MERCER ARTS ARENA DEMOLITION REVEALS THE PAST, BUT ONLY PART OF IT REMAINS

Posted on April 19th, 2017 by Laura Fonda


Republishing as the original post, along with 9 other posts, was deleted during the server migration – worth reposting due to historical significance.

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As demolition crews tore down the old Mercer Arts Arena at 375 Mercer St, the past was revealed – and a tiny bit of it was saved. The 1928 building didn’t show its age, as it was “substantially altered in 1961-62 in preparation for its use as an entertainment venue for the Seattle World’s Fair Century 21 Exposition” – but the original 1928 facade and decorative features were hidden behind the exterior walls:

 

Photo credit: Feliks Bane

According to KIRO Radio historian Feliks Bane, the original facade was “in perfect condition… I mean the glass was gone, but these arches were there, big medallions over the doorway and then, as they got farther and father down toward the street, I could see the wings and head of a gargoyle.”

That’s right, a gargoyle. Two of them, and they were destroyed. But, Banel examined the original blueprint and discovered that there were two more gargoyles behind the 1960s makeover. He contacted Seattle Opera and the two were saved. Their fate? Likely donated to the City.

Photo credit: Feliks Bane


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