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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

March 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Messy end for First Hill old-timer

alfaretta-m.jpg
Sketched March 6, 2012
The ghostly doorway of the half-demolished Alfaretta apartments hides the massive ruins of what used to be a typical building on First Hill, a five-story apartment house built in 1918.
How did it come to this? Neighbors told me plans to build condos fell through during the 2008 financial crisis and demolition came to a halt.
Now work may resume with the construction of a proposed 31-story high-rise that would become the tallest building to date on First Hill and among the tallest residential towers in the city.
The project would clear the Seneca Street eyesore, add a new access to the adjacent Freeway Park and bring more density to quiet “Pill Hill,” but it worries some neighbors, who say a 300-foot tower is of out of scale for the neighborhood.
Early First Hill residents who lived to see five-story buildings like the Alfaretta dwarf their mansions probably felt the same way. The Stimson-Green house, below, is one of a handful of those residences that has survived to stand amid the high-rises.
stimsongreen-m.jpg
What has drawn your attention around Seattle lately? Send me your suggestions of interesting places and people to sketch via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!

Comments | More in Buildings | Topics: First Hill

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