What goes up, must draw a crowd: 4730 California crane rises

After three months of demolition and excavation at the 4730 California project site, the crane is going up today, as first reported here a week ago. Spectators included mom Lisa and daughter Annika, talking with construction superintendent Peter Davidson of Compass, the general contractor:

While much of the equipment for the project has been brought in from the alley, this had to come in from California SW, which is why it’s happening on a weekend morning:

The project’s high-profile spot – long home to the Petco store that has since moved to Capco Plaza at 41st/Alaska – has drawn spectators for weeks, often kids fascinated by the process, too young to be caught up in the debate over development and density:

Our photographer had to go through a safety briefing earlier in the week to get close enough to see the detail work required to make sure a high-flying project like this goes off safely:

This is the second crane in the area, after the one installed in June for “The Blake” about two blocks south at 5020 California SW. This project, meantime, is planned for seven stories and 93 residential units, including 15 ground-level live-work units, plus retail; it passed its final design review in November.

The crew expected this to take only a matter of hours – so the road should be clear this afternoon, long before it closes 6 am-6 pm tomorrow for this year’s West Seattle Car Show.

4:05 PM NOTE: We went back to The Junction to check on the crane’s progress and wound up staying through the lifting and placement of the horizontal section – an even-bigger spectacle – will add those photos when we can (check back!). But first, here’s video of the hoist, shared by Larry Murante (thank you!):

Even after that went up, two parts remained – including the cap, which required crew members to walk all the way out to the tip of the piece you see lifted in that clip.

ADDED: More photos, from the final stage of Saturday’s installation – perhaps the most dramatic:

First – a crew member marks where exactly the hoist was attached to the section that’s about to be raised, leaving vital info for the crew that will bring it back down months later:

Once it’s up, a delicate operation attaching it:

And finding the right photo angle on the ground can be a challenge too:

Still a few more we’re hoping to add.

8 Replies to "What goes up, must draw a crowd: 4730 California crane rises"

  • Jim P. September 14, 2013 (2:27 pm)

    The crane, it’s plain, will rise in spite of rain.

    • WSB September 14, 2013 (4:48 pm)

      And it did – no rain, though, and now the sun has finally broken through!

  • seaopgal September 14, 2013 (5:43 pm)

    Death by a thousand cranes … RIP, my beautiful old West Seattle Junction.

  • pilsner September 14, 2013 (6:05 pm)

    Special thanks to the Local 86 Ironworkers for putting the crane together.

  • NW September 14, 2013 (6:46 pm)

    This really is such a disappointment seeing project after project like this slowly change the West Seattle I grew up knowing so well. What a bummer!

  • Last53BusRider September 14, 2013 (6:46 pm)

    I wasn’t intending to go to the Junction today – but after seeing this post I had to come up and take a look.

  • ttt September 14, 2013 (10:21 pm)

    Watching the crane being buildt was kind of neat, but then the reality of how monstrous that new building will look… good bye sunny junction and the charm that you used to have…

  • billwald September 15, 2013 (9:36 am)

    All these new high rise apartments with no parking spaces for the residents. Another couple of years and I suppose when the kids drive in from out of town they will have to pay five bucks an hour to park their cars.

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