Most colorful pile of West Seattle teardown rubble ever

Just 4 days after we told you they got the permits, they brought in the demolition crew at the ex-Guadalajara Hacienda site this morning. Here’s all that’s left of the bright pink building and the vivid murals on its sides:


9 Replies to "Most colorful pile of West Seattle teardown rubble ever"

  • Rhonda Porter October 8, 2007 (12:27 pm)

    They had the best margaritas…

  • Captain Knievel October 8, 2007 (4:13 pm)

    sniff, sniff. a favorite of our kids …

  • chas redmond October 8, 2007 (7:16 pm)

    It is kinda sad, my just-graduated-from-college son remarked, as we went by there the other day, that there was inherent beauty in that old, kitschy, building and that it was part of the character of California Avenue. All these new condos – of whatever design – are not really adding any character to the boulevard.

    One thing they are doing, though, is helping define what in architectural circles is gaining ground as the “new NW look” – or perhaps post-Craftsman Craftsman. You see the same basic thing up on Phinney, in Fremont, in Queen Anne, in Green Lake, Roosevelt, the U-District, ID/SoDo, Capitol Hill and First Hill. Why not West Seattle?

    Come to think of it, wasn’t Craftsman a somewhat ubiquitous design of the time? Here’s some useful info on the Craftsman approach from Wikipedia –

    In the United States, the Arts and Crafts Movement took on a distinctively more bourgeois flavor. While the European movement tried to recreate the virtuous world of craft labor that was being destroyed by industrialization, Americans tried to establish a new source of virtue to replace heroic craft production: the tasteful middle-class home. They thought that the simple but refined aesthetics of Arts and Crafts decorative arts would ennoble the new experience of industrial consumerism, making individuals more rational and society more harmonious. In short, the American Arts and Crafts Movement was the aesthetic counterpart of its contemporary political movement: Progressivism.

    Now, we may not like the new post-Craftsman Craftsman approach to homes – in this case condos. But it is a movement and the design will slowly alter our view of major avenues and boulevards here in the city – much as Queen Anne of olde was definitively different from Wallingford – or the lumber mill and airplane factory homes of West Seattle.

    Our new landscape will be 45 to 65 feet on either side of narrow streets. That element is something we need to start thinking about – perhaps setbacks for sunshine?

  • Christopher Boffoli October 8, 2007 (11:35 pm)

    Chas: Much of what passes for new construction in West Seattle is simply a reductionist approach to the beautiful and useful Craftsman Style houses that once dominated our neighborhoods. There is a bit of irony that the genesis of the Arts and Crafts movement was a reaction to the Utilitarianism of architecture in the late 19th Century. And now our faux-Craftsman architecture is all too often about the developer’s utility in squeezing profit out of people’s housing necessities. Were he alive today I’m sure William Morris would find this practice to be abhorrent. Morris believed that anything made my man must either be a work of art or destructive to art.

    I’m less sure about the kitschy architecture that people in West Seattle seem to have a strong sentimental reaction to keeping around. I’m a relatively new resident of WS and so it is perhaps not my place to voice too strong of an opinion at this point. While I can accept an aversion to bland development I’m less inclined than many are to preserving ugly, decrepit, run down buildings in the name of preserving the “spirit” of West Seattle. I’d be more apt to fight against tearing down quality architectural gems. Lamenting the loss of something that wasn’t very good to start out with seems too overloaded with issues of sentimentality, nostalgia, socio-economic anxiety, etc.

  • sw October 9, 2007 (9:24 am)

    Sadly, they are indeed tearing down the two older homes that were South of the restaurant. I’d hoped that they might be preserved and moved somewhere, but alas – progress reigns supreme.

  • old timer October 9, 2007 (9:39 am)

    No, it’s not progress,
    it’s MONEY that reigns supreme.

  • Michael Dady October 9, 2007 (10:55 am)

    Chris and Chas,

    Are there enough people willing to pay the extra bucks necessary to design and construct anything other than the pseudo Craftsman style architecture? /// Sadly, I just can’t see any but the very well to do being able to afford it and the number of skilled trades people who are able to actually pull it off continues to dwindle. /// I know a lot of people cringe at any design termed ‘modern’, but at a minimum it shakes it up a bit and can provide a lot of bang for the buck.

  • chas redmond October 9, 2007 (3:44 pm)

    It does cost about 10 percent of the total build-out costs of an addition or major modification to hire a professional architect. However, here on Gatewood Hill between Holden and Thistle are about a dozen re-dos, flips, or owner-additions. About half of them benefit from a professional architect, and yes, it does make an incredible difference. The architected homes are the ones which bring the “ohs and ahs” and the Omni-look-alikes bring the “eeyouus” and the “ughhs” – there are enough custom-designed homes here on the hill, though, to have made a reasonable dint in the overall look/feel of the ‘hood. A compelling landscape job can also help mitigate the sameness of the nouveau craftsman approach – we’re lucky to have a fair range of attractive gardens and yards, too. It is, alas, all about the money, though.

  • miws October 10, 2007 (4:36 pm)

    I was sad to see the restaurant building , as well as the houses go too.

    I have vauge memories of visiting there as a kid when it was Terry’s Restaurant. And the occasional visits while it was Guadalajara.

    I also have memories of the house immediately to the south (5927), Back around 1979 & ’80, a friend of mine owned and lived in the house, and along with her sister and a friend , ran an antique shop out of it. Sadly, her sister passed away in 1980, otherwise the shop may have been around much longer.

    I not only spent time in the house visiting my friend and the shop, but also spent some time staying overnight, while she was out of town at one point.


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