Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Columbia City and Mid Beacon Hill

My pastry-loving pal and I started today's 7.1 mile walk at the Columbia City Bakery - walks can't start much better than that! Prior walks in this area included streets east of Rainier Avenue but today's walk concentrated on those west of Rainier.

The weather was dreary but I was amazed at how this stretch of Rainier Avenue has changed over the years. There have been a great pub and few good restaurants for as long as I've been coming here but now the shops are more upscale and I noted lots of people walking along the street.

Walking west on Edmunds Street, we came across a large construction site and were told that it was for a strip mall with apartments above. I hope it's not really a strip mall because it abuts the lovely green-space of Columbia Park.

Southside Commons is just west of the park and rents event space to organizations promoting social, racial and economic justice. Heading north on 35th, we passed a land use action sign proposing to build 9 three-story townhouse units in 4 buildings with parking for 7 vehicles. The project had included 8 additional units but that is under review.

We passed the Full Life Adult Day Center before walking east on Alaska to the stately Rainier Valley Cultural Center.

From there we could see the Columbia Branch of the Seattle Public Library.

Heading west again, we noted that AIM (Arts in Motion) had moved to Columbia City and spotted another land use action sign. This one on 32nd Avenue proposed to build six 3 and 4 story apartment buildings with 244 units and parking for 222 vehicles.

Continuing west to MLK Jr Way, we came to Zion Prep Academy and the Columbia City light rail station (which is probably partly responsible for the multi-family building boom).

West of the station, we were out of Columbia City and in Mid Beacon Hill where we spotted more new construction and a few staircases.

Heading east again, we walked south to Hitt's Hill Park, the former home of Hitt Brothers Firework Company. According to the Parks Department website: "The family-run fireworks company is credited with creating pyrotechnics for the movie “Gone With the Wind,” as well as providing fireworks for shows at Green Lake and Ivar’s Fourth of July celebrations through the 1970s".

We passed the Seattle Gymnastics Academy and Puppy Perfectors as well as some Homestead townhouses.

We noted an interesting house on Hudson Street which appeared to have recycled all kinds of building materials.

This area is home to some already constructed, large, multi-family housing,


the Rainier Valley Historical Society (next door to a pretty upscale looking plumbing showroom),

what looks like a former school

and public art along MLK Jr. Way near the light rail station.

This was another enjoyable walk with lots to see.

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