I’M SPENDING A chilly and windy afternoon at one of Seattle’s newest outdoor playgrounds, the privately owned but open-to-the-public Beach at Expedia Group along the Elliott Bay Trail.
The scene from this re-imagined corner of Seattle’s waterfront merits more than one sketch to do it justice. Looking south, the Terminal 86 grain facility looms large against the city skyline. The industrial building has been deemed a waterfront eyesore, but I can appreciate its utilitarian look. Not everything has to be pretty.
Looking north from the rock where I’m sitting to sketch, a concrete terrace with grassy landings gives people a place to sit down, relax or exercise. The facade of the new Expedia headquarters curves in the opposite direction of the steps, in a yin-yang sort of way.
It’s a bit misleading to call The Beach at Expedia Group a “beach.” You can’t get your feet wet here, because a rocky seawall several feet high keeps visitors from the water. But the new park is a wonderful gift to Seattle by its new corporate neighbor. A gentle swoop has replaced a dangerous sharp turn along the Elliott Bay Trail, and the landscape of tall grasses and driftwood, while man-made, does a good job in re-creating the Pacific Northwest environment.