Like the sidewalk coffee cart, traditional newsstands have been disappearing from Seattle. Increasingly, people get their news online or on their iPhone, often inside a

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Best New Downtown Kiosk

Frank Turco Memorial Newsstand

Like the sidewalk coffee cart, traditional newsstands have been disappearing from Seattle. Increasingly, people get their news online or on their iPhone, often inside a coffee shop with wi-fi. For this reason, the swoopy new red-roofed Frank Turco Memorial Newsstand is more than an exercise in nostalgia for 29-year-old owner Benjamin Gant, who bought the ugly old kiosk, not much bigger than a phone booth, seven years ago. Subsequently damaged by arson, the 1972 structure was replaced this month with an airy, inviting steel and glass design by Josh Brevoort of Zero Plus Architects. Gant says that getting the permits took forever, as you'd expect in a city trying to remove "street furniture," news boxes included, from crowded sidewalks. But Third and Pike is perfect for Gant's holdout operation (likely the last in the city), which honors the late news vendor and union organizer (1877–1966) who occupied the corner for nearly half a century. Over 20,000 pedestrians pass by each day, many of them Metro commuters in and above the bus tunnel. And, yes, there's a Starbucks across the street, if you insist on getting your news in the newfangled, air-conditioned manner. But given Gant's zealous, friendly manner, his willingness to offer directions to tourists or expound upon Seattle labor history, there's something charmingly optimistic about the whole enterprise. And that's echoed in the kiosk's design, which is open and inviting to passersby. Should they want coffee to go with their newsprint, says Gant, "We're not going to have lattes, but a working-class cup of joe."—Brian Miller

 
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