Why is this black metal box at 10th and Pike?

Pike/Pinetrenpreneur (and CHS advertiser) Dave Meinert posted a picture Thursday night of this new addition to the streetscape in front of Neumos and claims to have no idea what it is. Our first bet, these days, is marketing. But this one looks… different. Bolted to the sidewalk, the black metal box is supported on a post. Its hinged door reveals a plexiglass screen. In the back there is a wiring hole. At this point, there is nothing to wire.

What is it?

A mysterious black metal box at 10th and E Pike St. Anyone know what it is?

Posted by David Meinert on Thursday, May 28, 2015

A check of permits for the area revealed nothing. We’ve asked SDOT — and others — for any information. We’ll update when we hear back.

(We suggest you review the comments already made on Facebook before you add your joke about 2001, Meinert’s soul, or the NSA… they’ve all been done!)

IMG_5488UPDATE 6/1/2015 1:25 PM: Pffffft. Our cynical first bet was correct. The black box is, indeed, marketing. The installation is apparently related to this Deehubs screen now hung from Neumos. Deehubs got some coverage over the winter as a Seattle startup that “projects messages and ads on buildings.” The City of Seattle, however, is not pleased. “SDOT is continuing to further investigate the unpermitted box in the right of way at 10th and Pike Street and are in discussions with those responsible for the non-compliant object,” a spokesperson tells CHS. As of Monday afternoon, the black box of 10th and Pike was still standing. In defiance. And marketing.

Meanwhile, somebody has put it to good use:IMG_5486


UPDATE 6/2/15 2:25 PM: Deehubs partner Giorgi Gurgendize contacted CHS to let us know about a blog post he wrote to clarify details of the 10th/Pike project:

This black box is nothing fancy, it is not a marketing gimmick or a symbol of upcoming alien invasion. If you think it is an advertising you’re mistaken, because Deehubs is all the opposite of that advertising you see in the city. This box is a call for the Free Speech. Soon a projector will be placed here and the neighborhood will be able to express itself in a loud manner.

Deehubs isn’t necessarily an advertising technology company, according to Gurgendize but it is looking at how to eventually generate revenue. “We’re just starting out,” Gurgendize told CHS in a short conversation Tuesday afternoon.

“We intend to use this movement in a positive way which is to celebrate pride as well as the history of this neighborhood and the communities that have called it home, especially the LGBTQ community,” he wrote. “Stand for the Free Speech!”

Gurgendize said his company is in the process of securing the proper permit for installing the projector case.

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21 thoughts on “Why is this black metal box at 10th and Pike?

  1. My first serious instinct is that a) it would be awesome if it were a [Little Free Library] (http://littlefreelibrary.org/) (it sure looks like one) but that b) as Jon Gash Sanders said in the Facebook thread, it’s probably for housing/protecting a projector for the ^^(stupid) Block Party.

  2. How about an emergency police phone? I heard they were going to install 911 phones in problematic areas. Also makes sense if your phone gets stolen.

  3. Sexual predation comes on all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s the brutality of violent rape, other times the excruciatingly personal long term grooming for molestation. It can come from family, strangers, co-workers. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes it isn’t. As a long time bartender on Capitol Hill the predation I see the most can be one of the hardest to pin down. Men, sometimes older, try to dazzle young impressionable women with money, power, influence. They offer to buy them drinks. Drink after drink after drink…. Until the young women are no longer in control of their judgement. They aren’t drugging the women with any drug other then alchohal but they are intentionally pressuring them to their gain. I’ve seen women in this situation, who normally wouldn’t even consent to talk to these men “consent” to much more. Capitol Hill is a small community. Reputations come and go but when you keep hearing the same thing for years about certain people it’s hard not to believe there’s even a tiny kernel of truth to it. I’m sure Mr. Mienhert can agree with that. I think it’s time to start holding these predators feet to the fire. No matter how much they give CHS in advertising.

  4. I don’t think this was anything that was approved by the city. That base is too cheesy. A scooter could take it out.

  5. I can’t believe someone just plopped this down on the sidewalk without going through the required channels. That’s just dumb. Legally it’s now abandoned property, meaning anyone may remove it and walk away with it. (That said, please don’t.)

  6. So, it’s a box to project ads and photos onto Neumo’s? Weird. Let’s see how long it takes for the brogrammers to completely take over and post dumb photos of their legendary nights on capitol hill. Or, more likely some interns for startups and other businesses will spend time making sure that their free advertising is on heavy rotation there.