St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church

St. Demetrios is part of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. The Greek Community Association established this parish in the Cascade neighborhood in the early 20th century and named it after an icon of Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki. Several decades later, under the stewardship of Father Neketas Palassis, the parish developed plans for a new complex, which culminated in the construction of the current church in the Montlake neighborhood. It was dedicated on March 31, 1963.

This thin-shell concrete structure was designed by Paul Thiry, a pioneer of modernism in the Pacific Northwest who was a supervising architect for the 1962 Century 21 Exposition in Seattle. At the time of St. Demetrios’ completion, the magazine Architecture West praised how Thiry “adapt(ed) materials and techniques of the 20th Century to a church that follows early Greek Orthodox architectural forms, with interior spaces dictated by centuries old liturgical forms.”

Safeco Field

 

With opening day for the 2018 MLB season approaching, I thought it might be appropriate to post these sketches of Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. The stadium, designed by NBBJ and 360 Architecture along with the structural engineering firm of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, features a retractable roof that serves as an umbrella during inclement weather.

Although King County voters had initially turned down a proposal to fund a new baseball stadium to replace the aging Kingdome, the Mariners’ first appearance in the MLB postseason in 1995 and their victory in the American League Division Series reignited a public drive to keep the team in town. As a result, the Washington State Legislature approved an alternate means of funding comprising a mix of food and beverage taxes in King County restaurants and bars, car rental surcharges, a ballpark admissions tax, and sales of a special stadium license plate.

The stadium is often referred to as “The House that Griffey Built” because many believe major league baseball would not exist in Seattle without Ken Griffey, Jr.’s outstanding career with the Mariners. Griffey helped break ground for the new stadium in 1997 and a capacity crowd of 47,000 attended the Inaugural Game against the San Diego Padres on July 15, 1999.

Middle Fork

Hanging in the lobby of the Seattle Art Museum is this 105-foot long tree sculpture by John Grade. Grade first made a plaster cast of a living 140-year old western hemlock growing along the Middle Fork (hence the name) of the Snoqualmie River east of Seatle. Then he along with hundreds of volunteers used the plaster mold to recreate the form of the tree from thousands of pieces of reclaimed old-growth cedar.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year and welcome to the Year of the Dog. The dog is the eleventh sign of the Chinese Zodiac and is the symbol of loyalty, honesty, and responsibility.

The above is a portrait of Xena, our Warrior Princess, a Red Heeler-Terrier mix we rescued a few years ago. Bearing a striking resemblance to Xena is Laika in a news photo by Alexander Chernov below. Laika was a stray rescued from the streets of Moscow to participate in the Soviet space program. Last November was the 60th anniversary of Laika’s trip aboard Sputnik 2. While not the first animal shot into space, she was the first to orbit the earth. Unfortunately, Laika didn’t survive her journey into the cosmos.

King Street Station

 

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, Seattle Urban Sketchers met at King Street Station to help mark the 10th anniversary of USk. USk chapters around the world, beginning in New Zealand and ending in Honolulu, participated in this Global 24-Hour Sketchwalk.

Completed in 1906 to serve both the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railways, King Street Station now serves Amtrak and the Sound Transit Sounder commuter trains. The Minnesota firm of Reed and Stem designed the station, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington Heritage Register in 1973. The tower featured in this sketch, with its height slightly exaggerated, was modeled after the Campanile in the Piazza San Marco in Venice.

Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism

Sakya, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, is named after the patch of gray (kya) earth (sa) in southern Tibet on which its first monastery was erected in 1073. In contrast, this Sakya Monastery in the north Seattle neighborhood of Greenwood is housed in a former Presbyterian church built in 1928. After outgrowing several other facilities in Seattle, the local Sakya community moved here in 1984. This location was seen as being auspicious because the number 108 in its address is sacred in Tibetan Buddhism.

Rather than being a monastery, this is more a community of lay practitioners that was led by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche, who immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1960 as exiles after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. One of the first Tibetan lamas to settle and teach in the U.S., he passed away last year at the age of 87.

At the corner of the site where NW 83rd Street meets 1st Avenue NW is erected a white bell-shaped stupa in memory of Dezhung Rinpoche III, who had co-founded with Jigdal Dagchen the original Sakya Dharma Center in Seattle in 1974. The stupa, symbolizing the Buddha’s enlightened mind, is surrounded by four quadrants of prayer wheels

Plaza de Armas

 

Here is a view of Plaza de Armas, also known as the Plaza de Independencia, in Querétaro. In the foreground is a fountain with a statue of Juan Antonio de Urrutia y Arana, who was responsible for the construction of a 4200-foot long aqueduct to bring water to the city from La Cañada in the early 18th century. He is looking toward the Palacio de la Corregidora, residence of Don Miguel Domínguez and his wife Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, who is revered for her role in liberating Mexico from Spain. The palace is now the seat of the state government of Querétaro.

Along the west side of the plaza is this view corridor, with a carefully pruned mass of Indian laurel trees on the left and on the right, the Casa de Ecala, an 18th-century baroque mansion named after Tomás López de Ecala. The casa is now home of DIF (Desarrollo Integral de La Familia), a state agency offering social assistance to Mexican families.

Santa Rosa de Viterbo

 

The public enters the 1752 Church of Santa Rosa de Viterbo through twin entrances on the north side rather than the more typical west end, which abuts a busy street. This view is drawn from the Plaza Mariano de las Casas, created in 1964 to increase the visibility of this north side of the church.

Santa Rosa de Viterbo was originally associated with a convent whose nuns devoted themselves to primary education. After the convent was closed in 1861 due to the Reform Laws, the facility was transformed into a hospital. Today, the convent portion is the Centro de Estudios de Diseño y Artes Graficas Mexico-Italiano.