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.
The Seattle times has a solid reputation of insipid reporting to protect. Maybe we should tear down that ugly building with the globe on it….
Oh, the takings poeple are back – what cave did they crawl out of? Just like Paul said the 1964 civil rights act was an illegal taking…I think someone legally took Paul’s brain…
Spokane is home to plenty of Democrats, like state senate majority leader Lisa Brown.
My Goldy Itches spews:
Its a blighted piece of shit, demolish the fucking thing!!!
I Got Nuthin spews:
I agree it was a dumb editorial, and only served to showcase the irrelevance of The Seattle Times (as if endorsing GWB, McGavick, Reichert, etc. wasn’t enough).
But, the landmark preservation process is equally irrelevant. Just look at the reproduction smoke stacks on the Zymogenetics building. Either it’s historic or not, that is, either it’s real or fake. To force new construction under the auspices of landmark preservation is like the old cliches of fighting for peace or fucking for virginity.
Fer gawd’s sake, everybody shaddup, let ’em tear the thing down, Clark can put a picture of it in his next volume of Vanishing Seattle and we can have done with it.
“they also gain access to all sorts of benefits that aren’t available to non-landmark buildings.”
I sure wish those of us srewed by the CAO could say that.
will – you need to sign up for the Seattle times just to be able to write in and tell them you are cancelling your subscription!
headless lucy spews:
It’s plenty more imaginative than the twin towers were. The only thing unique about the twin towers was that instead of one big stupid rectangle, there was an identical one right next to it.
After their untimely demolition, Rudy Giuliani called off all search efforts for the victim remains after the really important thing had been recovered: the gold reserves beneath the towers.
Adaptive usage is the point here. I don’t think we need to tear down every old building in Seattle to put up new cookie cutter style condos. If THAT is the solution to our housing problem, then were setting ourselves up for some mighty bigger problems in the future.
It may be ugly now, but when its the only googie diner left in the country, well….no it will still be ugly, but it will have meaning and history, and toursitic appeal, and no one can argue with that.
I understand the desire for people to want to cling to visual reminders of past times. But more important to the vibrancy of a community is the activities that occur inside the building. I can imagine that many who now want to preserve the old Denny’s building are the same people who would never have considered frequenting the business itself. As a cultural icon important to the fabric of the community I would argue that Sunset Bowl is more worthy of saving. Not because the structure is unique or important, but because of what happens inside the building, and the role it’s played in the community.
Will: yeah, we need housing. But what type of housing? More high-end cookie-cutter condos? They can’t sell half the ones already on the market. What we’re losing is affordable housing; in Ballard, where there’s tear-downs on every block, that goes double.
There are plenty of examples in Old Ballard (which is, I believe, a landmarked district) of creative ways to adapt old structures to new uses. I’m having a hard time seeing a similar use for Sunset Lanes (another victim of developer lust, a block away), but the Denny’s structure could surely be put to better use than a tear-down for another half-empty cube with a big “NOW LEASING” banner on it.
Hey headless lucy 24/7: “After their untimely demolition, Rudy Giuliani called off all search efforts for the victim remains after the really important thing had been recovered: the gold reserves beneath the towers.”
I read about the gold but your assertion is tremendously stupid. Got proof? Or is it some blog?
The problem is that 3/4 of the city is zoned for single family development only. That leaves only 1/4 to be divided up for other uses such as industrial, high-rise office, commercial and multifamily or mixed-use. If that equation doesn’t change, then all underutilized parcels of land where multifamily housing can be developed, ultimately will be developed, even if that means knocking down existing buildings. As for cookie cutter style buildings, that can largely be attributed to Seattle’s design review process. The City in its desire to legislate away ugly buildings has come up with a design formula that is spelled out in excruciating detail. The result is that most buildings look pretty much the same. To those who ask why are developers still building condos and apartments? Because despite the housing slump in the rest of the country, there are still jobs being created and people moving to Seattle. And people need housing. Just because there isn’t a feeding frenzy in the real estate market like there was two years ago doesn’t mean people aren’t still buying homes. They are. And with limited land available for development of housing in Seattle more old landmarks will be torn down to make room.
Some may feel this growth is bad for Seattle, but the flip side is a place like Detroit where the City is rotting away because no one wants to move there, and no one wants to invest in developing anything there.
The restoration of the Davenport followed by the Fox, and several other downtown “landmarks” in Spokane, has been accomplished through very bi-partisan efforts, fundraising, community involvement, and volunteerism. The benefits far outweigh anything else that could have happened on the sites, as the improvements have encouraged public art, public events, and increased visitation. From the art perspective it is the hidden treasures that have been uncovered that really are boon to the wellbeing of the whole community. Artisans of a hundred ago (and seventy years ago) created masterpieces that were subsequently covered up with plywood and sheet-rock; these have been restored and are now part of the commons, part of the greater community’s good works and deeds.
While an old roadhouse, later a Denny’s, may nor may not contain priceless works of art, the historicity of a commons space cannot be minimized or given a trivializing marketable value.
Dave Gibney spews:
Speaking of saving historic buildings
Roger Rabbit spews:
“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.”
I suppose, in protest, I could stop fishing the Times out of the trash baskets here in the park. That’ll teach ’em!
Roger Rabbit spews:
“As googies go, we’ll always have the Space Needle.”
Nah. If an earthquake doesn’t get it, it’ll rust out within a century or two after you humans are extinct and there’s no one to paint it.
Roger Rabbit spews:
Landmarking is merely an extension of zoning laws. If zoning laws can keep you from putting up a building, it’s only logical they can also keep you from tearing one down.
The Sage of Monticello spews:
But when they do, they took your property in that you can’t tear down your building.
That’s physical control. In any zone, you can tear down and rebuild.
Pretty big difference.
Also the landmarking swoops down and hits properties sort of selectively, the owner has no idea if he or she would be landmarked, while zoning codes are available and deal with entire um, zones.
Not saying the courts haven’t said landmarking is okay, obviously they have.
But it’s not like zoning.
It’s all about the money.
Greed, development in terms of “pave it all and let God sort it out,” courtesy of the BIAW and to a slightly lesser extent the Master Builders, and folks like the Seattle Times wanting to be on the side of a Seattle, a Puget Sound without any charm or uniqueness, but with a few extra greenbacks in certain people’s pockets. (Preferably their own.)
Look at what happened last year in the primary for the state supreme court. Look at what’s happening now in Renton, in Juanita, in Lake Forest Park. As these are among the few places left within Lake Washington relatively “underdeveloped”, that’s where there’s been a lot of interesting things going on. The Ballard Denny’s is relatively small beer by comparison.
If we really want to hurt the Seattle Times regarding this and their elitist, noninclusive attitude in general, the simplest thing we can do is stop going to their site. Once the numbers show that they aren’t getting the hits anymore, advertisers will demand discounts.
Like I said, it’s about the money.
Proud bs'ing troll. spews:
If you libs yapped a little more about the overpopulation problem, and a little less about global warming, maybe there wouldn’t be so much overdevelopment. Or is telling people that having more than 2 kids is ruining the earth a PC no-no? Yer probably afraid it sounds racist or something.
Oh, and I love how Knute danced around the issue of the EMP last night. Inconsistent phony. If you’re going to save the Denny’s because it was designed by a famous dude, you have to save the EMP for the same reason.
Perfect Voter spews:
Knute Berger, I think it was, on Goldy’s weekend radio program, had the best idea: Preserve the historic building, and allow the developer to build all of his “development right” on the rest of his property. Developer gets just as many square feet of new project, and the historic building is preserved.
Density lovers should like this. The only problem/issue is: finding a suitable and cost-effective use (reuse) for the preserved building.
Broadway Joe spews:
Cultural and architectural history aside, it’s still a giant pile of fugly. But it’s a damn sight better than another soulless block of condos that only have about a fifty percent chance of being fully sold and occupied.
I think we should make everywhere I’ve had a cheap burger with below average service a landmark. When is the now vacant Minnie’s going to become a landmark?
Charlie Smith spews:
Benaroya has got to try being straight: If they want their lawyers to apply for landmark status and blow it, they should tell them to blow it!