2014 was a splashy, upbeat year in SLU, with new faces and new places to go in this special corner of the city. A wealth of new artworks, events, restaurants and initiatives held sway, with more to come in 2015. We at SLU News wish you happy holidays and a very SLUey New Year!
2014 highlights from the year that was:
The South Lake Union Art Walk launched in 2014, holding three colorful events spread around the neighborhood. Every kind of art was featured in more than 30 venues, window installations, Storefronts Seattle displays and vitrines. The SLU Art Walks will continue shining a light on the art and attractions to be found in SLU in 2015.
This year, ALL RISE began offering a series of performances and temporary art installations in a Cascade neighborhood block where the future Denny Substation will stand. Running through spring 2015, the project provides space for a wide range of art, movement and musical performances, encouraging person-to-person interactions and conversations about art.
Artist Spencer Finch and developer Vulcan brought the spirit of the forest to the urban landscape in September via a glass canopy entitled There is Another Sky. Installed in a courtyard at Amazon Phase VI, the piece filters sunlight through yellow, green and orange patterns meant to mimic the entwined leaves of a forest, painting the alley below like a woodland floor.
The Laundry Strike, created by artist Whiting Tennis and commissioned by Vulcan, was installed in May near the site of the historic Supply Laundry Building and Stack House Apartments. The sculpture commemorates the 1917 struggle of female laundry workers in SLU, who fought for a decent living wage and ultimately won that battle. The 12-foot artwork resembles a city made of laundry hampers, honoring those who rose for labor rights, advancing union organizing in the Northwest.
This year saw a bumper crop of restaurants opening their doors. Many were satellites of existing restaurants in other neighborhoods, while others rebranded and reopened themselves in snappy new incarnations. Whichever the category, we congratulate the following and welcome them to the South Lake Union foodie milieu.
• Novilhos Brazilian Steakhouse
• Chipotle Mexican Grill
• Lick Pure Cream
• Mary's Kitchen
• Ten on 9th
• Royal Palace Bar and Grill
• On the Fly
Seattle Gets a Sweet Tooth: On February 11, Seattle received an early Valentine from the past when an 8.5-foot mammoth tusk was unearthed from its resting place of 20,000 years in Cascade. A construction team digging the foundation of an apartment building came upon the jumbo fossil 30 feet down. Paleontologists from Seattle's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture worked through the night to unearth, protect and remove the massive tooth. The departed beast was dubbed "LuLu the Lucky Lake Union Mammoth" during a flurry of "Tuskmania" attention and her tusk was donated to the Burke, where the public can admire it forever.
New Family Shelter: In May, local sheltering organization Mary's Place and the City of Seattle responded to the family homelessness crisis by opening Bianca's Place in Cascade. It breaks new ground by providing temporary shelter to two-parent families, families with disabled children and homeless fathers with children—all in one location, a formerly vacant building owned by PEMCO and leased rent-free for 18 months. The community has responded warmly with volunteers and contributions, making the families feel welcome in the neighborhood.
Glazer's Recommits to SLU: Iconic local photography shop Glazer's Camera has been a Seattle institution since 1935, especially at its Cascade shop with the famous red wall. But Glazer's is getting ready for its close-up: the old building was demolished in August and a handsome new two-story photography showplace will take its place in 2016. Until then, the lighting and rental store are cohabiting at 517 Dexter Ave N, and the main store moved into the old light shop at 433 8th Ave N. Thanks for keeping it real and keeping it local, Glazer's!
SLU Block Party Turns 10: The hottest shindig in SLU hit a decade on August 8, with its usual giddy panoply of fun: Blue Thunder drumming, SVC Wayzgoose and Steamroller Smackdown, live music, the hotly contested burger grill-off, food trucks, Cinema on the Lawn and family festivities galore. The tradition continues— look for more block party fun next summer.
Public bike-sharing launched: Saddle up! On October 13, bike-sharing was officially kick-started in the PNW, thanks to Pronto! Bike Share. Now you can check out a bike for short, one-way bike trips around the city center and the University District. Pronto! anticipates 450,000 total rides in its first year, maybe branching out to other parts of Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond, and the Microsoft campus in the future.
Allen Institute for Cell Research Founded: This month, local philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul Allen announced a $100 million donation to found an institute that will examine the workings of human cells in the fight against disease. The first order of business: the Allen Cell Observatory, a comprehensive study of human-induced pluripotent stem cells - a dynamic, visual database and animated models of cell parts. The results will be released publicly, allowing scientists around the world to learn from and make use of this unprecedented research, prompting a more engaged global cell science community.
The institute will be co-located with the Allen Institute for Brain Science in the seven-story headquarters building under construction in South Lake Union, scheduled to open next fall.