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Design by Drinking: The ‘marketplace’ design and context of Capitol Hill’s Comet Tavern

Back in the summer, we wrote about a new set of rules put together by the Seattle City Council to further shape the development future of the Pike/Pine corridor — When they redevelop the Comet building, these rules will be very important  (August 2010). Pivoting off the Comet was a gimmick — as we noted then, there are no specific plans we know of to develop the old building at East Pike and 10th Ave it calls home. But as one of the oldest “character” buildings left in Pike/Pine, the Comet and its home are likely due for change especially with numbers like these floating around.

So here’s a look at the character of the Comet thanks to a paper written by Hannah McIntosh, now a planner at the Seattle Department of Transportation, during her studies at the University of Washington and shared here with her permission. It’s a late holiday gift for Capitol Hill urban planning nerds and anybody interested in the history of one of the neighborhood’s boozy cultural centers.

You’ll note the paper was written in 2007 — we’d be interested to know if the intervening years have changed any of its conclusions. We need to look into the status of the Comet’s tenancy — the paper notes the current bar ownership’s lease ending in 2010.


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