West Seattle art: Historic-photo murals going up on new 35th/Avalon building

Thanks to Eddie for the tip and the photo:


The first of two photo murals went up today on the north side of Aura, the new mixed-use building on 35th south of Avalon. This one is on the northwest side of the building, and the other one is scheduled for installation on the northeast side tomorrow, according to building management, with whom we inquired after receiving Eddie’s photo:

The images are historic photos which we received from the Log House Museum in West Seattle. Both depict historic transportation methods to and from West Seattle, which we felt was important for our location, directly adjacent to the RapidRide stop. The first image is the historic W. Seattle Ferry (photo circa 1907), and the second is the historic Spokane Street (trolley) (photo circa 1930). The digital artist who gave the images a modern twist with the “pixelation” at the corners was a group in SODO called Grand Image.

The aforementioned RapidRide stop was restored just last week.

18 Replies to "West Seattle art: Historic-photo murals going up on new 35th/Avalon building"

  • kumalavula September 20, 2016 (6:31 pm)

    as someone who appreciates history, especially local history for the place where i live, i am especially excited to see these being installed. it’s all too often that with our technological and transpiration advances in recent years, people easily forget the times of yore.

    if we don’t keep these images in the minds of current inhabitants and future generations, the collective local history stands to be lost, or only kept alive by those who lived it and who are willing to be the record keepers.

    thanks for reminding all of us what west seattle used to be and now is.

  • zephyr September 20, 2016 (8:28 pm)

    Wow.   That image is very interesting.  Can you somehow publish that photo of the trolley?  I am intrigued by the Spokane Street bridge or viaduct supporting the trolley.  Was that how it looked?  Was it concrete?  It has a similar appearance to a regular overpass on the freeway.   So it looks both retro and modern.  Maybe it’s a combined image?  Help me out here.  ;) 

    • WSB September 20, 2016 (8:32 pm)

      I will be asking SWSHS’s Clay Eals about it .. the Historical Society is involved with so very many things, I’m actually a bit surprised not to have heard about this from him before we got the reader tip! But it could be that these folks just bought photos to use. Anyway, stand by.

    • Curator September 22, 2016 (4:37 pm)

      The images are in the collections of the Log House Museum.  I believe they have been previously published in several of our books, but are also available to anyone who comes down and looks through the database.  Our mid-term goal is to make these searchable online once we have raised enough funds to purchase a software extension for it and to digitally process a larger body of our images.  Please feel free to email collections(at)loghousemuseum.info if you are interested in scheduling a database appointed (necessary as our work stations are in high demand!).

      • Curator September 22, 2016 (4:41 pm)

        This was a private project so we weren’t at liberty to disclose, but individuals are always welcome to do so.  We love this project and would have been happy to share more but thought it best to leave it to the building owners.  Thanks for giving it such a great highlight!


        Curator, Log House Museum

  • dsa September 20, 2016 (8:44 pm)

    I thought most of that trestle was wooden piling.  I wonder if this rendering has taken liberties with our history. 

    • hj September 21, 2016 (11:06 am)

      Our memories tend to take more liberties than photographs, as shown below by the corroborating photo.

  • WGA September 20, 2016 (10:00 pm)

    Part of this was torn out a few years back and sits in front of Salty’s restaurant. You can still see parts of the original structure at Spokane and Avalon.

  • momof3boys September 21, 2016 (8:45 am)


    Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Collection

    Item No: 4471
    Description: Youngstown Place Grade Crossing
    Date: Nov 5, 1930 

    • WSB September 21, 2016 (8:49 am)

      Thank you, MO3B!

    • Sevenless September 21, 2016 (9:28 am)

      For those who might be wondering, Youngstown Place is the former name for the angled section of Delridge between Andover & Spokane St. This photo appears to be looking north on 23rd Ave SW, slightly north of the Skylark Cafe building.  The tall building on the right is the old Fire Station 36, which was on the same corner as the current station.

      Jean Sherrard has a pretty cool story filled with a ton of old photos of the trolley system, the old ferry terminal, and other historic tidbits about the bridges and crossings connecting West Seattle to the rest of the city.

      • WSB September 21, 2016 (10:31 am)

        Thanks to Sevenless too! We spotlight a helpful comment in every edition of our semi-new EXTRA newsletter (sign up here!) and so far in the runup to the next edition, tentatively planned for Friday, this thread is winning :)

  • coffee September 21, 2016 (12:20 pm)

    Love the picture but why did they add the unusual triangles to it?  I would rather see the whole picture.

  • Vanessa Vaughan September 21, 2016 (12:33 pm)

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words about the artwork!

    We  are the local art consulting firm, Grand Image, representing the artist who created these images (Cynthia Pastars).

    We worked with the Log House Museum in West Seattle to procure the historic photos that were the basis for these original pieces. The artist then created these as digital paintings,  overlaying a geometric motif to imbue the idea of merging the rich history of West Seattle with the modern aesthetic of the Aura building. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to create the artwork for these large scale important pieces as a new landmark for West Seattle.

    Any inquiries can be directed to vanessa@grandimage.com. Visit http://www.grandimageprojects.com to learn more about our studio and the work we do!

    • WSB September 21, 2016 (12:34 pm)

      Thanks, and I only wish we’d heard about it sooner! Any other West Seattle projects in the future, keep us in mind … editor@westseattleblog.com – TR

  • SuperDeliDude September 21, 2016 (2:05 pm)

    Every morning when my C Line stops in front of this building, I grieve for the future riders struggling to cram into the bus at this already frequently crowded commuting hub. 

  • WSB September 21, 2016 (5:04 pm)

    Just photographed the second one:


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