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A column by my colleague Gene Balk on Monday’s newspaper inspired me to post these before-and-after sketches of a South Lake Union block to illustrate the transformation of the neighborhood.

As he writes in his piece (don’t miss those cool interactive photo sliders!) it all has happened so quickly.

It was just another January day, but four years ago, when I made the sketch of the Troy Laundry building that you can see below. Much of the neighborhood would be unrecognizable to anyone returning for a visit after all these years.

At the moment, construction of a 13-story glass office tower in that block is well underway. The noise of hammering and pounding got in my ears as I stood to draw the work in progress last week. A year ago, it was the rumbling of excavators digging the site’s ground that served as a soundtrack while I made a quick line drawing on my pocket Moleskine notebook.