Last vestiges of the City in the Sky coming down at 19th and Mercer

(Image: CHS)

(Image: Pelican Bay Foundation)

A few years back, we said goodbye to 19th Ave E and E Mercer’s City in the Sky, but it never went completely away… until now.

Work is underway on the southern end of the old Pelican Bay Artists’ Building in the 600 block of 19th Ave E to “remove the existing displaced brick veneer and concrete stucco” from the wall “per the structural engineer’s recommendations,” according to permits filed with the city. The apartment and restaurant building — now home to Rocket Taco — is also getting some window work.

In 2014, the “3-D mural” representing a “Hopi Indian myth” was painted over but the old relief of the edges of “Turtle Island” remained as strange, beige mountain ranges and coastlines jutting out from the building’s wall. Engineers had recommended the heavy relief needed to be removed years ago. Time — and permits — finally came to get it done.

“The Hopi Indians believed in star constellations and believed in ancient maps that had been drawn as a guide to the spiritual world,” the Pelican Bay Foundation history of the work reads. “The Hopi believed that they existed at the center of the earth or Turtle Island.”  You can read more about the City in the Sky here.

This stretch of 19th Ave E is busy with scaffolding. Across the street, a five-story mixed-use development is under construction while a block south County Doctor’s expansion and dental facility has also broken ground. At 19th and Aloha, Macrina will soon see work begin on the overhaul to create its new Capitol Hill cafe. And even St. Joseph’s across the street is in on the scaffolding action as workers begin a project of maintenance and painting the old church has sorely needed.


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