6053 California demolition under way


Thanks to Brian for the tip – a month and a half after the demolition permit was issued, the backhoe’s digging right now into 6053 California (at Graham, north end of Morgan Junction) right now, from the alley side first (this view is looking southeast through the back fence in the alley west of the site) – this demolition has been going on by hand for a few weeks, as parts of the building were “deconstructed” for salvage before the walls started coming down. This is the building we once wrote we’d be sad to see go:


But neighbors are thrilled because while it’s been vacant, they’ve had tons of trouble with trespassers, transients, and even some arrests. Here’s the latest rendering we have of the townhouse/live-work project slated to replace it:


10:29 AM UPDATE: The teardown is currently in a stopdown – so if you drive by any time soon, you won’t see anything obvious from California or Graham.

16 Replies to "6053 California demolition under way"

  • chez shoes September 4, 2008 (9:41 am)

    Oh, this makes me sad. Will there ever be an end to those live/work units that are so out of scale to that area? This space could have been a cute little restaurant or something. Changing times. I guess.

  • Ms Pam September 4, 2008 (9:44 am)

    It is kind of sad to see another “original” piece of West Seattle be torned down. I remember it as “Tip Top” a small grocery store with a meat market connected. We use to stop there after school for treats and pop in at the meat market for dog bones. But it has become an eye-sore and as a place for losers to take over.

    I, for one, am ready for the new building. New memories, good ones, I hope…

  • nuni September 4, 2008 (11:16 am)

    That new building plan looks bad. It’s already outdated and it hasn’t even been built yet. Looks like something straight out of the 60’s.

  • songstruck September 4, 2008 (11:44 am)

    We are very glad to see this place go. Drug dealers were among the last tenants and it has been sex, drugs and drunken parties ever since it closed.

    I’m a neighbor and attended all of the planning sessions; a piece of property like this is exactly in line with the increased housing density needed in a vibrant city. There’s no way a restaurant could afford to pay $1-2 million (and that’s just for the land).

    I think the design looks great and is vastly superior to the nearly windowless lowest-possible-cost multi-family structures just blocks away on California. Take a look!

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS September 4, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    I was involved in a recent design review for a similar project. Be prepared for the final product and tenats to vary widely from what was proposed. (BOHICA) Or maybe this one will be an exception?
    I’m sad to see the original place go but having it fall into a full service drug den/whore/squatter house etc. is unacceptable.
    I’m tired of the tear down to town home and the live work bs space stuff too but if it’s zoned for it there’s nothing anyone can do except move unfortunately. Some development is good but we’ve passed the common sense point.

  • Rick September 4, 2008 (1:59 pm)

    Yes, it is sad to see a lot of these old buildings come down, but there’s more money in the new development. A lot of the charm and quaintness that so many people say attracted them to West Seattle is dissappearing in favor of that same new development. On the horizon, Husky’s, Homestead Restuaraunt, and other West Seattle landmarks soon to be replaced with mega modern buildings with neighborhood building chain stores that will make us all proud of our local heritage. At least the last 10 years or so worth. Just like the other neighborhoods. So sad.

  • quiz September 4, 2008 (2:17 pm)

    It’s about time they got moving on this thing.

  • Meghan September 4, 2008 (4:49 pm)

    Yes, we all have memories of the “old” West Seattle. And it would be nice if nothing ever had to change and we could save every old building. But not every old building can be saved (or is worth saving for various reasons). And live/work units are exactly what we should be encouraging in West Seattle! They allow people to run business (which brings in revenue!) out of their homes, so they aren’t on the road adding to the traffic problem. It’s a win/win! And for anyone who understands economics and architecture (i.e. few people who contribute to this website), the proposed building is a thoughtful, good design for that corner and neighborhood.

  • design nulu September 4, 2008 (9:16 pm)

    Here, here. Another cutting edge design to grace the Morgan Community. Wonderful set-backs and modulated masses. I particularly appreciate the sensitive way that designs like this embrace pedestrian activity. Great planning for future sidewalk cafes and public gathering places. Best to get your down payment in early before this project is featured in Architectural Record and the prices skyrocket. The unnamed architects should also submit to the upcoming AIA Honors Awards, but might overwhelm the competition. If only we could fill in the rest of the west side of California Ave like this, we could travel from South Morgan to North Admiral all afternoon, in the shade. Just what we need for global warming and the delight of pale skinned black garbed goths. Onward West Seattle!
    P.S. It’s also great that Grumpy Aaron’s Bikes is expanding into the liquor store space to service all the new live/work bikers as I see no nod to tenant parking.

  • songstruck September 5, 2008 (8:01 am)

    Yeah, where WERE you at the design sessions. I’m sure your ideas and positive attitude would have changed everything…”and the scales were lifted from their eyes…”

    Parking is in the rear!

  • Kara September 5, 2008 (5:30 pm)

    I have to agree that the building design makes it look old already. Although everything in the city is changing so much so fast I have to say that West Seattle is really good at putting up a fight and not being complete overrun….like Ballard.

  • Peter September 9, 2008 (3:49 pm)

    I’m pretty bummed I missed out on the sex, drugs, and drunken parties. :)

  • LA in the Junction September 9, 2008 (9:29 pm)

    I’m with Peter. Always a day late and a dollar short. And I don’t bike or work from home so I guess I’ll be left out of the “new West Seattle” too. What’s a girl to do?

  • Steve September 10, 2008 (2:11 pm)

    Whew! I for one am sure glad there is someone on this site who understands economics and architecture for all of us poor schmucks who don’t know them when we see them. And in my opinion, cities such as Paris, London and Rome would be a lot better off if they tore down all their old crappy buildings and replaced them with snappy designs such as the one above.

  • bill kemp September 10, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    Sorry to see it go, Took Kung Fu lessons there.

  • Restita DeJesus September 11, 2008 (9:17 pm)

    I’m sad to see the old building go. Many memories. My martial arts school was there from 2000 to last December when we moved out. Having taught many West Seattlites in the area for so long, its sort of odd to be in a different neighborhood now! I hope the new building provides much enjoyment for the neighborhood.

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