Longtime Seattle residents may remember Polly Esther’s/Culture Club, the once-packed nightclub at 5th Avenue and Harrison Street, where teens in the early 2000s could dance late into the night, then walk over to the nearby McDonald’s for sustenance while waiting for a parent.
Back then, the 18-and-over club was one of the city’s few nightlife spots open past 2 a.m. Going at least once seemed almost a rite of passage for young Seattleites.
But the club’s been closed for years, and now the building is gone, too. It was damaged in a fire Tuesday afternoon, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
Crews responded to the blaze near Seattle Center, across the street from the Museum of Pop Culture, just before 4 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters quickly transitioned from a defensive position to an offensive approach after early reports of a person inside the building, according to tweets from the Seattle Fire Department.
But after using thermal imaging cameras to peer through the smoke billowing from the windows and not finding anyone inside, firefighters switched back to a defensive response out of concern for the building’s stability and heavy smoke, fire officials said. No injuries were reported.
More than 70 firefighters were called to the scene, the Fire Department reported just after 5 p.m.
Fire investigators will be working to determine the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage.