That Sinking Feeling
That Sinking Feeling
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A newish book says the infamous “Sinking Ship” parking garage – or at least the lot it sits on – that lives under the shadow of the Smith Tower, at Second Avenue and Yesler Way, is cursed. The iconic property has been there over 50 years — a triangle-shaped wedge of concrete tilted so improbably against the land’s slope that it looks like it’s a ship sinking stern first into the asphalt of Pioneer Square. And each time I pass by, just like Titanic, I half expect to look up and see Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet hanging on to it for dear life whilst fearing the worst.  The worst, of course, being to have to listen once more to Celine Dion wailing My Heart Will Go On.


Early Seattle’s most luxurious hotel was located on the triangular lot near the Pioneer Building. The first one, the Occidental Hotel, burned in the 1889 fire. It was soon replaced with the even grander Hotel Seattle. That hotel suffered damage in the 1949 earthquake and declined along with the surrounding area. It was virtually vacant by 1961, and was demolished in 1962. Its demolition and replacement with the parking garage shocked the entire city, giving impetus to historic preservation and the formation of a historic district in 1970.


The book, Boren’s Block One: A Sinking Ship, traces 160 years of the history of the lot — back to when it was carved into its peculiar alignment by Seattle’s sometimes drunk and conniving founding fathers.


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Ilford HP5+ (@250)

HC-110 (Dil.H – 1:63 @ 8:30 minutes)

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