Sketched Nov. 20, 2019

The Alaskan Way Viaduct is gone, but you can now claim a chunk of the elevated freeway and save it as a historic souvenir of our changing city.

Dusty pieces of pulverized concrete are laid out on a clothed table at the offices of Friends of Waterfront Seattle on Western Avenue. They once formed the waterfront viaduct, nearly entirely demolished after closing earlier this year, and on Wednesday afternoon, people were excitedly picking up the hunks of debris like they were pieces of candy, carefully examining the shape and size of the chunks to ensure they took home a good sample.

It’s unclear how much free rubble will be available, but I can appreciate the fact that the Washington State Department of Transportation is sparing some of it for the enjoyment of the general public.

In the short term, the pieces are likely to find their way into Christmas stockings and gardens or onto furniture shelves. Years from now, they will probably spark interesting conversations about life in Seattle before and after the Viaduct. 

So get yours before they’re all gone!


Friends of Waterfront Seattle: 1400 Western Ave; open Wednesday to Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.;