Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Denny's in Ballard just hours before demolition

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I knew the old Denny's restaurant building in the neighborhood of Ballard was going to be demolished, but didn't know how soon. Monday I happened to be teaching a summer camp art class at nearby Zoom Language School. I had never seen the oddly-shaped building before but immediately recognized it since it's been in the news so much recently. I didn't think twice. I pulled out my new sketching chair, which now travels with me everywhere I go, and did a sketch for posterity. Less than 24 hours later it was history, a pile of rubble, as you can see in this video from King5 TV. I can probably claim to be one of the last people to draw it, unless any other sketchers did so between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. And guess what they are going to build here? More condos! Neighbors tried to stop that from happening and even lobbied the city to declare the unique building an architectural landmark. But after months of dispute, the owner got his wish. Oh, Ballard Denny's, I hardly knew you! (Here's another news story about yesterday's demolition that provides more background.)

[ Sabía que pronto iban a demoler este antiguo restaurante Denny's en Ballard, pero no exactamente cuándo. El lunes dio la casualidad de que estuve en ese barrio por la mañana. Había ido a dar una clase de arte en español a los niños de la escuela de idiomas Zoom, que está a la vuelta de la esquina. Nunca había visto este curioso edificio pero lo reconocí immediatamente porque ha salido mucho en las noticias recientemente. No me lo pensé dos veces. Saqué mi nueva silla para dibujar, que ahora siempre viaja conmigo, y tomé este apunte para la posteridad. Menos de 24 horas después el edificio era historia, convertido en una pila de escombros, como se puede ver en este video del canal de televisión King5. Probablemente puedo decir que fui una de las últimas personas que lo dibujó, a no ser que otros sketchers lo hiceran entre el lunes por la tarde y el martes por la mañana. ¿Y sabéis que van a construir aquí? ¡Más apartamentos! Los vecinos han hecho todo lo posible por evitarlo, incluso pidiendo al ayuntamiento que lo designara como edificio histórico por su valor arquitectónico. Pero después de meses de litigio el propietario ha tenido la última palabra. ¡Oh, Denny's de Ballard, apenas nos habíamos conocido! (Este otro artículo sobre la demolición de ayer contiene más información sobre el tema.) ]

10 comments:

  1. Al parecer esto de las demoliciones y construcciones de apartamentos esta por todos lados. Aca en Puerto Rico hay un MEGA litigio con unos desarrolladores que construyeron DEMASIADO cerca de un patrimonio nacional. Al fin que ahora mismo no se puedo usar el area y si terminan de construirlo menos porque estara practicamente dentro de los predios de los apartamentos.

    Lo mas triste es que esos apartamentos no es para las personas de la isla. Son apartamentos que valen millones de dolares porque esta en la zona historica en el Viejo San Juan. El gobierno dio permiso y pues ya estan casi terminados pero el impacto ambiental, economico y social es gigante. El pueblo esta tratando de preservar eso y el gobierno nada que ver con el.

    Bienvenidos al siglo XXI

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  2. I have eaten there. It was a nice building. What is going in its place?

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  3. I liked the building too Alan. I wish someone had restored it and made it into a cool bookstore/cafe or restaurant. But nope, condos will be built here.

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  4. Thank you for the sketch. We will miss the old Ballard.

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  5. It is such a shame that this country is turning into one big, generic materialistic wasteland. These new places are taking all the character and personality out of our culture. Okay, I'll get off the soapbox now. GREAT sketch, Gabi!

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  6. I remember when it was brand-new and the cedar shingles on the roof were bright coppery color! It wasn't Denny's at first, it was Manning's coffee shop. I think there was a Manning's (downtown?) and this was an offshoot. I remember sitting in a booth there once or twice. Used to see it from the electric trolley (ran only to NW 85th St. then), on the way home with my grandmother from buying fresh vegetables at the Pike Place Market. And really, this wasn't very long ago. Things are history before we know it. Gabi thinks for illustrating the memory before it fades further!

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  7. I remember sitting in a booth there once or twice. Used to see it from the electric trolley (ran only to NW 85th St. then), on the way home with my grandmother from buying fresh vegetables at the Pike Place Market. And really, this wasn't very long ago. Things are history before we know it. Gabi thinks for illustrating the memory before it fades further! Building Demolition

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