Sketched Aug. 27, 2019
Nearly three months after my last visit to Seattle’s downtown waterfront, the evening light is shining on Pioneer Square buildings that have been hidden in the shadow of the Alaskan Way Viaduct for decades.
An artfully lettered sign on the side of a notable old brick and stone building at the base of South Washington Street is now in plain sight. It reads: “Since 1882. L & H Printing Company. Seattle’s Oldest Retail Business.” It’s as if a curtain to Seattle’s past has been lifted.
The aging freeway has not yet been completely torn down. A lonesome section across from Colman Dock, along with the pedestrian walkway attached to its belly, awaits its fate. This segment of the viaduct is scheduled to be demolished after the new pedestrian bridge connecting First Avenue and the ferry terminal opens sometime after Labor Day.
The demise of the viaduct has kept me returning to sketch along the waterfront for years. It’s hard to reconcile that I won’t get to draw it anymore!