May 16, 2007

Seattle's middling architecture in photos

I love Witold Rybczynski's photo essay on Seattle's nascent architectural pizazz, not because it leaves out the most elegant po-mo industrial behemoth in the city, Safeco Field, but because it includes the Rainier Bank Building, which he describes as resembling "a giant hi-fi speaker." It has always reminded me of a fence post gnawed by beavers.

It's actually one of my strongest Seattle memories: back in 6th grade, all hundred-odd students in our class at Elma Middle School visited a Seattle theater company to see "The Wizard of Oz." I remember the performance for the annoying kindergarteners who sat in the front, shouting at Dorothy to watch out for the witch, and for the walk from the theater to the bus, where we passed underneath the Bank Building and prayed it would not topple.

They say Seattle is due for a 8.something earthquake one of these days. When the debris settles, I'd bet it's the only building still standing.

[hat tip: my brother]


TeacherRefPoet said...

I've always felt like the Rainier Bank Building is just architectural hot-dogging.

Hank Roberts said...

That's "The Space Needle" and behind it "The Box it Came In"