Saturday, September 14, 2019

Good-Bye, Viaduct; Hello, Fresh View

9/6/19 The last stump of the viaduct coming down.

It seems like we’ve been saying good-bye to the viaduct for a long, long time. Kate recalled a sketch outing at the waterfront in 2013 when we first started hearing news about the viaduct’s impending doom. I missed that one, but I began my own good-byes last December, when a few other sketchers and I got together to sketch the viaduct. Then there was the official farewell party and closure in February, when I walked on the viaduct for the first and only time.

Once the action got under way, I went back to sketch various parts of the viaduct in March, April, May and June. Last week I went back yet again to sketch the last remaining stump (top of post), which is slowly being demolished even as I type this (viaduct demolition, it turns out, is not a bang but a whimper).

Enough already. I’ve said my good-byes, the viaduct is (mostly) gone, and it’s time to greet the bright view that is now visible after being hidden for decades behind that dark gray mass. Seattle USk did just that yesterday, and it was refreshing to see familiar things in a new light – literally.

First I walked to the edge of a parking lot east of Alaskan Way to face west and sketch the Pier 55 building and some cranes behind it. Although this building is not particularly special to me, it’s the first time I’d seen it from that spot. Note the green Starbucks umbrellas in front of it . . .
9/13/19 Pier 55, Alaskan Way
9/13/19 Facing downtown from the waterfront

For my second sketch, I went to that Starbucks and faced east to sketch whatever buildings I could see from the outdoor table I shared with a couple of other sketchers (at right). It’s the same vantage point I had last December (below) – except now I could see the buildings. (And the same HUGE sale is going on next door.)

It’s a bright, new waterfront.

Edited 9/24/19: The Seattle Times has a fantastic video showing how the viaduct was taken down and how different the views look now.

12/21/18 Here's how the same view looked last

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