Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Rip’s View of U-District Skyline


7/1/24 U-District skyline

After I was vaccinated and started getting back out into the world again, one of my biggest Rip Van Winkle moments was when I visited the U-District. It was astonishing how many buildings had been torn down with new ones taking their place, just since the pandemic had begun. Now, three years later, most of those new skyrises are done.

I had another Rip moment last week when I walked from the Wallingford neighborhood to the U-District on Northeast 45th. When I reached the entrance to Interstate 5, the U-District’s skyline rose fully into view: It looked like a second downtown! This time, after Rip’s nap, he had awakened in a new city.

I’m still working on trying to ID the new profiles that are unfamiliar to me, like the twin buildings with an S logo.

Technical note: I prefer to draw skylines in a single horizontal line to emphasize their length, but I wasn’t prepared: It hadn’t occurred to me to bring one of my many landscape-format sketchbooks for this walk! Splitting the skyline in half would have to do. Although I tried to keep relative heights accurate, I had to compress the horizontal spaces between buildings to make them all fit.


  1. Skylines are constantly changing before our eyes. I feel the same way whenever I head to the city...and even before actually reaching the city. There are so many new buildings everywhere.

    1. I used to be able to name most of them... not anymore! Too many layers to see them!


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