Community Post

Restoring architectural beauty

Today as I sat at the light at 23rd and Yesler, as I often do, the sunlight bathed the restored houses on the NW corner.  From dilapidated dumps to art project to high quality affordable condos, the developers did the neighborhood a huge service.  When they were finished (maybe 7 years ago?) I was just hoping they were done right, not just a cosmetic upgrade.  So far, they seem to be holding up very well. 

This is one of my favorite changes in the neighborhood architecture in the last ten years.  What are yours?

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0 thoughts on “Restoring architectural beauty

  1. Our 1912 craftsman may not be a great marvel of architecture or even a particularly fancy version of its genre, but we’ve rather enjoyed restoring it to a much more original condition. We got the photo city and we’ve restored much of the exterior – which meant replacing a lot of the details that were stripped of over the years as the house was covered by fake brick (the kind that was like asphalt shingles – happily gone by the time we bought the house) and windows were slowly replaced.

    Our house was kind of sad and plain when we bought it – painted a uniform beige, with a few odd blue spots covering peeling paint and a big aluminum picture window gracing the front… Now it has its window moldings and drip cap back. A 3 tone paint job, its windows restored (amazingly the original leaded glass windows were saved in the basement!)and the crumbling concrete block front steps replaced with wooden ones that match the photo.

    We’ve done all the work ourselves, so it proceeds slowly (and we’re still working inside), but its all been worth it!

  2. where I grew up we called it “insulbrick” – but I think that was probably a brand name and no one ever knows what that is outside of the Pittsburgh area…. I’m really glad it was gone by the time we moved in. Usually its just asphalt, but sometimes it had asbestos too… then it is a huge deal to remove it.

  3. I love the fire station at 23rd & Yesler – that art deco architecture and the lighting at night is just fantastic. The view of the downtown skyline from that intersection is also wonderful.

    There is a Queen Anne Victorian on 21st between Cherry & Marion that’s painted in reds and greens, with fishscale siding shingles and the whole nine yards. I think it’s a duplex now, but I just love that they played with the colors and stayed true to the period.

    And of course there is my house, which is no marvel, but rather simple 1915 craftsman architecture, but I love it. We painted the door eggplant this summer to compliment the greenish-mint color of the house (which was that color when we bought it) and it brings out the color of the heather in our front yard.