Category Archives: Overheard

Beaconian tells tale of two robberies

Image by Anders Sandberg via Creative Commons/Flickr.
The Stranger has an article this week by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue: “Mugged at Gunpoint on Beacon Hill.” In the article, Coughlin-Bogue describes being robbed twice on North Beacon Hill, and his thoughts on revenge and gun ownership.

“About two blocks into our trek, a cop rolled by, and we flagged him down. He made a very unconvincing effort to track our assailants, giving the distinct impression that he believed our cause lost from the get-go. He also made sure to let us know, “If they tried to rob me, I would have pulled out my gun and asked them, ‘How badly do you want my stuff?'” I wasn’t in the mood to point out how incredibly foolish that statement was, so I just let it slide, borrowed his cell phone to get ahold of our roommate so we could get into the house, and let him drive us home.”

Have you been mugged on the Hill? Do you feel the police response was adequate? And what do you do to stay safe when walking around?

Beacon Hill Library: the “Heart of Darkness”?

The earth-toned slate shingles on the exterior of the Beacon Hill Library stand out against a blue summer sky. The “whale” shape on the wall is a kinetic artwork; when there is rain, the mouth of the whale opens and drains water to the ground. Photo by go-team in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
Charles Mudede of The Stranger has a particular dislike for the Beacon Hill Library building. In a series of posts over the last few weeks to Slog, Mudede has called the library branch “a mess,” less artistic than “the cracks on the road,”, and an ugly expression of “phony multiculturalism.”

In this week’s Stranger, Mudede takes his complaints to print, in “I Hate the Beacon Hill Library, and You Should Too: A Journey to Seattle’s Heart of Darkness“:

“What was this really about? The fact that Beacon Hill is diverse, and the conflicting fact that the power structures in Seattle are not. These two facts generate tension. So it is not implausible that the white architects Donald Carlson, Mark Withrow, and Jim Hanford attempted to resolve it by designing a building that’s all over the place, that has a little of everything, that has no center, no gravity, that is restless, bold, and creative, like powerless immigrants. The exact same thing that’s wrong with the Beacon Hill Branch is wrong with City Hall, which was designed by Peter Bohlin, the man behind Bill Gates’s high-tech Xanadu. Both are cut from the same bad intention: inspired multiculturalism. It’s architecture trying to heal. Architecture as a hospital for social ills.”

Mudede goes on to compare the branch’s ship-like structure to “the inside of an old cargo ship,” specifically, the hull of a slave ship.

As with the previous Slog posts about the library, this article triggered some pretty strong discussion in the comments, but commenter JF wins the prize: “When old enough to date, I hope Mudede’s daughter walks into the living room one evening and says ‘Dad, I want you to meet my boyfriend’ as the Beacon Hill library reaches out to shake Charles’ hand.”

What do you think? Does Charles Mudede have a point? Is the Beacon Hill Library an awkward, patronizing example of quirkiness trying to be multiculturalism? Or is it an interesting and well-designed building that both serves the community and reflects the character of North Beacon Hill? Or something else entirely?

In the Forum: Fireworks and more

Fireworks set off on Beacon Hill on July 4, 2007. Photo by Wendi.
Fireworks set off on Beacon Hill (and -- look close -- West Seattle) on July 4, 2007. Photo by Wendi.
In the Beacon Hill Blog forum right now is a question from reader alirjd:

“So this will be my first 4th of July on Beacon Hill. I know fireworks are limited this year in Seattle since Ivar’s cancelled their show, but I wondered if any of the longtime residents knew of a good spot to go sit somewhere up here and see if you can catch some of the shows around town.”

Other topics currently in the Forum include an announcement about Bible and Chinese Camp at the Beacon Lutheran Church, questions on the current status of the car wash at 15th and Beacon, discussion about a recent brazen burglary in broad daylight, and an introduction from Colin, a (relatively) new neighbor!

Do you have something to say, an announcement to post, or a question to ask? Join us in the Forum.

Real estate agents buzz about Beacon Hill

Is the rumored increase in demand for property on Beacon Hill (particularly around the North Beacon light rail station) starting to kick in? Two local real estate blogs have recently touted Beacon Hill as the place to be.

In Seattle Homes and Life:

“When people ask me where I think it would be wise to invest, I point their sights south to Beacon Hill. Otherwise known as NoBeHi or SoBeHi, North/South Beacon Hill has incredible values and views with unbelievable proximity to downtown’s core. With the Light Rail on its way, it is one more reason this much overlooked neighborhood needs a second chance.”


“One ingredient that makes a deal a deal is knowing about something that is going to be popular before it becomes popular. Right now there are not a lot of people, even in Seattle, that know much about North Beacon Hill. It is one of the few undiscovered neighborhoods left in Seattle. It is my opinion that very soon that is all going to change. The main reasons for this upcoming change is its location to Downtown Seattle (5 minutes away – and no need to use the freeway), I-5, and I-90 (easy access to the Eastside), and the soon to open North Beacon Hill light rail station.”

Will Beacon Hill be “discovered”? People have been predicting it for years, but now that the light rail is opening there may actually be some new momentum. Time will tell.

Quote of the day

From the Lake Boren Rapid Transit Report:

“The last big segment (of the Central Link light rail) is the tunnel and station above it on Beacon Hill. The station is at surface level and passengers will be hoisted up and down via a rope tow or something. Anyway it’s 165 feet from the Beacon Hill surface down to the tunnel and that’s a long way. Maybe they’ll have a fireman pole for going down and a jetpack for going up.”