The New Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Visiting the new Burke Museum designed by the architecture firm of Olson Kundig, I had intended to draw the lobby spaces. Instead, I was drawn to the rather large mastodon situated in the lower entrance floor, along with the skeleton of a Baird’s Beak Whale. It was difficult to capture the skeletal volume that had been stripped of muscle and sinew. Below is the result of another, freer attempt from a slightly better point of view.


The iconic roof structure of KeyArena on the Seattle Center grounds will be the only remaining part of the original coliseum after it is redeveloped into an NHL and NBA venue. Because the ongoing excavation is lowering the ground level beneath the existing footings, a network of temporary steel supports is necessary to hold up the roof structure until new foundations can be placed. Now called the Seattle Center Arena, the coliseum is scheduled to open in the spring of 2021, in time for the new Seattle NHL franchise. Oak View Group is the developer for the project; Populous is the architecture firm; and Mortenson is the general contractor.

Paul Thiry designed the original structure, the Washington State Pavilion for the 1962 World’s Fair—the Century 21 Exposition. It was soon renamed the Seattle Center Coliseum, which served as a venue for sports, concerts, and other entertainment over the decades. In 1994–95, NBBJ-designed a renovation to bring the coliseum up to NBA standards and and naming rights were sold to KeyBank, which renamed the coliseum KeyArena. Notably, the coliseum was the home of the Seattle SuperSonics before the team’s sale in 2006 and ultimate move to Oklahoma City in 2008.

This second drawing of the arena’s roof structure is from a slightly different point of view and strips away much of the surrounding activity to focus primarily on the shell.

A View Up Pike Street

This is the arched vault of steel and glass that spans the one-block section of Pike Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. On the right are entrances to the Washington State Convention Center. The difficulty here is conveying the transparency of the span. I first drew both the transparent plane in front as well as what one sees beyond, lightly, with broken lines. I then reinforced the framing elements of the vertical glazing to bring them forward.

Here is a view that I sketched 4 years ago, looking down Pike Street in the opposite direction.

DeConstructing the Viaduct: Part V

After my last post, I remembered that the north end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is still in the process of being dismantled. This is a view where the viaduct used to pass over Elliott Avenue before descending into the Battery Street Tunnel, which is now filled with the debris and rubble from sections of the torn down viaduct. 

Guild 45th Theater

The Guild 45th is a 500-seat theater in the Wallingford neighborhood that opened in 1921 as the Paramount. The theater has survived a succession of owners, from its first, William Code; to Bill Bruen, who changed the name to 45th Street Theater when Paramount Pictures built its own Paramount Theater downtown in 1928; to Jack Neville; and to Bob Clark, who renamed it the Guild 45th and remodeled it in preparation for the showing of mainly foreign films and an art-house repertoire. In 1988, Landmark Theatres, a national movie-house chain, purchased the Guild 45th along with the rest of the Seven Gables Theatres previously put together by Randy Finley, the theater’s fifth owner.

On June 5, 2017, the Guild 45th closed suddenly, along with most of the other Landmark chain in Seattle, except for the Crest Cinema. The site sadly still sits vacant and very little is known or has been publicized about the property’s future.

Live Aloha!

On a day of passing clouds, sun breaks, and eventually thunderstorms, the Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival occupied the grounds of Seattle Center with three performance stages, vendors of all things Hawaiian, and food trucks selling plate lunches, malasadas, shaved ice, and other island foods. In its 12th year, the festival continues to “promote, perpetuate and share the Hawaiian culture in the Pacific Northwest by enriching and strengthening the Hawaiian community and celebrating the arts and culture of Hawaii.”

The above is a drawing of the Mural Amphitheater stage during the performance of a halau hula (hula school), with the Space Needle looming overhead.