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Seattle Architectural Detailing

Seattle Architectural Detailing

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Seattle Architectural Detailing

178 pages
3 minutes
Aug 1, 2020


This edition is a pictorial guide illustrates the features that capture the city’s architecture legacy. The distinctive pre-Modernist examples of the late nineteenth through early twentieth century are liberally disbursed throughout the downtown, Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill districts. Over 215 photographs detail unique and distinctive exterior traits, statuary and notable design flourishes.

Seattle has economically followed patterns of historical affluence and stagnation. The city’s architecture is testament to the cyclical and volatile nature of fortune.

During the mid-nineteenth century, Seattle began its initial development and expansion fueled by an abundant timber industry and maritime capacity. Over the subsequent decades, the city expanded as an exporter of services and manufactured goods.

Seattle was deeply traumatized financially by the slowdown caused by the nationwide Panic of 1893. Misfortune was compounded by calamity with a devastating June 6th, 1889 fire that decimated 25 downtown blocks and burned for several hours. The entire layout of wood framed structures was destroyed.

The catastrophe ironically rejuvenated the downtown, resulting in a fervent reconstruction program consisting exclusively of stone and brick structures. Wood framed buildings were prohibited. The Klondike gold rush of 1896 spurred regional economic activity, particularly in providing goods and services to the Alaskan bound miners.

During the first two decades of the 20th century, Seattle accommodated a massive incoming immigration. The influx resulted in the creation of outlying tightly concentrated neighborhoods. The downtown core swelled minus coordinated zoned planning. Steep hillsides were lowered to enable fresh constructions and greenbelt territories. Parklands, bridges and public works projects proliferated creating a diverse blend of ambiance and chaos.

America’s entry into World War I created another spike in merchant trade and shipbuilding. Its immediate focus lessened the city’s incentive to cultivate alternative industries. With the conclusion of the war, economic growth stalled. An increasingly militant labor movement conflicted violently with commercial management interests. Agitation instigated work stoppages and significantly slowed development. Significant port activity relocated to Los Angeles. The local economy decelerated.

The Great Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s would radically halt economic expansion and construction. The Seattle of the 1930s and early 40s witnessed minimal architectural innovation.

Post World War II growth stimulated by the aerospace industry and later high tech during the 1990s rekindled the once vibrant Seattle economy.

Yet the historical buildings constructed following the Great Fire and early twentieth century remains important benchmarks.

Surveying Seattle’s abundant older architecture becomes a glimpse of an economic time capsule. Most of these structures were originally built with unreinforced masonry. They would require subsequent restructuring and stabilization to survive demolition. The largest concentration is located within the core district called Pioneer Square.

Contemporary Seattle is undergoing a dynamic resurgence of architectural construction consisting primarily of skyscrapers. Each completed monolith provides an intriguing and often imposing contrast to the modestly scaled structures from a distant era. With the passage of time, historical constructions and their unique aesthetics remain statuesque and relevant.

Seattle’s integration of traditional and contemporary design reinforces its image as a desirable urban living environment. Few American cities can still document the precise stages of their evolution by the remaining strata of their architecture. Seattle is an exemplary example showcasing that capability.

Aug 1, 2020

Despre autor

Visual Artist, Writer and Photographer Marques Vickers is a California native presently living in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle, Washington regions.He was born in 1957 and raised in Vallejo, California. He is a 1979 Business Administration graduate from Azusa Pacific University in the Los Angeles area. Following graduation, he became the Public Relations and ultimately Executive Director of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce between 1979-84. He subsequently became the Vice President of Sales for AsTRA Tours and Travel in Westwood between 1984-86.Following a one-year residence in Dijon, France where he studied at the University of Bourgogne, he began Marquis Enterprises in 1987. His company operations have included sports apparel exporting, travel and tour operations, wine brokering, publishing, rare book and collectibles reselling. He has established numerous e-commerce, barter exchange and art websites including MarquesV.com, ArtsInAmerica.com, InsiderSeriesBooks.com, DiscountVintages.com and WineScalper.com.Between 2005-2009, he relocated to the Languedoc region of southern France. He concentrated on his painting and sculptural work while restoring two 19th century stone village residences. His figurative painting, photography and sculptural works have been sold and exhibited internationally since 1986. He re-established his Pacific Coast residence in 2009 and has focused his creative productivity on writing and photography.His published works span a diverse variety of subjects including true crime, international travel, California wines, architecture, history, Southern France, Pacific Coast attractions, fiction, auctions, fine art marketing, poetry, fiction and photojournalism.He has two daughters, Charline and Caroline who presently reside in Europe.

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