West Seattle sits on a peninsula apart from Seattle. This gives it a special character. You can find this in The Junction neighborhood not far from this week’s drawing at SW Dawson Street and 41st Avenue SW.
Activities at the West Seattle Junction
The Junction is a large business area in West Seattle. It is focused on the intersection of California Avenue and Alaska Street. This sketch is on the backside of the Junction. The Junction has many interesting sights including:
Seattle is planned on a grid. Roads that run north south are called avenues. Roads that run east west are called streets. Seattle’s many hills and history have caused interesting changes to this plan though.
Seattle’s road names also have a cardinal direction. This matches one of 10 sections the city is divided into:
SW – West of the Duwamish river
S – South of Downtown and east of the Duwamish river
None – Downtown streets do not have a cardinal direction
E St. – East of downtown
E – Between the E St.s and the Montlake Cut
NE – From the Montlake Cut to the north edge of Seattle
N St. – Between Downtown and Lake Union
N – From Lake Union to Seattle’s north edge
W – Between Elliot Bay and the Fremont Cut
NW – From the Fremont Cut to north edge of Seattle
The West Seattle Log House Museum is in the Alki Beach area. The museum is the home of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. The society collects historical records for Southwest Seattle ranging from items gifted by the local Duwamish tribe to current residents.
We would like to acknowledge that Seattle is on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.
Activities near the West Seattle Log House Museum
The Log House Museum is a block from Alki Beach. This places it near the many sights on Alki Beach:
Alki Beach is a sand and cobble beach that brings in many people in the summer time. It is a good place to relax and explore tide pools. It also has good views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains over Puget Sound.
A replica of the Statue of Liberty in Alki Beach Park is a good place to meet people. The statue was donated by the Boy Scouts in 1952. It is one of around 200 replicas of the Statue of Liberty installed by the Boy Scouts.
Human settlements have been found in Seattle going back 4000 years. The Duwamish people inhabited the Seattle area when the European Denny Party arrived in 1851. The Duwamish tribe still maintains a longhouse and cultural center near the Duwamish river.
The Denny Party lived at Alki Point for a year. They then moved to what is now Downtown Seattle in 1852. They named their settlement Seattle after the chieftain of the Duwamish people at the time.
Rustic architecture uses simple local materials and building methods. It was a popular style in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. It is famous for its use in the United States’ national parks.
The building the Log House Museum is in was built in 1902 as the carriage house for a mansion. It is designed in the rustic style. It used Douglas Fir logs from the local site. It also has a fireplace and chimney built from beach stone.
The Nest at UBC is the new student union building on the University of British Columbia (UBC) grounds. Its primary space is the atrium on its west side. This is the subject of this week’s sketch. Restaurants and offices ring the atrium.
Activities near The Nest
The Nest is in the middle of the UBC grounds. This makes it a good place to start a walk on the UBC grounds from. Notable sights at UBC include:
The UBC Botanical garden is a living plant collection. It has plants from many parts of the world that can live in the Pacific Northwest.
History of The Nest
The new Student Union Building on the University of British Columbia grounds opened in 2015. It was built to give more room for student events. The old student union building did not have enough room for the current students.
The Nest uses a neomodern design. This is seen in the plain concrete columns holding up the structure. They grow on the line-based forms of modernism in a way only possible with contemporary building methods.
Neomodernism is a continuation of modernism. It developed in the late 1990s in response to Post-Modernism. Neomodern designs are popular in current public and corporate buildings.
These designs use the simple lines and limited decoration of modernism. They also use new materials and technologies like computer drafting though. The result is what some people call the Apple Store look.
The winter 2021 sketch is the painting of Monroe Avenue in Corvallis, Oregon. Many Oregon State University (OSU) employees reached out to say how much they appreciated this image now that they are working remotely.
All cards and prints are produced on card stock. Cards are 5.5″ x 4.25″. Comes with painting name and location. Prints are 8.5″ x 11″. Prints include the post for the sketch on the back side of the print and artist’s signature.
Monroe Avenue is on the northern edge of the OSU grounds. It is home to many businesses. The avenue connects the OSU grounds to downtown Corvallis. In this view you can see the county courthouse tower in downtown.
Business on Monroe Avenue
It is home to many business serving students, faculty and staff at OSU. Some business on Monroe Avenue include:
Gas Works Park sits on the north end of Lake Union in Seattle, Washington. The park is famous for the ruins of the gas works that used to operate on the site. Gas Works Park is also a good location to park and go walking or biking.
Activities in and near Gas Works Park
Gas Work’s Park is in the middle of Seattle. This makes it a good place to see several Seattle’s sights and neighborhoods.
The Burke-Gilman Trail is a 20-mile bike and pedestrian trail that runs from Seattle’s western edge in Ballard to Blyth Park in the City of Bothell. Gas Works Park is 2.2 miles (3.5 km) from the trail’s western end. The park is a good place to park when biking on the trail.
The Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop is a 6.2 (10 km) trail round Lake Union. Gas Works Park is on the northern part of the loop. The trail is a good way to see houseboats, downtown and other historic sites.
Gas Works Park opened in 1975. The park is famous as the first park in the United States of America that kept an industrial ruin. Before this industrial sites where removed, and parks built over them.
The design company for the Park, Richard Haag and Associates, learned that the gas plant on the site was the last one in the United States of America. They suggested that the old gas plant be kept as part of the park. After some resistance, the city approved the plan.
Style of Gas Works Park
Gas Work’s Park is special because it was one of the first parks in the world to use industrial architecture outside of an industrial site. This began a new architecture style that made industrial architecture common in ever day use.
Bexell Hall is a good example of the architecture in the Oregon State University (OSU) Historical District. The historic buildings in the middle of trees make a nice place to walk. The building is also close to the businesses on Monroe Avenue.
Bexell Hall is near many sights positioned in the heart of the OSU campus.
The hall was originally called the Commerce Hall since it housed the School of Commerce. The hall was renamed in 1966 to Bexell for John A. Bexell. John A. Bexell was the founder and head of the School of Commerce from 1908 to 1931.
Bexell Hall housed the School of Commerce and later the College of Business until 2014. The College of Business moved to Austin Hall in 2014. Today Bexell Hall houses the College of Liberal Arts.
Bexell Hall uses a Neo-Renaissance design. Geometry and symmetry are important in Neo-Renaissance design. We can see this in the symmetrical layout of the windows in Bexell Hall.
Neo-Renaissance architecture was cothe mmon in the United States in the early 20th century. It is used in many buildings on OSU’s Corvallis campus.
2020 was a bad year for everyone. Disease covered the world. Economic disturbances took many peoples’ work and businesses. Social wrongs were shown again and again.
Streets were full of ideas to address these ills though. Roads were shut to cars for use as socially distanced walking and dinning spaces. Protestors took to the streets to call for changes to institutions like the police, social services and renting.
This urban read collects some of these stories of urban challenges and ideas to address them.
Urban Spaces and Design
Urban life was defined by COVID-19 in 2020. Social norms, rules and design of urban spaces were directed at responding to the disease.
Starting with the murder of George Floyd, protestors called for changes to the police, social services and the social structure of cities. In 2021, cities will have to see if the changes they made address protestor’s concerns.
Many businesses had no revenue and employees had no jobs in 2020. The federal government provided aid, but it was not enough for many. This has left local communities to think about how to fill these business and employment needs.
COVID-19 required social distance between people. It also turned people’s focus to the important people in their lives.
Millions of Americans needed aid for the first time in 2020 such as food and unemployment. This put a lot of need on social support programs like food banks and changed people’s relationship with the government.
Parson’s Garden on top of Queen Anne hill gives a quite spot to take it easy. The garden is on a loop that runs about the top of Queen Anne. The loop offers views of Seattle, Elliot Bay and the surrounding mountains.
Activities near Parsons Gardens
Parson’s Garden is on Highland Drive in Queen Anne. Queen Anne is the highest hill in Seattle at 456 feet (139 meters) above sea level. This gives the area great views of the Seattle area.
Some places to visit on Queen Anne include:
From Parson’s Garden walk away from the water for four blocks. Kerry Park is on the right. Has a great view of downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier when clear.
There is no trail around Queen Anne Hill. Many routes are available depending on how long you want to walk. Queen Anne Boulevard is a 6-mile road and pathway. Queen Anne is also a good place to walk public stairways.
Humans have lived on Queen Anne for around 3000 years. The local Duwamish people had seasonal homes on Queen Anne. Europeans arrived on Queen Anne in the 1850s.
The hill is named for the Queen Anne style homes first created here in the 1880s and 1890s. Queen Anne architecture is a form of Victorian Architecture. Today almost no Queen Anne style homes remain.
Parson’s Garden was donated to Seattle in 1956. It was created by the Parson’s family for their home.
Style of Parsons Gardens
Parsons Gardens uses naturalism for its design. It create the sense of a forest clearing with a lawn at its middle. Trees and bushes rise around the lawn. The garden has a Japanese influence as many of the plants are from Japan such as Japanese Cherries, Hinoki Cedars and Azaleas.
Seattle is lined by water. To the west is the Puget Sound and to the east is Lake Washington. Many boat based industries have been created along these shores. The Lake Union houseboats are the most unusual.
The Lake Union Houseboats are on the eastern and western sides of Lake Union. An easy way to see them is on the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop. This 6.2 mile trail runs around Lake Union.
Some sights on the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop are:
The first houseboats on Lake Union were made in the 1920s. They housed workers in the industries on Lake Union. Houseboats on Lake Union became common housing for Seattle’s poor when the Great Depression took place in the 1930s.
By the 1950s, the Lake Union Houseboats were seen as a slum. The city tried take away the houseboat’s harbors, but many houseboat owners fought the city. While the number of house boats on Lake Union was cut, some where allowed to tie up at harbors on Lake Union.
Today around 480 houseboats remain on Lake Union. They are a special part of Seattle’s urban fabric. You can see them from the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop, but you should not go into their private harbors.
Houseboats are a form of naval architecture. They must be nice places to live, and sea going boats. This leads to some special design limitations.
The first houseboats were on trees tied together. As time went on some had hulls.
Today most are built on concrete floats. These last longer and are more stable. This makes it possible to create more complex houseboats like the one in this week’s painting.
The top of Skinner’s Butte has great views of the Eugene, Oregon skyline. The fall colors in this painting add to the view’s beauty. Skinner’s Butte is also right next to downtown Eugene’s many parks, stores and cafes.
Activities around Skinner’s Butte
Skinner’s Butte is in downtown Eugene. This makes it easy to get to food, theaters and hotels. Places to see near Skinner’s Butte are:
The Eugene area was the homeland of the Kalapuya people prior to the arrival of European settlers in the 1800s. The Kalapuya people where forced onto the Coast Reservation following treaties between 1851 and 1855.
The Kalapuya called the butte Ya-Po-Ah. The butte is currently named for Eugene Skinner. He built a house on the butte in 1846. The Skinner Butte Park opened in 1914.
A rock quarry operation ran on the north side of the butte from the 1890s to the 1930s. Today it is a popular rock climbing spot.
The Design of the Skinner’s Butte Area
Downtown Eugene uses a square based urban design. This comes from the Public Land Survey System (PLSS). The PLSS separates most of the United States into squares.
The PLSS is used to record land owners. Before the 1950s, the PLSS was also used to design towns and roads.
In this week’s view the area with lots of color was designed using the PLSS. The area past this is cul-de-sacs among Douglas Firs. Cul-de-sac design became common after the 1950s.