Saturday, April 25, 2009

In Defense of...The Darth Vader Building

The seventies were about many things. People had weird hair, they wore strange clothes and they talked funny. On the architectural front, it was about all kinds of different stuff and keepin' on truckin' and so forth. Skylines across this great nation were punctuated by odd-shaped skyscrapers and various other tributes to non-conformity. Yes, the seventies did indeed challenge architectural conventions. And nowhere can that be seen more clearly than in Belltown's own landmark, known far and wide as the Darth Vader Building. It began life as the Sedgwick James Building in 1979 and at some point along the way became the 4th & Blanchard Building (buildings along 4th tend to tell you where they are). My windows look out at this building. It's been part of my view for the last 19 years. I love it. This is what I see every day:

Yes, it's really quite a sight. The great thing about its unconventional design is that it mutates into something completely different depending on your angle of view. Observe:

From 4th & Virginia...

From 3rd & Stewart...

From 6th Ave...

From 4th & Lenora.

If dark, reflective glass ain't your thing, you'll definitely hate the Vader, but the thing is just so arresting that I never get tired of looking at it. At 25 stories, it's one of Belltown's biggest buildings. It's also one of its least fug. In addition, it happens to have the best grounds (in the form of a small park on Lenora Street) in the entire neighborhood (more on that soon). So yeah, I love the Darth Vader Building. I rocks my world.

2 comments:

Jim said...

Your photos demonstrate the building's ability to transform from black solid form to dark shadow to transparent reflection given the light conditions and time of day. Well done!

Joe Wolf said...

Thanks for the informative and heartfelt post!