Demolition at 15th and Howell

"Bob, what have we done?" (Image: CHS)

“Bob, what have we done?” (Image: CHS)

Longtime readers of the site know CHS is your leading source for Capitol Hill demolition porn:

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Though our own pace of demolition postings has slowed, it’s not because the development pace has finally slowed down and fewer demolitions are happening on Capitol Hill — we recently tallied 94 demolition permits in 2013, 70 in 2014, and 67 through September 2015.

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Tearing down Ballard? DPD demolition-related permitting activity, 2015 (Source:

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But the location and scale of the tear-downs has changed. The era of ripping down a block of old buildings in the heart of Pike/Pine — for now — has passed. The recent demolition that quickly and mostly quietly came at 15th and Howell is an example of a ripping apart of an older building we might skip these days, leaving Twitter and Facebook to document the mildewy smell of splintered boards and piles of twisted metal mixed with yellowed insulation.

Tuesday, it inspired a CHS Community Post documenting the old apartment building mid-demolition — and then the corner was cleared. The recent increase in ejected furnishings and old appliances from the apartments being spread around the neighborhood had come to an end.

What’s next is another thing neighbors on Capitol Hill have become more accustomed to. Construction will soon begin on an “urban apartment building” with 57 “small residential units.” The microhousing from developer Greenbuild and designed by Caron architects got its final approval from the design review board about a year ago last January. When it is complete, the corner will have traded two buildings with 8 units for nearly 60 averaging 341 square feet a piece.

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7 thoughts on “Demolition at 15th and Howell

  1. Its always sad to see homes torn down.

    I hope those apartments enjoy the light of day while they can. At some point they will be treated to fishbowl views of aPodment dwellers.

  2. There has been an unholy stink on that corner ever since they started prepping this building for demo–it must have been rotting from the inside out.

  3. Aw, I had friends who lived in that building about 15 years ago. Sweet little apartments. I remember seeing the land use signs a couple years ago, but last time I walked by there the signs were down and it looked like the apartments were rented so I foolishly thought the planned development had been abandoned. As if!

  4. Thanks for posting this story and for your efforts in documenting the story of demolition in Seattle. As a member of the Seattle Demo Project, we’re very interested in exploring issues related to construction, occupation, art and demolition. Check out a previous article on us here and stay tuned for more projects in the works.