Friday, May 17, 2013

Industrial District

It seems that every time I assume that a walk will have very little worth photographing, I'm proven wrong. Today's 5.8 mile walk in the Industrial District was no exception. I filled in streets from Lander to Spokane between Utah Avenue and Airport Way S and was surprised at what I learned about Seattle's past and present.

Walking along the north side of Spokane Street, I enjoyed the history lessons posted on the support pillars and the corresponding art work. Birds were painted on some pillars and the words "Duck-Duck-Goose" were an indication that 27 species of wild ducks and 6 species of wild geese inhabit the Puget Sound Trough Ecoregion. For the Duwamish people, ducks and geese were a source of food. In the 1950's, the waste of the slaughterhouses attracted waterfowl and locals hunted ducks in the middle of SoDo. The abundance of waterfowl gave rise to Pacific Coast Feather, a global market leader in the pillow and down comforter industry.

Other pillars gave the history of the recycling industry and noted that several current businesses recycle everything from architectural salvage to electronics. I did pass Earthwise, Republic Services and Second Use.

I learned that we exported scrap metal to Japan until 1941. In the 1930's, Chinese American's demonstrated against these shipments from Seattle. There was an embargo on exporting metal to Japan but scrap metal was not included. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we collected scrap metal for the American war effort.

Other pillars gave the history of the metalworking industry

and Seattle's attempt to reshape the landscape.

I was slowed down by traffic lights and railroad crossings.

At the Orient Express Restaurant, I saw what claimed to be FDR's personal railroad car (one source says he slept in the car for one night in the 30's).

This area is home to Fire Station No. 14 and its impressive 73 foot training tower,

The old Rainier Brewery, now the corporate headquarters and roasting plant of Tully's Coffee,

an Elephant Car Wash, Franz's Bakery and Outlet Store,

a light rail maintenance facility,

an entrance to the SoDo Trail (at Forest, west of 6th),

the bus way (where the light seem to favor pedestrians)

and Studio Seven, where I spotted this mural.

Along the way, I spotted some great signs outside a building that seemed to be shared by All Star Auto Glass and Taco del Mar,

an old Washington Highway Department building,

a Sky High Espresso shack,

a mural on a Subway Sandwich shop

and an elegant statue tucked away almost under I-5.

The scenery may not have been the most beautiful but I learned a lot on this walk.

No comments:

Post a Comment