Friday, July 3, 2009

The Bell Tower: Slab-tacular!

I have never met anyone who lives at the Bell Tower, but that doesn't have anything to do with how I feel about the place. All I know about it is that it's owned by Seattle Housing Authority, it's 19 stories tall and it stands near 1st & Bell. Oh, and also that it's quite ugly in a featureless minimal way. Have a look:

OK, that's not very attractive. What about around the other side?

Hmmm...No better. Golly, either through design or layout or a general vibe, this place seems to broadcast the fact that rich people don't live there. The same is true for Belltown's ugliest building, the Bayview Tower. The trend these days is definitely away from the Bell Tower's utilitarian ugliness, but back in the day, it was important for some to herd the poor into unsightly buildings. This is all kind of odd considering that about half of Bell Tower's units have absolutely killer views. In fact, just half a block away at 1st & Blanchard, people at the Continental Place pay some very serious money for essentially the same view.

So honestly, there's no reason for the Bell Tower's slab-like appearance. It was just the style of the times, I guess. And the times called for ugly.

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