Table Topic questions are meant to stimulate family and classroom discussion.
Use the questions below after reading,"Saving a time and a place"
- Proponents of urban renewal claimed that aging downtown buildings were dilapidated, unsafe and attracted crime. Their solution was to demolish the old and start new. Are there blighted areas or structures around today that might benefit from this approach? The Seattle Commons was a recent attempt at urban renewal and destruction of the Cascade neighborhood was one of the issues.
How does this neighborhood compare in historical and economic value to Pike Place or Pioneer Square?
- Distrust of city planners was evident in the struggle over Pike Place. Are there recent examples of neighborhood distrust of ideas generated by city hall planners? How do you think the Pike Place vote would go today?
- Compare the architect's model of the proposed urban waterfront renewal (below) with Victor Steinbrueck's drawing of the Market. What are differences in ambiance, human scale, warmth, cleanliness, safety? Which vision of urban space is closer to your own? Do you prefer to shop in Seattle's historic retail districts or in new shopping malls?
- Historical preservation aims to preserve structures, even districts, that embody a strong heritage. What are some neighborhoods or areas with strong cultural or architectural identity today? Which would you like protected by landmark status, so your grandchildren could experience them as you do now?
- Landmark status limits an owner's rights to demolish or renovate properties with historical significance. Should owners have more control over their own real estate or should public interest always come first? How is itß determined? What would Seattle be like today without preservation of Pike Place or Pioneer Square?
- The rich, diverse environment of Pike Place Market has inspired musicians, writers and artists, and continues to attract both tourists and locals. How does an environment express the soul of a city or of an era? How do environments affect our behavior for good or ill?
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