Around the Globe

One landmark that appears often in our pictures is the Seattle P-I Globe. That’s no surprise, since it dwells between our window and the photogenic Olympic Peninsula.  How the globe got there in the first place is another matter though.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is the successor to Seattle’s very first newspaper, the Seattle Gazette, founded in 1863.  Eighty-five years later, the globe was created to adorn the paper’s then-new headquarters, at Sixth Avenue and Wall Street. The diameter of the globe is 30 feet, and then there’s that 18 foot eagle perched on top. The slogan “It’s in the P-I,” in red neon, still sometimes revolves around its equator.

Eventually, the P-I lost ground to its cross-park rival, the Seattle Times.  Starting in 1983 the two papers were both printed by the Times under a joint operating agreement, and so the  P-I had less need for floorspace.  They moved down toward the waterfront, taking their globe with them, and that’s why it’s in our line of sight.  Since 2009 the P-I is online only.

Here at our house we’ve been worried about losing our view of the globe.  It’s not that the thing is going anywhere — the Museum of History and Industry, which now owns it, doesn’t have any place else to put it.  But our neighborhood is strewn with one-, two- and three-story buildings that are ripe for re-development (we lost our partial view of Mt. Rainier to a big apartment building, for instance). One day a construction crane appeared near the globe, and soon a wooden structure began to rise.

But we tracked the new building down, to Warren Avenue, across First from where I think the Cascadia Tavern used to be.  It’s wedge-shaped and yellow, and full of holes on the side away from us.  We were glad to find it topped out at a visually safe height.  Its complexion is still subject to change, but I’m sure it will always be the Swiss Cheese Building to us.

Up close, the globe itself is more imposing:

Here is the globe from the other side: