The replacements

New homes for old monuments.

LAST MONTH, Georgetown residents proposed turning the '50s landmark Hat 'N Boots gas station into a park. At the same time, the perennially bankrupt Kalakala folks are searching for a new (subsidized) berth for their rusting Lake Union eyesore. This got me thinking about some alternate uses for these Seattle icons from bygone eras and some additional schemes for other obsolete local landmarks:

The Kalakala: The ferry system should purchase this deco wreck to train a new generation of drunken, errant skippers. Or use it as a test vehicle for sleepy tugboat captains learning to navigate barges beneath 520. As a last resort, let's retrofit this hulking pile of corrosion into a fish cannery, then tow it back to Alaska.

Broadway Dance Steps: Place the endearing bronze instructional steps on the field at Husky Stadium to show SeaTurkey Jon Kitna et al. how to put one foot in front of the other.

The Space Needle: Let's swap our World's Fair wonder with Vancouver, BC's own wanna-be needle to promote awareness of needle exchange programs in both smack-afflicted regions.

Hammering Man: Put the laborious sculpture to real use as Wrecking Man, propping the big galoot next to buildings we don't like, then watch him pound away. Shoulda thought of this before we spent all that money on Kingdome pyrotechnics!

The Monorail: Now that the people have spoken with Initiative 53, this useless one-mile tourist ride should be relocated between our baseball and football stadiums, symbolically linking two past tax boondoggles with the next.

Mount St. Helens: We should move the potentially dangerous volcano to Nevada or Texas, just in case.

EMP: Let's turn this psychedelic blob into an alternative public high school for at-risk teens. The implicit lesson of Frank Gehry's undulating curves and distorted shapes? Kids, keep off drugs! Look at how they can mess up your head.

Planet Hollywood: Move back to planet Hollywood.

Senator Slade Gorton: Although technically a person, Skeletor has attained monumental status owing to his all-but-certain reelection and senator-for-eternity status. The state film commission should rent out the cadaverous, undead legislator to visiting horror movie crews. (Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue, anyone?)

Gasworks Park: Fire it up again to burn now worthless dot-com stock certificates and produce valuable power. Let's return to the smokestack era with pride!

The Fremont Troll: This lovable figure is hidden away and underutilized as a stomping ground for Deadheads. Transplant him to Blaine to frighten Canadians away from our border.

Chihuly Glass Studio: Move this collection of glass orbs, baubles, and trinkets to the Goodwill kitchen section where such expensive tchotchkes will wind up anyway.

The Hat 'N Boots: Finally, we should provisionally ship the decrepit, oversized cowboy symbols to the White House as a welcoming gift to good ole Dub-ya, our likely president-elect. Try and fill those boots, pardner!

 
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