This blog post was updated on October 23, 2018.
When it comes to historic landmarks facing demolition, the squeaky wheel generally gets the oil and continues to live on in its glory. In Seattle, numerous landmarks have faced demolition, with many not making it out of the city alive.
However, there are several squeaky wheels in Seattle, spots that just barely avoided the wrecking ball but are still alive and kicking today.
If you’re hopping aboard Thanksgiving flights to Seattle and want to pay tribute to some landmarks that almost weren’t, head to these demolition dodging spots and give thanks they are still with us.
Blue Moon Tavern: When Hank Reverman founded the Blue Moon Tavern in 1934, the tavern’s location made it popular with university students. Appeasing the law at the time by being exactly one mile away from the University of Washington, the bar quickly grew up as a place for beatniks, artists and activists to imbibe a few or a lot. Located in the University District of Seattle, the Blue Moon Tavern almost didn’t survive the 1980s. In 1989, developers intended to demolish the tavern but a preservation campaign twisted some arms to spare the Blue Moon Tavern. Lucky for anyone in search of a dive bar in Seattle, drinkers and socializers can be thankful this Seattle landmark dodged the wrecking ball.
Pike Place Market: A place that attracts 10 million visitors a year almost wasn’t. Pike Place Market is not just one of Seattle’s most recognizable attractions, but also one of the state’s most visited places. Born out of the need for a public street market that would connect farmers with consumers, the market opened in 1907. However in the 1950s and 1960s plans to pave this piece of Seattle paradise and put up a parking garage were placed on the table. By 1971, the wheels were rolling to demolish Pikes Place Market. The Market was about to crash. However citizens supporting the landmark scrambled to save the site. Tourists and locals can thank their hard work and efforts for saving this slice of Seattle.
Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge: Gladys and William Bernard built a structure out in West Seattle when there was nothing out here. Known as Fir Lodge, the log house later became a restaurant from 1950 to 2009. It was nominated officially for its historic importance as a Seattle landmark. However, in 2009 an electrical fire raged through the structure. Plans were in place to just demolish the famous pile of logs, but recently it has been announced the structure will be renovated instead.
Cinerama: A piece of Seattle’s 1960 scene could have been a dinner theater or climbing club by this point. Seattle’s Cinerama opened its doors in 1963, known for its 70mm wide screen movies. However, in the 1980s, the retro theater fell on hard times when multiplex theaters were becoming all the rage. Developers made plans to demolish the theater, but local film fans protested. Paul G. Allen purchased the theater to save it from destruction, restoring it to its early 1960s interior. It is one of only three theaters in the world that can still show original three strip Cinerama films.
CC Flikcr photo credit: David Herrera
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