Thursday, January 19, 2012


By Jun Wu
Walking around the southwest corner of Downtown Seattle, I am attracted by a barrack building that is covered with green parthenocissus. When I walk closely, there is a big open place in front of the building, scattered with sets of tables and chairs with umbrellas. The place is called the Grant Central Arcade, a formal privately owned public place, possibly by the business owners of the building. The tables and chairs are removable that can be moved in and out the building between days and nighst. Even though it is privately owned space, the arcade is not enclosed with any type of barriers. There is even a supersize chess sitting in the middle of the arcade that is free for everyone to access just like the rest of the arcade. If it is not because of the cold and windy winter day, there must be a big crowd of people gathering around.
When it comes to define city urbanism. I want to think of it as the way of life of the people. How is the design of the city affluence the behaviors of its dwellers and on the other side, how is the behavior of the dwellers shape the image of the city. The arcade is owned by dwellers who cares about the others. Contributing privately owned equipments to provide the public with convenience and entertainments. I want to call it the spirit of Seattle.
I also pictured some other private owned cafes and bars that occupy space on the public sidewalk. Almost all of them has some kind of fancy fences around them and it is obvious that they are there to serve their customers only. This is not a criticism. It is very common among private own business. I just feel like they really make the Grant Central Arcade stands out in contract.

在较大的地图中查看Grand Central Arcade

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