Thursday, September 1, 2016

Seattle here we come!

After Anacortes we worked our way down to Seattle stopping at Langely along the way. Langley is a quaint seaside town and offers a nice Main Street with plenty of shops and eateries. It is a great spot for stopping halfway to Seattle.

The Bell Harbor Marina in Seattle couldn’t be in a better spot to stay. We were right downtown and were able to walk to everything. Seattle is rich in history and has quite an interesting beginning. We learned a lot about the history on the Underground Walking Tour. Seattle had actually burned to the ground on June 6, 1889. It was started in a Carpenter shop by John Back, an assistant, heating glue over a gas fire. The glue boiled over and fire quickly spread with one calamity after another. It hit a liquor store, then a saloon. Needless to say lots of alcohol added to the flames. To make matter worse the water pressure for the hoses was weak and the hoses were too short. Eventually an entire 25 block area was destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

Since they were rebuilding they decided they would level the city off somewhat by cutting the top of the hills and moving the fill to the waterfront to raise it. They estimated that the project would take ten years. The building owners wouldn’t and couldn’t wait ten years for new buildings. They decided they would build new buildings with the idea that once the land around them was filled their first floor would actually be the basement. How do you fill in around buildings and keep them open and accessible during the process? They built retaining walls around each building about twenty feet or so away from the building and about 12 foot high. The fill was then brought in and built up on the outside of the walls and this became the street. Ladders were put in at intervals to allow people to climb up and down to get to the businesses. I am sure if OSHA existed then they would have had a field day. Once the streets were complete they then installed beams from the retaining walls to the buildings and planked it over and then poured concrete over to make the walkways. The second floor was now the first floor and the first floor became the basement. The basements had windows and doorways that opened up to the now abandoned underground sidewalks. Our tour took us through sections that were musty and dirty with debris strewn about. It was a dank walk back in history.

We also rented a car and drove to the Boeing plant where we took a tour of their manufacturing facility. It is amazing how they build the planes on an assembly line type of environment, building one per month of the 747.

While in Seattle we looked up Jess's cousin Helen who she hadn't seen in 40 years. 

Next stop Tacoma.

Interesting way to store dingys in the marina at Langley. Photo courtesy of Laurie Hafener

Chihuly Museum in Seattle. Chihuly has installations all around the USA and the world

Boeing celebrating their 100th anniversary

View from the Seattle needle

Walking the underground

A typical glass walkway embedded in the sidewalk to allow light into the underground
The topside of the sidewalk glass

The entrance to the teller's cage when it was originally on the first floor.

Some Chihuly works on exhibit.

The Space needle

A Chihuly piece with the space needle in the background.

Great Picture of Jess, don't you think?

Pike's Market is a place to see. Several blocks of food and people selling their wares.

Just like the old Patty Duke show, "Identical Cousins, two of a kind."

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