Photographer Marques Vickers has captured over 250 architectural images from over 110 commercial development projects that form the nucleus of Seattle’s downtown district. “Downtown Seattle: The Contemporary Skyline” is the fourth volume in the Vertical Washington series documenting the state’s dynamic skyline growth.
The heightening of the downtown Seattle skyline mirrors the prosperity and expansion of the high technology and bio-med business core. Historically the Seattle regional economy has been diversified with Boeing its most visible institution. Tech growth has accelerated the demands for office space, parking, residential housing and transportation solutions. Aggressive development has resulted in soaring rents, congestion and extreme gridlock.
The city of Seattle appears to be playing infrastructure catch-up. It has been justifiably observed that the city was never intended to expand into its present girth. Such observations become academic and antiquated when one views the fruition of its present vertical skyline. Even more developments remain in various stages of planning and completion. These structures have become the new permanence, a form of neo-Urbania. Retreat and constraint are no longer options or alternatives.
Future visions for a vibrant downtown core stream forward. Obstacles will be addressed and the faint cries of protest will likely be overruled. With each subsequent constructed monolith, Seattle solidifies its claim towards twenty-first century credibility and stature.
Growth becomes an insatiable surge. For the high technology industry to maintain its frenetic pace, progress is essential. Perhaps one day, Seattle and such a volatile industry will arrive at a crossroad where sustaining such expansion becomes problematic and unsustainable. For now, there appears no hesitation towards elevated downtown expansion.