Isn’t It Time to Landmark the Coliseum?

Supporters at the Seattle Center Coliseum
Supporters celebrating a “HeartBomb” at Seattle Center’s Coliseum last Valentine’s Day
(courtesy of the author)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Four years ago Michael Herschensohn was published on Crosscut.com asking the same question I am asking today.

A landmark designation for the Coliseum, or KeyArena as newcomers might call it, is a certainty. But as a relative Seattle newcomer myself, I beg the question, why wasn’t it landmarked before? My guess is the recession, plus a dash of politics, had something to do with it.

Let’s hypothesize for a minute, that the Coliseum is landmarked this year – now what? Seattle Center is motivated to keep the Coliseum as an entertainment venue and ideally attract a professional basketball team and unrealistically attract a professional hockey team. Seattle Center is inclined to keep their revenue stream alive and well for themselves. I understand Seattle Center’s intentions, but I view them as solely self-serving.

Are Seattle Center’s self-serving intentions justified? As a subset of the City of Seattle shouldn’t they do what is best for the city as a whole? For those that are hell-bent on attracting professional sports teams and building an arena, one that is supposedly paid for with private funds, SODO is an obvious option. Although at a recent QAHS board meeting my fellow QAHS board member Leanne Olson also reminded Seattle Center that no action is also an option. Leanne’s “no action is an option” also holds true for the City of Seattle.

Continuing to hypothesize, if an arena is built in SODO, then what should the Coliseum become? Seattle Center has responded by stating that they would investigate other entertainment attractions to stave off loss of revenue.

For a second, I propose we ignore the driver of revenue and ask what does the city need? Does it need more classroom space? Does it need more affordable housing? Does it need temporary housing for the homeless?… Does it need another entertainment venue?

It turns out the greater Seattle community is currently discussing all of these questions, except that last question. Only private investors, who have everything to gain and nothing to lose, are asking for a new arena.

After asking myself these questions, I have come up with a proposal: landmark the Coliseum, consider an arena in SODO if you must, and discuss with the Queen Anne community (not just Uptown) what the future of the Coliseum should be.

 

More Infomation: 3rd Annual HeartBomb–at the Coliseum

Modern Queen Anne

Living in Seattle is exciting because we can be both preservationists and modernists. In Queen Anne we have idyllic Revival and Craftsman homes that sit pretty next to the Modern homes. It works well for our city and our future, but all this being said, things can get a little confusing and only time can be the true judge of good design.

Robert Reichert House/Studio

You can imagine in 1954, when the Reichert house/studio was completed, the sheer disorientation the neighbors experienced. Robert Reichert claimed that the design for his home at 2500 3rd Ave West was primitive, natural, and symbolic. It revealed a love for traditionalism and history. He also claimed that his home complimented the scale of the neighborhood and landscape, and that the design intention was to create a religious atmosphere. …Continue reading “Modern Queen Anne”

Looking at Queen Anne’s Modern Sites

Modern Tour Poster, 2015

On June 20th the Queen Anne Historical Society provided it’s second modern tour. The Modern Tour started with a presentation by Jeff Murdock. Murdock is currently serving his second term on the City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board and Architectural Review Committee. Murdock presented the Queen Anne Pool, which was designed by Benjamin McAdoo & Co and completed in 1978. Murdock explained that the “construction of the building was controversial because it required the purchase and removal of ten homes, making it the most expensive Seattle Parks pool at $1.25 million.” The pool was a project in the second phase of McAdoo’s career and Murdock believes “his influence as an African American architect and activist for social change was significant in national as well as local contexts.” …Continue reading “Looking at Queen Anne’s Modern Sites”