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Downtown Seattle Neighborhoods

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christmas-ship

For those of you who don’t know about one of the greatest PNW traditions here in Seattle, here’s your key! All month long enjoy The Argosy Christmas Ship Festival at one of their 65 different Puget Sound waterfronts. The Argosy Christmas Ship sails around to different waterfront communities caroling holiday cheer through their state-of-the-art speaker system. Take a look at their December 2016 schedule, and join your community for a bonfire while listening to the Christmas Ship!

The Argosy Cruise donates a portion of all ticket sales to benefit The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy. The Puget Sound charity ensures that local nonprofits will continue to provide programs and services that serve children, seniors, and families

centrallibrary_exterior-interiorStanding at 1000 Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle, Central Library, our largest city library, resembles a modern prism of glass and steel. Opened in 2004, the steel construction is meant to provide protection during an earthquake, and 10,000 glass panels reflect light outside, insulated to keep some of the weather from seeping in. Although some may consider the library’s architecture striking, the features and programs offered within the walls of the library are equally so.

The 11-level structure was conceived by principal architects Rem Koolhass, a Dutch designer with the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Joshua Prince-Ramus, a founding parting of OMA New York, the latter originally from Seattle. In 2005, the year after it opened, this building was voted #108 on American Institute of Architects’ list of “America’s 150 favorite structures in the United States” and a national honor award from AIA for architecture. It has also received a Platinum Award for Innovation & Engineering from the American Council of Engineering Companies (AEC) of WA.

overhead

Central Library is 362,987 square feet and also has 143-spot underground parking which requires paying a parking fee, racks to park bicycles, and metro bus service within walking distance. An elevator system, as well as stairs, whisks visitors from the bottom floor to the top.

stacks

Interesting things to try that are unique to
Central Library: 

  • Choose from the 1,283,420 items in their complete collection (as of 2015)
  • Reserve a practice room (one hour daily limit) and play music on a digital keyboard, choosing from the library’s extensive music collection (at Book Spirals 8)
  • Access one of the library’s 400 computers (90 minutes limit)
  • Attend a concert or lecture in their auditorium
  • Lounge in the “Living Room”, a space on the 3rd floor that invites reading
  • Visit a traveling exhibition (such as Shakespeare’s First Folio which was on display last year)
  • Sip a cup of espresso while nibbling on your baked good, sandwich, or chocolate at the Chocolati Cafe Cart (Level 3)
  • Peruse the gift shop
  • Find an ancestor or look up a history through the Special Collections. The Special Collections contain:
    • oral history
    • state document depository
    • aviation history
    • genealogy records
    • historical documents about Seattle
    • written materials, 30,000+ photos, original artwork (2D and 3D), and maps
  • Pluck a book from the Books Spiral that rises & winds straight up through 4 stories
  • Study the public art inside and outside the library
  • Take a guided tour or a self-guided one by typing in reference #s on your cell phone at different, designated points throughout Central library
childresources
Extensive Child Resources, Central Library
auditorium
Auditorium, Central Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting things to try at most Seattle Public Library locations (besides reading, of course):

  • Learn a new language (book, audio, or digital)
  • Learn new Adobe (InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop) and Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint) software
  • Loan a Wi-Fi Hotspot to take home with you
  • Print documents from your own wireless device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) using a Wi-Fi connection while at the library
  • Read a digital magazine through Zinio, a digital newsstand
  • Participate in the Library-to-Business program
  • Listen to an established writer through different classes and lecture series, such as SeattleWrites, then start your own book
  • Publish your own book through the SELF-e platform
  • Check out a wide variety of movies, from box office hits to lesser-known works

Interesting note: The amount the library has been used by guests is twice the volume originally predicted. Visit the Seattle Public Library website to find out more about programs on their Calendar of Events at Central Library and other locations.

upperfloor

All photos courtesy of The Seattle Public Library

downtown seattleAs some of you may know, real estate in Belltown is booming! But do you know by how much? With all the new buildings going up in the neighborhood one can just assume how many people are attracted to the hip and trendy area. There are currently 93 pending listings, 45 of them being in the Insignia building. According to the NWMLS, last June (2015) there were 35 sold listings. This June there were a total of 164 sold listings, 102 of them being, once again, the Insignia Building. The cumulative days on the market dropped from forty days to fourteen.

Surprisingly, it seems prices aren’t jumping as much as you would think. The highest price for a home has dropped from $1,615,000 to $1,272,000, the lowest going from $219,000 to $210,000. But on the other hand, the median sales price is up from $557,800 to $414,950. According to the Development and Construction Projects on www.downtownseattle.com, there are currently more than 18,00 residential units in pre-development downtown. Looks like there will be a lot of inventory for next June!

plymouth church

 

Docomomo WEWA is continuing its Modern Sacred Spaces program Wednesday, May 11th with a tour of Plymouth Congregational Church in downtown Seattle from 5:00 – 6:45 pm.

Designed by NBBJ and built in 1967-68, the church’s streamlined white exterior conceals a dramatic sanctuary punctured by light streaming through small, geometrically patterned glass blocks.

At 5:30 pm on the 11th, Jennifer Hing of LMN Architects and Steve Stroming of RAFN Construction will describe the recent upgrades the church has faced. The address is 1217 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. Enter through the main entrance on 6th Avenue near University Street. Free parking is available in the underground garage (after 4 pm until 6:45 pm. Both the garage and church building close at 7 pm).

Members of the congregation will be present to speak about the experience of celebrating inside these spaces.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase online through Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2543309). The event is $10 (if purchased online) or $15 at the door. Students may register for a tour fee of only $5 online or at the door. All tour fees go toward future programs.

2016_HC_SEA_CourseMap_Small-791x1024Get ready to sprint your way to sweet sips!

Time to lace up those running shoes and sign up for the annual Hot Chocolate 15/5k run! This fun and festive event will be held on Sunday, March 6th and is fun for seasoned runners and first-timers who aren’t afraid of a challenge!

The 5k begins bright and early at 6:45a.m. and the 15k starts at 7:55a.m. Participants can expect a fun, well organized and challenging race through the heart of beautiful Downtown Seattle (hills and all!), a fabulous SWAG bag to take home and, of course, delicious chocolate!

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Sunday while getting a great workout, consider signing up for this once-a-year event. The challenge is worth it to get to the Post Race Party where runners will enjoy music, a family friendly environment and a ‘finisher’s mug’ filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and delightfully dippable treats. Don’t sweat the calories, you will have earned this chocolate indulgence!

The Hot Chocolate Run isn’t just a great way to spend a day off. The Hot Chocolate Run is partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities, helping to provide a home-away-from-home for children and the families of children being treated at Seattle Children’s’ Hospital, at little to no cost to the families. A portion of the proceeds from signing up for this race will go to this outstanding cause, helping to make a real difference in our community.

Not ready to lace up and race? That’s fine! But be aware, this race will take place in Downtown Seattle and along many main roads and thoroughfares, so you will want to plan ahead for any travel on that day. Take a look at the map (above) to see the route and read the chart below for a street closure timeline, to help you plan your day.

Get ready for a Hot (Chocolate) Time in the Old Town, this March!

 

 

Street Closure

From

To

Side of Road

Closure Time

Anticipated Opening

2nd Ave Thomas St Broad St Whole Road 6:15AM 9:10AM
Broad St 2nd Ave Elliott Ave Westbound 6:15AM 9:15AM
Elliott Ave Broad St SR-99 NB On-Ramp SB One Lane 6:15AM 9:20AM
Elliott Ave SR-99 NB On-Ramp Western Ave Whole Road 6:20AM 9:20AM
Western Ave Elliott Ave Spring St Whole Road 6:20AM 9:40AM
SR-99 Bell St John St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
SR-99 Western Ave John St SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Aurora Ave Denny Way 45th St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
Aurora Ave 38th St Denny Way SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Harrison St Aurora Ave Dexter Ave Whole Road 6:25AM 11:15AM
Dexter Ave Harrison St Mercer St SB One Lane 6:25AM 11:15AM
Mercer St Dexter Ave 5th Ave East Bound Lanes 6:25AM 11:20AM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave SB Lanes 3:00AM 12:00PM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave NB Lanes 6:25AM 11:25AM