The other day, I had the pleasure of visiting the oldest skyscraper in Seattle, the Smith Tower. Completed in 1914, this was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, for its time. It was also the highest building in Seattle until the Space Needle came along in 1962 (completed in 1961). So, the Smith Tower needed an elevator…
And that it got, a lovely manual operated system of seven elevators. Each operated by a human who would push the buttons, turn things, slide the doors, and give some amusing small talk in transition. this would go on for 103 years.
Now six of the seven doors are to be automated, in an effort to keep up with modern fire and safety standards. One elevator will remain with a human operator, probably the one that leads to the observation deck…a classy tourist destination for those looking to enjoy a bit of the old city with its remains of an interesting history.
Going up, this was my first time. The elevator had see-through windows, and a vintage wobbling and mechanical nature, reminding me of an old apartment elevator in my childhood home in San Francisco. Except this one had the operator, who told me a humorous anecdote of the Smith Tower history.
Here are a few pics I took of the doors, inside panel, and elevator serviceman:
Overall, a pleasant experience leading to another, being the observation room and outside deck on the 35th floor. That will be shared in another post in the near future….promise.
Just one light fixture among many at the beautiful, historic Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles. One could look around and see the well-preserved arches, talk windows, shined floorways, wooden surfaces within the grand halls. Passing through such a picture, can feel blessed for that feeling of time.
Here’s a a quick unedited pic of that noticeable setting below…
– Orion T
Into the Cultural Landscape Fountain, within the the Jim Ellis Freeway Park in downtown Seattle (near the Washington State Convention Center). Design by Lawrence Halprin, whose work can be seen in many parks and landmarks across he United States. The crazy thing about this, is that one could walk by the fountain for many days, weeks, months; and yet miss the majesty within. Such is easy to miss, but hard to forget when found. Stop when near enough in Seattle, and check it out.
– Orion T
For a moment, one can imagine being late to the big Hogwarts graduation. Minus 10 points to Gryffendor!
Meanwhile, this is the wonderful Graduate Reading Room on the third floor of the Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington campus. The large room was a west addition completed in 1935, to the building whose initial ground floor was completed in 1926. The area is 250-feet (76 meters) long, 52-feet (16 meters) wide, 65-feet (20 meters). Henry Suzzallo, the university president previous to the time of its completion, believed that universities should be “cathedrals of learning.” With some fantastic gothic architecture styling, the Graduate Reading Room is a vision made true for the students at U-Dub. Also, a wonderful place for quiet study, thinking, and perhaps letting the mind wander.
Looking up the tallest building in Seattle, the Columbia Tower.
However, this side is the shorter part of it (overall called the Columbia Center), not sharing the full 73 stories (943 ft.) of its full height. I do appreciate it’s unconventional curved shape of this particular view. It’s the simple perspective I especially enjoyed for a minute on this otherwise mundane Monday.
– Orion T
Would you believe it was colder in Seattle this morning than than the North Pole?
Actually, the North Pole was much warmer because of some unusual storm (reached 32 degrees this morning, 2 more than what I woke up to). For the rest I cared little for the cold, tending to long work chores…sigh. But soon that will be all over for the year, as I looked up one last time at the Space Needle after work. It’s magenta lit for some reason.
Anyway, that’s the last I gaze upon at it for this year. Tomorrow after another round of work, I shall leave the Emerald City to another place far for some days to spend the final Eve of 2015. It’s a kind of a secret for now..
– Orion T
Just a shot with my favorite little lens, the EF 50 mm for my Canon Rebel. I love it for the focus on the small details, and a challenge to use. The Seattle Space Needle was kind of unintentional in an earlier try, but looked again and thought…okay. I will get the structure in, but this beautiful flower is still the star of the show.