Demolition work starts at Fauntleroy Place (Whole Foods)


Those are two of the three backhoes working on the ex-Hancock/Schuck’s building. We talked with BlueStar‘s project manager for Fauntleroy Place, Easton Craft, at the scene a few minutes ago – he said the crews aren’t expected to take the entire building down today — just the facade and some internal work — though the plan could change. Though the official “groundbreaking” ceremony was more than a month ago, the building couldn’t come down until asbestos-abatement work was done; Craft tells WSB that went uneventfully, without anything unusual turning up in the building beyond some of the tile/ceiling asbestos routinely used back when buildings like this went up. He also says City Light crews are in the area today doing some preparation work for the utility undergrounding that BlueStar plans to do (including the poles along 39th). While we were talking with Craft, a woman came up to ask what’s going to happen to the old Hancock/Schuck’s sign:


Well, he began, we think it’s going to the dump. No! she said, alarmed, identifying herself as a longtime West Seattleite who wants to see the sign preserved as history – at least, the Hancock’s part. Craft said he’d see what he could do, though he’s worried the sign might be welded to its metal poles and hard to separate. We’ll let you know how it turns out. ADDED 10:39 AM: Demolition video:

We’ll check back on the progress a bit later. As for the project itself, its new design will be considered by the Design Review Board next month, but as BlueStar told JuNO two weeks ago, they planned to proceed with demolition and excavation work in the meantime.

13 Replies to "Demolition work starts at Fauntleroy Place (Whole Foods)"

  • B July 22, 2008 (10:22 am)

    The sign…really? Not worth saving imo. (but that’s just me). That thing is probably so old that it will fall apart when it’s touched.

  • Mr. JT July 22, 2008 (10:30 am)

    If the sign is worthy of saving, John Bennett would have been there long ago.

  • WSB July 22, 2008 (10:33 am)

    Sentimental value, I think. She said she knew the building’s owners.

  • tracer July 22, 2008 (10:55 am)

    I am the woman that inquired about the Historic Sign. The Building was first a Lucky Grocery Store which was affilated with Hancock Fabrics as well.
    Hancock first opened it’s doors at the Alaska St location, August 21st 1972. So for 36 years the sign has been welcoming commuters through the intersections of Alaska and Fauntleroy. Why not reuse the sign as a part of OUR history here in West Seattle?

  • B July 22, 2008 (11:54 am)

    where would it be displayed?

  • A July 22, 2008 (12:42 pm)

    I’m sorry, I would have to agree. It’s just a sign – and not a very nice one at that.

  • dorian gray July 22, 2008 (1:04 pm)

    Because it’s not August of ’72 anymore. Because it’s not our sign or property. Because a fabric store sign isn’t the ideal way to introduce commuters to the neighborhood. Because if all the “Save the ___” had their way, we’d be known as the generation that contributed nothing to society or our cities.

  • WSB July 22, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    Saving the sign wouldn’t necessarily mean it had to go in the “gateway” area. Think Luna Park business district – some of the signs there are a little ratty but they just remind us of the time gone by. I don’t long for “the good old days” — I absolutely adore today, and every day I am lucky enough to keep being on the planet — but I sure appreciate seeing old signs, ads, photos of old houses, just to jog the memory, bring a smile, whatever. I didn’t even think to get a photo of the old sign before this morning. The Schuck’s part of it is certainly undistinguished but the oldschool style of the Hancock’s logo makes me think of Bel-Air cars, the Carnation ice cream truck, my mom’s boyfriend’s Corvair (!) and other memories. (All a few years before the sign, I guess.) If I were a kazillionaire I’d have my own personal MOHAI type collection. As it is, all I have is a shelf full of old transistor radios.

  • Fiona July 22, 2008 (1:42 pm)

    I worked for Hancock Fabrics for a long time, and at WS for a few of those years, and knowing how “thrifty” the company is, I’m suprised they didn’t keep it to re-use! Someone needs to do a map of West Seattle that includes all the metamorphisis of the buildings/lots. I loved hearing about Fiedler’s, Lucky’s, Safeway (RiteAid) and just heard about the movie house in the Alaska Junction.

  • Sue July 22, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    I wondered if something was up today. When I passed by on the bus around 7:45 this morning I saw a few men wearing hardhats wandering around the parking lot, but did not see any visible equipment, and it made me wonder when we were going to see work done on that lot. Guess I got my answer!

  • B July 22, 2008 (3:18 pm)

    One thing that I thought was kind of cool… They are recycling a lot of the old timber and brick from the building so at least that isn’t going in a landfill!

  • WSB July 22, 2008 (4:34 pm)

    We took a closer look at the site this afternoon (walked the southern side of the perimeter too) and got some additional video/pix we’ll put up later in a separate post … the debris of a demolition site is oddly fascinating … one pile on the south side included mangled old shopping carts … if you walk the west side of the building along 40th (still intact as of our visit around 3:15, so I believe BlueStar’s expectation of major demolition tomorrow will turn out to be accurate), you can see an old commode just sitting forlornly (?) isolated, with some metal scraps and a beer bottle nearby … P.S. to Sue, funny thing is that we had a hunch yesterday and would have been out there even earlier if we’d followed up on it – drove by the site and thought “hmm, wonder when they’re going to start tearing it down, make a note to check with BlueStar …” then this morning a text msg (shout-out to “Hopey” – thank you!) woke us up with word the work had begun.

  • Jill Loblaw July 23, 2008 (7:18 am)

    Dorian Gray:
    Perhaps you should travel out of W.S. to a place like London, a city that is built on centuries old history. A city that is not ashamed of its architectural past, pretty or not. Fortunately, there are people who want to preserve the past otherwise you who would like to “contribute”something, would tear down as many buildings and signs that you perceive as unworthy.

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