Getting to Know Seattle: Deconstruction

Every spare bit of space in downtown Seattle is being built upon, and when there are no empty spaces to be had, older outdated buildings get torn down.

I find something poignant in partially deconstructed buildings. Not that long ago, people worked here: held meetings, churned out documents, made phone calls, prepared outgoing mail, received visitors or customers or clients. New hires arrived full of hope, and retirees walked out the front door for the last time, boxes with personal effects in hand. Elevators, old ones, rumbled up and down. Perhaps there was retail on the ground floor, a coffee shop or a place to buy lunch or fresh flowers or stamps or a bottle of aspirin.

Now there is the rubble of bricks and old re-bar and corroded pipes and fraying wires along the ground, and only the building’s last core of empty spaces remains, vacant doorways still visible. Sooner than you think a new structure of steel and glass will arise here, blocking out the shadow of life before.

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