City Arts article, 1/10/11


619 Western Will (Most Likely) Be Demolished
January 10, 2011 at 3:39 PM | by COREY KAHLER

Last month, I reported about the possible fates of 619 Western, the historic Pioneer Square building that is currently home to over hundred artists. To recap – last month the Washington State Department of Transportation decided that the building would need to be evacuated by Spring next year due to construction on the Alaskan Way alternative tunnel, which would be directly underneath the one hundred year-old building. At the time, it was unclear whether the building would be temporarily evacuated for retrofitting or demolished.

According to an email sent to the building’s tenants earlier today by a representative of WSDOT, due to safety concerns, they are recommending the building be demolished.

“While this was not an easy conclusion to reach, we believe it is the best for the safety of the tenants, visitors to the building, and construction workers,” the email read, “We are committed to assisting each tenant financially, as appropriate, and to helping you find a new location within Pioneer Square or another neighborhood if you so choose.”

The WSDOT will hold another meeting for tenants next week in light of this new information.

Though it’s easy to complain about urban development, in my mind there’s two big things you can do to help everyone at 619: Go First Thursday Art Walk all this year and help them sell all their work, (less to move, more money to do it) and if you know of cheap spaces for rent in the city, let the artists know directly or post it on the 619 Western Facebook wall.

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