Category Archives: Queen Anne

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.

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!

 

Queen Anne Real Estate Report – Half of Year

We are halfway through the year and the real estate market is still in an all-time frenzy. There still isn’t much relief for buyers in the Seattle area, with low inventory and prices still climbing high. There were 164 single-family homes sold in Queen Anne between January & June, which is 18 more than we saw this time last year. The median sales price took a small jump from $986,000 (2016) to $989,950 (2017). The lowest price for a home has seen an increase from $182,000 (2016) to $379,000 (2017). There are currently 33 listings active and 48 pending.

Condominium sales in Queen Anne showed some strength these last 6 months. The median cost has gone up from $390,000 (2016) to $475,000 (2017). The average list price has also seen a small jump from $436,804 (2016) to $502,376 (2017). There are currently 21 active and 40 condos pending, one of which listed by Ewing and Clark for $3,985,000.

Apartments, Parking Included in Upper Queen Anne Safeway Redevelopment

With all of the new construction and redevelopment going on around the city, it’s unique when an existing business opts to redevelop their existing property. That’s just what Albertson’s is doing with the 25,000 square foot Safeway store on upper Queen Anne…

In the fall of 2018, the grocery giant has plans to start construction on redeveloping the store at 2100 Queen Anne Ave N. They will be expanding the store’s footprint to 50,000 square feet, in addition to constructing four additional stories of residential units, and underground parking. It’s not yet clear how many residential units there will be.

“Since 1962 the store has undergone several significant remodels that were limited to our current space constraints,” Safeway Seattle Division President Karl Schroeder said. “We are now committed to pursuing a redevelopment plan well-suited to both our neighbors and the location.”

The Queen Anne News reported that the design for the project will “focus on neighborhood integration, and enhancing the street-level character,” and that the expanded store will offer “more premium elements tailored to the Northwest.”

The entitlement process will be started this summer, and construction is anticipated to begin Fall 2018. The architect on the project is Ankrom Moisan, and local firm Holland Partner Group is the developer.

Featured photo shows the project site plans, source: The Queen Anne News.