Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Three Bodies Removed from Crys... | Saudi Morality Police Arrest 2... »

Monday, June 23, 2008

Denny on First Avenue and University Street

posted by on June 23 at 10:20 AM


What’s your name?
Denny Collins

How long have you lived in the Diller Hotel?
16 years.

What was it like when you first moved in?
It was more like a flophouse then; this was skid row. This whole area has changed—the art museum, the famous Hammering man, Harbor Properties, the new Four Seasons Olympic Hotel, and on and on.

What was the rent the day you moved in?
[Long pause, then laughter] It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten!

How much has the rent gone up in 16 years?
I would say the rent, in 16 years, has gone up probably about double, 100 percent. Which is really good.

When I rented here a few years ago it was $325, and how I miss that price. What types of people are hanging out down here compared with a decade ago?
Most people are more tourist types. The ones that have moved into the area are the more, if I can use the word, “yuppie” type, with more money. I do feel safer now, but I miss the old days when it was lively, with a little mote partying, and more happy-go-lucky people. People now are a little less friendly. They get to be the big-city “yuppie” type, if I can use that word.

I know this used to be a hotel—has there has always been that vibe of people moving in and out so frequently?
Oh yeah, a lot of people in and out all the time. The top floor was actually a bordello when it was first built. That tells you what it used to be like here on First Avenue.

The Diller is the last of its kind on First Avenue.
Even the old hotel where the Lusty Lady is doesn’t rent rooms anymore. Yeah, so we are the last one left, I would say, from Pioneer Square all the way to Denny Way, especially on First Avenue. The building is family owned, so they fought to keep it, but they had to fight some pretty hard battles with all the big influence coming around on the block… The Seattle Art Museum, Harbor Properties—the really super rich and big-money people.

Will this building be around for another 10 years?
Oh, no. You can see here on this block, this is the only original thing left. Big money is gonna win here, too.

RSS icon Comments


Brayden, your character studies are one of my favorite Slog features. More, please.

Posted by kerri harrop | June 23, 2008 10:41 AM

that building is a Hotel? i had no idea - i thought it was apts.

Posted by max solomon | June 23, 2008 10:54 AM

agree with @1, this should be a weekly entry, if not already. side note: that is a trippy-ass photo... "yaletown sofa" seems to almost be hovering over his head, halo-like.

Posted by jameyb | June 23, 2008 10:55 AM

Look for Character Study almost every Monday morning. You can also click on the green "Character Study" tag to see the entire series.

Posted by Amy Kate Horn | June 23, 2008 10:59 AM

enough with the craniums under word arches!

Posted by that is not a halo | June 23, 2008 11:11 AM

@2 - I think it is apartments. It just has hotel in the name?

Posted by Ryan on Summit | June 23, 2008 11:12 AM

whoa, i also wrote that comment before reading #3

Posted by creepy | June 23, 2008 11:12 AM

Great photo -- the B&W, the framing in the doorway... very haunting

Posted by Jason Josephes | June 23, 2008 11:39 AM

Is the Character Study in the print edition? I'd start picking up the paper again, if so. Thanks, Brayden.

Posted by Devin | June 23, 2008 11:42 AM

Nope, it's a Slog column.

Posted by Amy Kate Horn | June 23, 2008 12:01 PM

good little series, good interviews, interesting folks and very nice pics.

when that place is gone, and becomes sound view condos, this little gem of an interview will live on.

Posted by SeMe | June 23, 2008 12:03 PM

I heart the Character Studies. They are fab on Slog and would be great in the print edition as well. This one might be my favorite.

Posted by genevieve | June 23, 2008 12:22 PM

Actually, Denny, quite a few places in that area rent rooms: Hotel Alexis, The W, The Inn at the Market, Hotel 1000, Hotel Monaco.

Posted by john cocktosin | June 23, 2008 1:09 PM

Fuck, someone tear that shit hole down and build high priced rental units that will start at $1700.00 for a studio! And that riff raff get out of downtown!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | June 23, 2008 1:54 PM

My 19th birthday (1992) was spent in the corner apartment on the third floor, and a week later I did the strongest LSD imaginable there. I spent a few hours watching patron after patron coming out of the Lusty Lady, every damn one with their hands in their pockets.
Thanks for the memories.

Posted by bronkitis | June 23, 2008 3:38 PM

Hey, doesn't somebody need to tell Denny that "yuppie" is an obsolete word?

Unless he's using it accurately, of course. If anybody in that neighborhood in Seattle matches the description lately.

Posted by CP | June 23, 2008 4:27 PM

Just because it's inevitable doesn't mean it doesn't suck... The sound we're hearing is the sound of original Seattle dwindling away....

Great piece, Brayden... Thank you...

Posted by merry | June 23, 2008 11:15 PM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.