Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Seattle POPS

While googling information about the Hillclimb Assist (a public escalator in a private building to help people avoid climbing a crazy-steep hill)...

I found a website that said that there was a POPS in this building. Which led me on another search... what is a POPS? It's a privately-owned public-space. Basically, these buildings were given some kind of zoning or building variance, and in exchange, they had to open a part of their building or their property to the public. The interesting thing is, most of the public doesn't even know these places exist. Or that they're open to the public.

For example, in this building, located on the full block between 3rd & 4th Avenue and Madison and Marion Streets, there's a rooftop garden on the 7th floor! But who would ever know that they could just walk in and go to the 7th floor?  I had read about it and I still felt unsure!

So, this week, after my tutoring session at the library, I walked into the building. I entered on 4th Ave. near Madison St., just diagonally across from the Seattle Public Library.  There are multiple elevator banks, so I chose the one that should go to the 7th Floor. I got on the elevator and pushed 7, but nothing happened. The light wouldn't stay lit. Luckily, another man entered the elevator, saw what I was doing and asked "Are you trying to get to the roof garden thing?" It turns out, it has it's own elevator separate from the large banks of elevator, more toward Marion St. (I could go back and take picture of how to find this elevator.)

I found the right elevator and took it to 7.  Ahh, the sunshine. And the views!

Ok, I admit, it's hard to see, but I promise Mt. Rainier is right there!

The Space Needle

The library

The Puget Sound

CenturyLink Field

And some green space! 

I was there around 1pm and the area was mostly full of professionals eating their lunches, reading books, and enjoying the sun. I'm guessing that they mostly work in this building because, realistically, how much of the public knows about this? 

Want to learn more about Seattle POPS? Here are a few websites I found:

and, best of all, if you've got a half-hour to spare, a 26 minute video of a walking tour of Seattle POPS, led by an architect.
The walking tour starts at about 4:28.

Get out there and explore, Seattle!

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