Like Goldy, I read the Times goofy-ass editorial about the building that formerly housed a Denny’s in Ballard. It’s editorials like these that would make me cancel my subscription. If I had one.
In the editorial, the paper announces that they don’t find the building all that special:
The Denny’s restaurant building in Ballard is not valuable enough to be saved — at least, not with public money or through a process of involuntary landmarking. Its owner should be allowed to sell the property to developers of housing, which the city needs.
Now, even if you disagree with this statement, it is, at it’s core, a reasonable one to make. We do need more housing, and as historic buildings go, I wouldn’t miss it that much. Maybe that makes me a philistine, but so be it. As googies go, we’ll always have the Space Needle. (On the flip side, while I usually goof on Skip Berger once in a while, I respect the fact that he seems to have single-handedly saved this building. Props.)
Then the Times goes on to make total asses of themselves:
The other problem with landmarking the old Denny’s is the process itself. Involuntary landmarking amounts to a partial taking of the owner’s property without compensation, for reasons that are at bottom political.
That is some stupid-ass reasoning. First off, the landmarking process is a long one. While owners of properties designated for landmark status may technically “lose” some rights to make changes to a building’s structure, they also gain access to all sorts of benefits that aren’t available to non-landmark buildings. Besides, if it weren’t for the landmarking process, how many of these buildings would be dust?
Besides, I don’t know what’s so political about saving landmark buildings. While Seattle liberals are proud to have saved the Pike Place Market, Spokane Republicans proudly show off the recently remodeled Davenport Hotel. While the big money interests in both towns wouldn’t have minded tearing down two old relics, good folks stood against it.
The Seattle Times, and the lazy libertarians who seem to be running the joint, should know better. It’s only a matter of time before their headquarters is designated a landmark for stupidity.