Going to get the stupid car today. The shop in Kelso can’t find the problem – or even recreate the problem so far – so we’ll be driving north in a tiny convoy, and I’ll have AAA on speed dial.

So here, have a Friday amusement. Seattle’s big passenger rail depot, King Street Station, is being restored. It’s been a huge undertaking and I’m really excited about it as someone who rides Cascadia Rail a lot.

Where it’s built faces two substantially different street levels; King Street is low, and Jackson Street is rather higher. So there’s an upper plaza while the rails, ticketing, and waiting rooms are down on the lower level. Originally, the Grand Stairwell connected the two, and you had entrances on both levels; the stairwell has been closed for decades, but they’re restoring it.

I just found out today that the Grand Stairwell was originally narrowed – but not yet closed – in 1949, to add escalators. I’d never even known those were there, as they’ve also been closed for decades. And following some threads on the construction update I was reading, I found this:

[sadly-deleted picture of a large art deco neon sign reading ELECTRIC STAIR]


I’d steal it but according to SDOT in this thread, it was gone by the time they took over the station. So sad.

The station took the most damage in the 1960s (…of course…) as it was “modernised” with drop ceilings and and and. Thankfully, in the main waiting area, they did not rip out all the ornate plaster and marble work, but instead hid much of it, semi-intact, behind new material. More of it had to be removed – temporarily this time – for the seismic retrofit, but it’ll be coming back, along with repairs and replacements for the 1960s damage.

There are about eight zillion photographs here, and notes here.

Find some of the pre-restoration photos of the station if you can. That was just sad.

This weekend for me, assuming we make it back in one piece: more recording with Leannan Sidhe, then prep for Second Thanksgiving at the Lair. What’ve you got?