Clair Enlow

Clair Enlow is a freelance journalist writing about architecture, planning and history. She’s a Loeb Fellow and an honorary member of AIASeattle.

Refreshing an Iconic Seattle Park in a New Context

It may not be great functional design. It might not even make sense in the new context in which the park sits. But physical spaces are also places of history, and of memory. Sometimes they also get a voice.

Master of Illusion: Seattle’s New Electrical Substation goes Online

The result is ingenious and well worth the mounting list of design awards and breathless reviews. The NBBJ design team, headed by principal Jose Sama, needed to wall off the substation while offering up favors—all within a single project budget.

A Remade Pacific Place: Mall for a Market that stayed Home

The future of Pacific Place seems less certain, and more tied to the fate of overbuilt retail. Might there be some other ways to rejuvenate the building? Empty Pacific Place might be the perfect place to ease Seattle’s transition into the post-pandemic age—and help to save downtown Seattle once again.

Novelist Jess Walter Sets a Story in Early Spokane, Beset With Radicals

Labor is a theme, but Spokane doesn’t really have a labor force—just rootless workers who can’t drive a fair deal. Then the Wobblies come to town.

Seattle Has Just Built Its Best Urban Plaza

In some ways, 2&U is a laboratory for cities of the future. It could show us how to activate the all-important ground floor after e-commerce and now the pandemic have dealt blows to downtown retail.

Holl on Holl in Bellevue

Holl’s building remains the most important work of art in the collection of Bellevue Art Museum

Seattle’s Waterfront Is Remaking Itself, With a Dramatic Overlook Walk to the Aquarium

The Overlook Walk will meet the edge of MarketFront, where a series of bridging structures will continue the switchbacks down a gentle slope to the roof deck of the Ocean Pavilion. On the way down, the path will cross over yet-to-be-built Elliott Avenue, the branch of rebuilt Alaskan Way which will climb the face of the cliff, carrying most of the northbound traffic toward Belltown.

Portland’s Bold Move To Encourage More Close-In ‘Middle’ Housing

Seattle has not adjusted to the shift to urban housing, except in some token ways. The city still requires one on-site parking space per house, with the exception of accessory units in some single-family zones.

Another Old Church Building On The Edge Of Demise

In 2005 the owners of Third Church tested the market for their building and received an offer from a man who seemed committed to converting Third Church into a performance and lecture hall. Didn't happen.

East Precinct, Seattle’s Unexpected Landmark

For some demonstrators, the building is their police station. The East Precinct serves a large area in South Seattle. I hate to see that open door boarded up. Like others who’ve raised teenagers here, I’ve been to the precinct in the middle of the night.

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