Junction demolition update: The view from above

23 days after teardown work started at the two-building California/Alaska/42nd project site, crews are still clearing debris on the west side of the site, and tackling the underground level left after that building was demolished last week. Along the way, we’ve received a few requests for an aerial view, and local pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen has obliged, with two angles – top and bottom. For a comparison, here is the Seattle Municipal Archives 1957 aerial we’ve featured before – flipped and cropped – that’s SW Alaska at right, though the historic photo didn’t show California:

Back to the current view – here’s the aerial looking from north toward south – the tents on California are from Sunday’s Harvest Festival:

(Both views also show the crane and excavation for the 4730 California project.)

The California/Alaska/42nd demolition is the last major tearing down for at least a few months. The next one could be on the 4745 40th SW site, where a permit is pending and one tenant of the existing small office building has told us they were told to be out by the end of November.

18 Replies to "Junction demolition update: The view from above"

  • Starr Noir October 30, 2013 (10:52 pm)

    Ummm… The historical view is upside down…

    • WSB October 30, 2013 (10:56 pm)

      As noted in my text. We have shown the photo right-side-up a couple times before; we flipped it here to match the angle of one of the photos, since we don’t have an aerial at the same angle as the photo.

  • Sonoma October 31, 2013 (12:10 am)

    As you stroll along these blocks, enjoy the natural light while you can. The ugly new buildings will go far to block it out.

  • redblack October 31, 2013 (5:42 am)

    first time i’ve seen that photo from 1957. i’d love to know what some of those buildings were.
    so the giant, flat roof at 42nd and alaska is what would become jefferson square, right?

  • Amie October 31, 2013 (5:44 am)

    What are they building here again? Is this going to be the apartments with no parking?

  • Jordan October 31, 2013 (6:50 am)

    So, does Mr Nguyen ever take passengers? I love his pictures, it is really pretty cool that we have a pilot/photographer that does what he does for our community. The fog picture last week that he shot was absolutely amazing.

  • miws October 31, 2013 (8:01 am)

    redblack, yep, that’s where Jefferson Square now is!


    The old brick building was Jefferson Elementary, and the flat part was the playground. I didn’t know, or at least don’t remember knowing, that there was actually an indoor playground underneath the asphalt slab outdoor playground.


    Here’s a link to the previous article showing the historic aerial pic, and some informative comments:




  • CW October 31, 2013 (8:09 am)

    When is the California/Alaska/42nd project expected to be complete? early 2015?

  • patt October 31, 2013 (8:11 am)

    Jefferson Sq is where the old school is, the flat area I think is a play ground,

    I still wonder what the 4 workers were doing just west of where the orange backhoe is sitting. They were pulling light colored things out of the hole in that other small bricked up sub basement roof of the old hospital in that corner. They put it into all those plastic bags? papers? pill bottles? or the start of Halloween 10…

  • Dale October 31, 2013 (8:30 am)

    I too would love to know what the half block flat roof was where Jefferson Square sits now. In fact, would it be possible to publish the photo right side up and not cropped? It is interesting to see that back when we had fewer vehicles, we had more parking. Progress!

  • T Rex October 31, 2013 (8:53 am)

    I am not sure about Mr. Nguyen taking passengers but you can purchase his photographs from him direct. I have two in my home, one I bought and one he gave me as a gift when he personally delivered my purchase. Turned out, we are neighbors.

  • Wes C. Addle October 31, 2013 (9:29 am)

    For those complaining that the picture is upside down. You can always save the photo and rotate it once you’ve saved it.

  • patt October 31, 2013 (10:03 am)

    It was a flat play field with landscaping on the sides above the Alaska Street, Now is some building on the NE side and Safeway parking :)

  • West Seattlite October 31, 2013 (10:23 am)

    Now that the buildings are gone and we can see what the Junction is like without them, I think the whole area should be made into a PARK: expansive lawns, large trees and rhodies, wandering paths, comfortable benches, lovely water fountains by George Tsutakawa, bright sunshine, dappled shade, robins singing…..

  • Sarge October 31, 2013 (11:03 am)

    It sounds like these new highrise apartment/condos going up all over West Seattle have business space slated for the ground floor.

    Where are the hundreds (or is it thousands?) of new residents to our small community going to park thier cars?

    Is there any city plan to add additional parking in the junction?

    • WSB October 31, 2013 (11:47 am)

      The two-building project that is going on this site has a 200-plus-space garage below – that’s why they are excavating. The Spruce project under construction at the former “Hole” also includes an underground parking garage, as does the project at 4755 Fauntleroy SW, the one west of it on 40th SW, and the one that’s also under construction in the heart of the Junction at 4730 California SW (crane visible in these aerial photos). Some other residential-only projects either are planned with fewer spaces than residents or no parking … working on an update right now, in fact. – TR

  • 35this35mph October 31, 2013 (10:42 pm)

    I have to agree with West Seatllite, walking/ driving past the site with the buildings down I have found myself just longing for a park in that space. So inviting. Maybe in another lifetime.

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