Sunday, May 31, 2009

Then and Now

Once again, we delve into Belltown's storied past to show how much/little things have changed. Today's trip back in time features another splendid artifact from the "film row" days. The MGM/Loew's Buildling at 2nd & Battery was completed in 1936 and began dishing out heapin' helpins of film immediately after that. It may well be one of the best examples of one-story, faux-castle art deco in this whole crummy town. Observe:

This shot was taken back in 1938 when the world was new and always smelled like springtime. But times changed. The film distribution business eventually died out (though it was present in the neighborhood for nearly 60 years) and the corresponding buildings were repurposed. The MGM/Loew's became an insurance agency and was later known as the McGraw-Kittenger-Case Building. When I moved into the neighborhood, the insurance guys were gone and space had been split into two parts, one occupied by the original Cafe Septieme (it's now up on Capitol Hill) and the other would soon be filled by a stationery/gift store, Blu Canary. In a few years, Septieme was gone and over time, there have been several restaurants in that space (in no particular order): Good Chow, Lush Life and Marjorie - am I missing any others? Meanwhile, the Blu Canary chugged along for 17 years. Here's what the place looked like in 2007:

Last year, Blu Canary decided to pack it in (*sniff* That place always had the perfect card for every occasion!) and the building's owners ended Marjorie's lease in favor of a unification of spaces. And along came Buckley's. It's a sports bar of sorts that serves up some nice-smelling chow. Here's what it looks like today:

I haven't been to Buckley's yet, but that's not because I'm opposed to sports bars. In fact, I'm all for them. Belltown is home two and a half (Spitfire Grill and the Whisky (that's how they spell it) Bar is the half; they only get into football - and who can blame them?) sports bars. I just don't go to them, because I can't exactly afford to go out drinking these days. Anyhow, Buckley's building has been proudly rechristened as the MGM/Loew's Building and long may it stay that way.

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