When I began writing for The Grid, I had recently relocated to Seattle, Washington from Phoenix, Arizona (which, as you could imagine, was an adventure in itself). I often explore a place through sketching, but working for Global Site Plans allowed me to explore a place through writing. Both methods have taught me that direct observation is a powerful tool for any designer of the built environment.
As you may have realized, an underlying theme in my blogging entries is urban history. Writing for The Grid was a great way to explore Seattle and share my explorations with readers. As new construction was added to Seattle’s skyline, I intended to capture the progression of the urban landscape. The reclamation of the city’s shoreline, the rapid development of the South Lake Union neighborhood, and the new streetcar lines will undoubtedly transform the city. While at the same time, the plans laid out by the Olmsted Brothers in 1903 continue to guide the city’s park system. Let us not forget that places such as Pike Place Market have remained for over a century, and serve to remind us that a place’s retail character and its convenience are not synonymous. It is the personality of a place that often attracts people (myself included), and it encourages me to explore the historic relics behind a particular place.
As summer begins, I look forward to watching new construction be completed in my neighborhood, as well as exploring more of Seattle and its environs. If you know of any hidden gems in Seattle, please post them here.
Credits: Photographs by Amanda Bosse. Data linked to sources.