I took the bus from Vancouver BC across the border to Seattle, Washington. It rained, it was dark, I didn’t see a thing. The following day the rain stopped and I found my way around the city, discovering places I’d read about: the wonderful food and craft market at Pike Place and the historic Pioneer Square.
Having discovered that Seattle is a city built on top of an older city I had to find out more and signed up to an underground tour to satisfy my curiosity. The history of Seattle is fascinating and it’s clear to see that the entrepreneurial drive within the city has its roots in the 19th Century when early settlers from the east founded a city on the tidal flats, naming it after the local Indian chief. The natural landscape provided the resources for an instant and successful industry: logging. Business boomed but a great fire swept through the city constructed from local timber in 1889, raising it to the ground. The retailers quickly rebuilt their city so as to get back to business, this time in brick and stone, but at the same time another city was built on top of the existing buildings, on drier land. I explored the lower tier of Seattle, which then grew dramatically as it became the major city to supply miners with the necessary tools and wares for the Klondike Gold Rush. Here’s some original skylights that connect one version of the city of Seattle to another, older and retired
Wandering around Seattle I discovered a creative, coffee fuelled vibe. I loved to see the neon signage lighting up the bars and shops. This one caught my eye … it’s not often that you see the word “clitoris” beaming from a shop window but as we have so much phallic inspired architecture in the world it’s nice to see some balance and something that’s right to the point.
The view of Seattle as it rolls down to Elliott Bay is beautiful and it’s hard to believe that the hills were man-made, carved out of the natural rocky cliffs that preceded them.
I speeded around the city on the monorail and took the tram up to honour local hero Jimi Hendrix. He features in my design of Washington State, alongside the states’ namesake and American president: George Washington.