Monthly Archives: August 2017

Former Seattle Children’s Home Site to be Named McGraw Square at Queen Anne

It’s been a year since the last update about the project to develop the former Seattle Children’s Home site into townhomes, and now the first look at the final designs has been released. The community will be called McGraw Square at Queen Anne.

Ground has been broken and construction is underway at the project between 9th and 10th Avenues West on West McGraw Street. The site will have 57 townhomes within the 15 three story buildings on the lot. The homes will each have three bedrooms and a garage that fits two vehicles. Some of the townhomes will even have the luxury of a rooftop deck.

Pricing is anticipated to start at $900,000, with pre-sales opening in fall 2017.

His Immortal Army

 

This warrior, at the Pacific Science Center exhibit, previously stood in a chariot holding reins, buried at the emperor’s tomb complex. The photo behind him shows terracotta soldiers standing in formation, in dug pits.   All photos:  Alethea Myers

Over 2,200 years ago, a 13-year old boy became the very first emperor of China. For all these years, his immense tomb site and complex remained hidden from the world, only to be discovered in 1973 by farmers near Xi’an, China when they unearthed shards of pottery while digging a well. Emperor Qin Shihuangdi (Qin Shi Huang) had created an unparalleled underground realm to continue his imperial rule and achieve immortality after death. A massive army of 8,000 life-sized soldiers and many other figures was created from terracotta clay to stand guard in the pits dug around his tomb. Only two museums in the United States have been approved by the Republic of China to host an exhibition featuring 10 of these ancient warriors and many other artifacts. The Pacific Science Center in Seattle is fortunate to be one of these, and the popular exhibit runs until September 4th.

A calvaryman stands by his horse. The depiction of the horse was so accurate, that the breed could be determined and traced to a certain region of China.

Why should I see this exhibit? A few reasons:

Sheer size and age: Nothing on this scale or size has been done for a royal burial in China before or after the Qin Dynasty. At 22 square miles, it’s the largest burial site in the world. Only 2,000 warriors have been uncovered so far and painstakingly reassembled out of an estimated 8,000 total. Each statue weighs an average of 300 pounds. It’s estimated that 700,000 workers labored over the span of the emperor’s reign to complete this massive project. Many of them were criminals or called up by draft. Although there were also skilled craftsmen and volunteers, some were there to serve out a punishment or to pay off taxes. Some workers were entombed.

There were also carved clay acrobats, musicians, armor, animals, and chariots. And real weapons, real musical instruments, and coffins with animal skeletons. The emperor wanted to be entertained in the afterlife.

Short reign, much accomplished: Although Qin Shihuangdi’s empire only lasted 36 years, he managed to leave a mark in various aspects. His burial site is unprecedented in size and scope. The republic had previously consisted of Warring States, which he unified in less than a decade.  As China’s First Emperor, he standardized the money (coins) of his realm; previously they had been every shape and size. He is sometimes credited with building the Great Wall of China, formerly a series of sporadic little walls.

A musical instrument, a bell, found at the burial site.

The best is yet to come: The most amazing section of the burial site has yet to be unearthed: the emperor’s burial chamber and tomb mound. According to historical records dating 200 years after his reign, an elaborate sub-chamber with two manmade, underground rivers filled with toxic, liquid mercury exist near his tomb. High mercury levels have been detected around the site, so it’s necessary to proceed with caution. Also, sadly, the bright paint on the warrior figures, after being buried for over 2,200 years, flaked off within 10 minutes of exposure to the open air. So technology might need to catch up to avoid this when Qin Shihuangdi’s tomb is finally opened. His manmade tomb mound, at 250 feet high, is larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

Qin Shihuangdi longed for immortality. And in the uniqueness of his burial, he has done just that.

Click here for Pacific Science Center ticket information.

Joint Effort to Develop a New Memorial Stadium and High School

The City of Seattle has signed a letter of collaboration with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to construct a new Memorial Stadium in its present location within the Seattle Center, as well as developing a new high school nearby.

The focus of the collaborative project will be to meet SPS’ needs for a new high school, new Memorial Stadium to support the school, and maintained or increased parking. The City and SPS will work together on site planning, design features for continued shared uses, maintenance of public access and activation, technology, construction activities, mobility planning for transportation, parking, public engagement, and more.

SPS currently owns two parcels of land within Seattle Center, and while the stadium will remain in its present location, the high school could be located at an alternative site. However, the new school will most likely remain in the Queen Anne/Uptown neighborhood, which will relieve a lot of pressure from Ballard High School and Garfield High School, where local high schoolers currently attend.

According to the letter, “We are pleased that our teams will be working together in this arrangement and look forward to achieving the full potential and extraordinary outcomes for our respective projects.”

A current map of the Seattle Center:

Teatro Zinzanni Returns

For those who love Teatro Zinzanni, and were sorry to see it leave lower Queen Anne: Take heart. The 18-year old dinner theatre extravaganza still exists and has moved to a temporary location at Marymoor Park in Redmond while searching for a permanent home. They are opening a new run of their original, beloved show, “Love, Chaos, and Dinner” this autumn and winter.

If you haven’t seen one of their shows, it’s an evening of circus acrobatics, cabaret, a full-course meal, comedy, lively costumes, and beauty under a big top tent. This performance runs from October 19th, 2017 through April 29th, 2018, and some previous, seasoned cast members, some of which have worked overseas in similar venues, are returning. 

Tickets for the general public officially go on sale on August 15th, but if you sign up for their email list, you will start receiving access to tickets as early as August 1st. If orchestrating a number of people attending, then group tickets are available for booking now.

Viva, Teatro Zinzanni!