Newspaper Article Archive of
West Seattle Herald
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Newspaper Article Archive of
West Seattle Herald

May 29, 2017 Jean's View: A Hole in our Heart
Article Pages -- as published on the West Seattle Herald website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

By Jean Godden

There's a big gaping hole in the heart of our city. The unsightly cavity -- a pit without a pendulum -- blights the block between Third and Fourth and Cherry and James. It has been yawning there since 2005, a full dozen years.

That pit was created when crews demolished the old Public Safety Building, a decrepit structure infamous for its abandoned city jail and its dysfunctional elevators. The quirky elevators once imprisoned Police Chief Patrick Fitzsimons' wife for four uncomfortable hours.

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When the run-down building was finally demolished and carted away, Mayor-at-the-time Greg Nickels had high hopes for a public-private development. The site would house a 43-story office/residential building, an underground parking garage and a Civic Square rimmed with retail spaces.

That grand vision -- Seattle's answer to San Francisco's Union Square -- dated from the boom days of 2007. But in 2008, the Great Recession hit the city. Civic Square plans, designed by Triad Development, were put on hold until times improved and financing would become available again.

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