Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home, Sweet Shipping Container - 2

Ah, Western Avenue, Belltown's afterthought. There's almost nothing to do along it. True, there is that really large and silly nightclub, but hey, even 22-year-olds are pretending like that's fun. And let's not forget the Olympic Sculpture Park. Well, we probably can, because it's not really in Belltown. It belongs to the waterfront. OK, so even though activities and sights are limited, there are lots of places to live. Almost all of these buildings are shiny and new. That's kind of the heart of the problem. For some reason, either by design or chance, most of the architecture along Western Ave. emulates one component of modern life: the shipping container. Its shape might be slightly different from the original and perhaps there's no corporate logo on the side, but the resemblance is unmistakable - people are living in shipping containers. Today's subject is the Avalon at Western & Broad, located right across the street from the building that was first in our series. Observe:

Like I said the first time I wrote about this phenomenon, I understand that Seattle is a major player in the container port game, but I don't understand why so many buildings need to be designed to resemble incoming freight. There's also a cheap, pre-fab look to some of these places that will make the entire neighborhood an eyesore in years to come. Twenty years ago, Western Avenue had beat-up homes and derelict warehouses along it. Now it has these boxy apartments and condos. I actually prefer the houses.

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