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.