like development like this, but loathe development like what's happening on the 500 block of East Pine.

Posted by Henry Miller Lite | February 14, 2008 9:23 PM

Oh Poo! Slip beat me to answering your question. But just to add to the triviality, Fnarf, The Olympic Hotel (now the Fairmont Olympic) was a Western International Hotel in those days, as was the Washington Plaza, so perhaps that's why you're confused.

(Western International was the former name of Westin, which used to be a Seattle-based company, based out of the Westin Building, which now has absolutely no relation to the hotel)

Prior to the construction of the Westin Building, they were headquartered out of a grim building where the W hotel now stands, with executive offices on the top floor of the Olympic.

Never underestimate my ability to bore you.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | February 14, 2008 9:26 PM

@17: Haha, I got to write "at 17"...I'm a lesbian.

Um, Fnarf, all I can say is vive la différence.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | February 14, 2008 9:33 PM

Catalina, you never bore, and if you do, I can bore right back. Don't MAKE me get out my city directories and post block-by-block narratives again.

The history of Seattle hotels is a lot more interesting than most of what goes on around here.

Posted by Fnarf | February 14, 2008 11:34 PM

Why do so many white folk want to live downtown?

Y'all is crazy.

Posted by Shaniqua | February 15, 2008 8:10 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).