Is the end near for Seattle's legendary Showbox at the Market concert venue?

A developer wants to demolish the Showbox and replace it with a 42-story apartment highrise

July 26, 2018
Small rock club

© Roman Rvachov |

A developer wants to demolish Seattle's legendary Showbox at the Market and build a 442-unit highrise apartment tower. 

The Showbox has been there since 1930s. Some of the biggest names in music, from the jazz and big-band era through Grunge in the 1990s, have been on that stage: Duke Ellington, Muddy Waters, the Raomnes,. Prince, Nirvana, Dave Matthews, Nat King Cole, The Police, Blondie, Coldplay . . . it's a long list. I can't even count the number of shows I've seen there over the years. I always heard the venue intentionally has a kind of a springy floor, so that when a really rocking band is playing and people are jumping around, the whole place vibrates with the crowd -- I'm pretty sure that's true. It's an incredible experience to be there on a night like that.

I'm really not one of those "Seattle ain't what it used to be" kind of people. I love great restaurants and mass transit and lots of cultural amenities and I'm not afraid of progress. But this hits me hard.

There's a chance that Seattle's process of preserving historic buildings through landmark status could save the Showbox. Here's a story about that in The Stranger. And here's a petition to change the status.

It seems as if there are a lot of places around the Sound, and even in downtown Seattle, where someone could squeeze in a highrise apartment building. It would really be nice once in awhile if something old and valuable to the fabric of the city actually remained right where it is.

Here's the story in the Seattle Times.

Seriously, there must be some other spot around downtown Seattle where you cloud drop a 40-plus-story building and leave this one little club alone. Any ideas? E-mail me!: