I began this week serving on Jury duty at the King County Superior court in downtown Seattle. At lunch time, I made a beeline to Ivars on the waterfront for some fast, delicious, and artery clogging seafood as only Ivars can make it.
To get there from the courthouse, I have to pass under the monstrosity known as the Alaska Way Viaduct—a noisy, ugly mass of concrete and steel that sits just east of the waterfront. On this beautiful Monday I ate my fish and chips in a little park a couple of blocks due south of Ivars, while enjoying the spectacular view and, of course, bathed in the deafening sound of traffic on the Viaduct.
I don’t spend a lot of time in downtown Seattle, so maybe I just don’t “get it.” But to me, the Viaduct completely and utterly destroyed any sense of beauty and serenity that might otherwise be found on the spectacular Seattle waterfront. Really…it stinks.
Apparently not everyone shares my opinion:
The 2.2-mile viaduct is viewed by many as an aging waterfront misfit but was considered unique and “very clever” as a structure and a highway bypass when it was opened in 1953. That makes it ‘historically significant,’ ” said Art Skolnik, a land use consultant.
Skolnik, a longtime advocate of repairing and preserving the viaduct, said he’ll ask the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation to on Friday nominate the viaduct for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historically significant my ass! It’s an ugly, dirty, noisy blemish on the landscape. In fact, it’s hard to imagine anything more disturbingly invasive, or more destructive of the potential for the Seattle waterfront, aside from, say, using the space to store dead bodies or nuclear waste (maybe…I mean, nuclear waste is much quieter).
At the time it was opened “it was a big solution to a difficult problem,” Skolnik said. “Back then it was cheered.”
…until people actually thought about being pedestrians on the waterfront!
We can learn from our mistakes. Tear the fucking thing down! And vow to never, EVER make that mistake again!