Urban Design

Downtown Seattle, as seen from Kite Hill at Gasworks Park

Urban appeal

Urban Design

Weyerhaeuser’s new house

Several weeks ago I wrote an article about the significance of Weyerhaeuser moving out of and selling its iconic, 40-year-old home in Federal Way. So…

The death of the suburban corporate campus

Last week, political and economic shock waves rippled through two Puget Sound cities when Weyerhaeuser, the multi-national giant, announced that it was moving its corporate…

The Pioneer Square renaissance is through with fits & starts

In the thirty-five years that I’ve lived in Seattle, much of it working and living in or near Pioneer Square, I cannot recall so much…

Local architect receiving award at White House

Local architect honored at White House event Seattle architect Johnpaul Jones will be shaking hands with President Obama on Monday. During a formal, black-tie ceremony,…

A hole in Seattle’s downtown development

In the last six months, a considerable amount of ink has been spilled over the plight of Bertha, our famously busted tunnel borer. Due to…

Is this really the fastest growing city in America?

A couple of weeks ago, front page headlines in The Seattle Times declared Seattle the fastest growing large city in the U.S. Now, in some…

Bell Street Park: A noble bust

Disclosure number 1: I know most of the people who were involved in the design of Bell Street Park. I have greatly admired their work…

The waxing and waning of Seattle’s waterfront plan

Last Wednesday, James Corner Field Operations rolled out the latest thinking for Seattle’s urban waterfront. Occasionally, there were flashes of brilliance. At other times, just…

Why Stadium Place is the best new development in Seattle

First off, I’m here to say that the best new high rise buildings in Seattle are at Stadium Place along King Street and Occidental Avenue.…

For Lease: Tunnel. One of a kind. Never used.

Okay, Bertha is busted; and not in a good way. If it turns out she can’t be fixed, what are we going to do with…

Stealthbucks: The non-Starbucks Starbucks

Does anyone remember when Seattle was the espresso cart capital of the world? Back in the ‘90s, you couldn't walk a few blocks without encountering…

Lessons from Oakland’s waterfront district

Over the past decade I’ve been observing the gradual transformation of a section of downtown Oakland. Known as the Jack London District, it’s a four-…

Death of another corporate icon

Recently, I traveled to Billings, Montana for business. Prominently marking the skyline was a huge stylized “I” —  the exact same sign that had graced…

A new loo for Seattle?

In the mid-1990’s a French company by the name J.C. Decaux lobbied the City of Seattle for a contract to provide self-sanitizing public toilets. The…

Urban appeal

Over the last 40 years, our region has emerged from a little-known, backwater company town to a metropolitan area of global importance. These days, it’s…

NW Urban: Bringing Bremerton Back

Most people who have lived in Puget Sound for more than 10 years likely recall when Bremerton was all but pronounced dead. During the 1980s,…

NW Urban: Changing cities on the Sound

Throughout the Puget Sound area, many cities and towns have been rapidly changing. For the most part, the change has been propelled by the same…

Winslow (Un)Paves the Way

Over the past couple of years, the City of Bainbridge Island has been transforming its town center. A massive makeover of Winslow Way is the…

Activating Streets: The makeover of Pioneer Square

A few weeks ago, I came across a small clutch of tourists looking at a map and meandering along Yesler Way. I offered to help…

Seattle’s Stramp: a swirling confection could finally link the Market and the waterfront

Its still at least three years before the viaduct is bashed to bits — something I am eagerly looking forward to. Big Boring Bertha is…

How Seattle could rein in development abuses

Seattle has a long history of trying to encourage sensible increases in density only to find a few developers abusing the well-intended rules.  The stretching…

Best of 2012: Time to stop snubbing the suburbs?

Editors' note: Each day during the holidays, Crosscut is presenting two of the top stories from the past year on subjects that our writers regularly…

Pioneer Square’s takeoff: Be there or be left out

After several years of losing businesses and enduring tragic incidents, Pioneer Square is being transformed with new buildings and new entrepreneurial energy. In contrast to…

Walking the talk about walkable urban places

A recent report from George Washington University suggests that a new pattern of urban development is emerging in the United States. The pattern does not…

Vast billboards find a gaping loophole in Seattle laws

Readers of Crosscut might recall the fracas more than a year ago about the proposed change to City of Seattle’s sign law that would have…