Yes, I’ll provide a disclaimer. I love aesthetics and I love historic preservation or restoration. Above all else, these factors have influenced my stance on urban development.

Belmont & Pine

In 2007 I moved to Capitol Hill, the once beating heart of industry in central Seattle, because of the character that had been presented by historic preservation. As we have seen in these past years though, preservation doesn’t stand up in the face of new development and increasingly larger mega-projects, but there is something that does hold true – brick.

In Seattle’s early days brick was the source for paving, thus most of the center city was covered in a beautiful crimson. From as far south as Georgetown, as east as Montlake and Madison Valley, and as far north as Ballard we can see evidence of it’s resilience. Usually it’s not easy to find. Much like the interurban tram lines of old Seattle, our brick streets are buried under what is now our crumbling cross-hatch of concrete thoroughfares.

 

It’s something that I think about literally ALL THE TIME. I can’t help it. I pass massive potholes on a daily basis, and at the bottom of those potholes there usually lies comparatively unblemished brick (sometimes rails too). It makes me wonder why we even bother filling in these potholes or why SDOT tears up entire stretches of concrete roadway, uncovering beautiful brick streets that have been hidden for decades, just to pave right on over them again (See: 12th Avenue and Airport Way South last year).

On Capitol Hill we have two city designated historic preservation areas. One of them being the Harvard-Belmont Historic District, and the other being the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District. Both of which house some of Capitol Hill’s oldest buildings. What would be another common factor that these areas share? They are located in an area with heavy pedestrian use. What would be just one advantage of restoring at least a few of our brick streets in the most pedestrian heavy areas? Traffic calming.

Brick’s naturally rough surfer causes vehicles traveling at higher speeds to vibrate to the point where many people will slow down just to not experience this sensation. If you’d like some proof, just watch the intersection of Pike Street, Pike Place, and First Avenue. It’s not pleasant unless speed is decreased. Would this be a speeding deterrent for everyone? Of course not, but it can be a speed deterrent for some, which causes everyone in the immediate area to slow down.

Ideally, restoration wouldn’t be done on an arterial like 12th or Airport Way. It’s true. These roads are built for quick access, but restoration could be ideal in Capitol Hill’s commercial cores, like Pike/Pine or Broadway (the streetcar will already prove to a be traffic calming measure). These places could especially be great candidates for restoration as not only are they heavily occupied by pedestrians at most times, but they are also destinations.

People like pretty destinations. It’s just that simple. If not for the pedestrian safety, then restore the brick for the character and charm building of an already interesting slice of Seattle. Character and charm are inviting, and those that have been invited will more than likely be spending money in our historic commerical cores.

Lastly, if anything, brick is much less likely to crumble than our already horrid concrete streets and it’s easier to maintain. It’s true that the initial restoration might cost more than a standard repaving, but after that, it’s as simple as replacing brick and sandblasting.

Plus, brick streets are just damn pretty to look at.

Heiligeweg in lovely Amsterdam

AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddishAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

English (auto-detected) » English
Advertisements