Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« The Saint | Face Front, True Believer! »

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

House of Hate

posted by on March 18 at 11:36 AM

The current negative response to Sterling Residence—which is on Queen Anne Avenue, and also at the center of this article—is apparently not as bad as the response another modernist house received when it was completed back in the early 90s:


The designer of the house, Larry Rouch, writes:

The back story on my Queen Anne House was much more dramatic than pB’s [Sterling Residence]. I was accused of causing the death of a neighbor by building the house, and this by a Seattle cop in person, in uniform, son of the deceased! Also the neighborhood took up a petition against the house and a big stink was made about it in the QA community newspaper. Another neighbor physically accosted me and Steve Holl, who was along for a drive by, because the house had no fireplace and asked: “What’s the matter with you, don’t you believe in Santa Claus?!!” We literally had to drive away with her hanging on my car. Another neighbor, a realtor, asked to review the plans before construction started, then politely informed me that she wouldn’t oppose the house if we would kindly remove the living room/study on the upper floor (the view side of the house). Yet another neighbor demanded that I review the house pans with his architect else he sue. The architect demanded a meeting and a copy of the plans. I told him to fuck himself.

The architectural hatred on Queen Anne is hardcore.

RSS icon Comments


I honestly would have punched that woman in the face. I never miss an opportunity to hit a woman who deserves it.

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 18, 2008 12:03 PM

Queen Anne sucks.

Pretentious, boring ass white people.

"There's no there there..."

Posted by michael strangeways | March 18, 2008 12:10 PM

Jeepers creepers... where did the Seattle Times get the parody spoof for the sleepers?

All seriousness aside wat's the problem with good 'ol Queen Anne architechture now? Is it unappealing?

Can you you see Ryan Blethyn behind the alley looking at the sun and the moon and the stars and his bowl of abc's?

Is there something about today's blood on the George W. Bush Courthouse door that we need to send a message out soon?

Catch all these stories and more in a gossip column near you today!!!

Listen in for the familiar sound of a Strangers voice and you too could be distracted from the FCC fight on swearing in public and infront of the judge!!

all this goes to say I have to much time on my hands and not enough will to get the fight on the stage...

Say hi to The Blue Moon Tavern for me and I'll be sure to stop in there as soon as I get paid with state funds so they can prove my illegitimacy in being able to defend my family against all the things we think I'm blaming Peter Buck for on Q magazine....

Long Live The Revolution and kick ass all you bands who want to protest the fucking over of Tibet by the media!!!!

I like Chinese food do you???

Posted by danielbennettkieneker | March 18, 2008 12:10 PM

"And it's not that I'm against new things. I have an open mind. But it's just wrong for the street." The Uptight Seattlite couldn't have said it better.

Posted by elenchos | March 18, 2008 12:13 PM

This is the idealized culmination of the Design Review Board mentality.

Posted by Fnarf | March 18, 2008 12:29 PM

Thank God for private property.

If the proletariat got to make all the aesthetic decisions, not one single building that Charles admires so much would get built unless the People's Design Review Committee approved.

Posted by Westside forever | March 18, 2008 12:36 PM

I can understand that a rare, close-in family neighborhood would defend its sense of turf. On the other hand, things are changing on top of QA. A lot of younger people are moving in up there and there's a lot of new biz and density-ensity construction going on on the strip. Bit of a culture clash with different bed times.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 18, 2008 12:39 PM

That sort of thing would never happen in a Marxist society. This obsession with material goods and their form is so bourgeois… Workers know that all the value of a building (or anything else) is derived only from the physical labor that creates it, so form has no meaning or value.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | March 18, 2008 12:55 PM

That house looks great, as does the Sterling Residence. Queen Anne is just overrun with soccer mom bullshit thinking.

Posted by Tiktok | March 18, 2008 12:59 PM

Loved the article about Sterling Residence, Charles - it was a wonderful mirror for Seattle's identity.

Posted by Soupytwist | March 18, 2008 1:00 PM

Queen anne would be a great testing area for the neutron bomb.

Posted by wisepunk | March 18, 2008 1:08 PM

Westside forever @6.

I love you man. The Queen Anne residents and homeowners opposed to stark architecture-school boxes are part of the hated "proletariat!" Rich.

Posted by cracked | March 18, 2008 1:12 PM

If these modern houses are so fucking great then why build them in the middle of a neighborhood of older houses? Don't the owners of the modern houses get depressed by the seascape of old that they must endure all day long? Or maybe they really like being surrounded by the old houses, they're just too fucking lazy to put up with a washer/dryer in the basement and a one-car garage?

Posted by qa | March 18, 2008 1:13 PM

The Sterling Residence is a fucking travesty, and an example of why the entire practice of avant garde architecture is so laughable to so many people. This is more architectural masturbation than a contribution to neighborhood space.

Posted by bma | March 18, 2008 1:18 PM

You didn't buy the NEIGHBORHOOD, you bought the space. Yes, you bought in to the neighborhood, but one does not BUY THE NEIGHBORHOOD. One does not owe it anything. One owes PROPERTY TAXES, one does not owe strangers of the neighborhood your aesthetic.

I loved your piece I usually hate your pieces =P

"more architectural masturbation than a contribution to neighborhood space."

Posted by Non | March 18, 2008 1:25 PM

bma @14 -

Sterling isn't architectural masturbation, it's trying a new aesthetic in an area dominated by the old. Like the Park Modern condos on the north part of the Ave, it looks out of place just because nothing new (in style or substance) has been built there in so long.

Frank Gehry, on the other hand, now THAT's architectural masturbation.

Posted by Hernandez | March 18, 2008 1:38 PM

@11 - I think you meant Saudi Arabia.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 18, 2008 2:08 PM

Fireplaces in homes can blow me. Old ones look really cool, but those don't do shit to heat your home and bring air quality to its knees.

I'd rather neighbor a completely out-of-place (for the neighborhood) modern home than a barely half-assed attempt to blend in, beige faux-chateau style home that seemed to be the only other option in 90's new construction.

The sense of entitlement the characters in that anecdote have is amazing.

Posted by Dougsf | March 18, 2008 2:49 PM

@ 14. I think you are laboring under a false impression that architectural value exists only in a physical dimension. Dude, it's art, and good art challenges our ideas and beliefs.

Posted by jackseattle | March 18, 2008 3:24 PM

"and Steve Holl, who was along for a drive by..."

And this is relevant to the story how? ah, nevermind... Keep trying to raise yo status, larry.

Posted by holz | March 18, 2008 3:47 PM

They're crazy! Lord knows what I'd do to live in an awesome house like that!

Posted by Wes | March 18, 2008 4:08 PM

The problem with trendy architecture is, like any trend, it often looks dated really quickly. You can give your parachute pants to Goodwill, but you're stuck with your house.

Posted by Orv | March 18, 2008 4:22 PM

man, my house doesn't have a fireplace...I kinda feel like a jerk now. Well, at least the FRONT YARD is paved over, in classic Ballard style.

Posted by nipper | March 18, 2008 4:55 PM

Every house from now on ever built in Seattle clearly must look like the empty shell of Manning's Restaurant. Or else.

Posted by Dr_Awesome | March 18, 2008 6:07 PM

People are serious fucking whiners. WAAAH! NIMBY!

Posted by w7ngman | March 18, 2008 6:21 PM

@22, well said.

Charles, I happen to know the Jen you spoke with for the article. Funny.

Posted by Tim | March 18, 2008 6:29 PM

If you guys think Puget Sound NIMBYism is bad, have a plate of Southern California community planning centers. You'll never eat again.

Posted by mackro mackro | March 18, 2008 8:25 PM

Isn't "physically" the only way to accost someone? 'Accost' isn't 'assault'.

The substance of all this hand wringing is just... not even worth thinking about.

Posted by Rick Lundenbergerstrom | March 19, 2008 8:47 AM

I just wanted to respond to the letter to the editor that showed up in today's Stranger. The second column about the Sterling Residence sights two large errors about density. 1st the home is zoned for single family so the density is all zoning allows, but the home also has an ADU (accesory dwelling unit) a rentable apartment. So the Sterling residence created more density than any other home on that street.

Posted by Dell | March 20, 2008 4:33 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).