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The Seattle Sketcher

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

December 20, 2013 at 6:50 PM

New bell rings in reminder of Lake Union’s past

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Sketched Dec. 6 and Dec. 11, 2013

Church bell ringer John Cox told me four years ago that he’d love to melt the Fremont Lenin statue into a giant bronze bell.

Today I’m happy to report that Cox got the Russian-made artifact he wanted withouth having to torch Lenin, and Fremont can breathe easy.

Cox’s congregation at St. Spiridon Orthodox Cathedral has imported an 1,800-pound bronze bell from the Vera foundry in Voronezh, a city the size of Seattle in Southern Russia that has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of bronze bells.

The new bell means a lot for the cathedral, as it fills a spot that has been empty for more than a decade.

As I watched two men and a giant forklift install the bell last week, I appreciated that St. Spiridon’s Russian domes and bells serve as a reminder of what the Cascade neighborhood once was: a working class community of Russian and Greek immigrants employed by sawmills and boat yards around Lake Union.

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Comments | More in History | Topics: South Lake Union


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