Best of: Readers’ Choice 2011

Seattleites have spoken. Here are the Reader's Choice winners in our Best of 2011 poll.
FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

BEAUTY

Salon for cuts and color
GARY MANUEL SALON
Belltown
2127 First Ave.
206.728.1234
garymanuel.com

Blow-dry/styling bar
SWINK STYLE BAR
Multiple locations, including
University Village
4610 Village Court NE
206.673.5070
swinkstylebar.com

Hairstylist
DERIK EGGERT, GARY
MANUEL SALON
Belltown
2127 First Ave.
206.728.1234
garymanuel.com

Men’s salon
RUDY'S BARBERSHOP
Multiple locations,
including Fremont
475 N 36th St.
206.547.0818
rudysbarbershop.com

Children’s haircuts
LI'L KLIPPERS
Wallingford (Wallingford Center)
1815 N 45th St., Suite 205
206.633.2158
lilklippers.com

Nail salon
JULEP NAIL PARLOR
Multiple locations,
including University District
5001 25th Ave. NE
206.985.6644
myjulep.com

Place for a massage
ELAIA SPA, HYATT AT OLIVE 8
Downtown
1635 Eighth Ave.
206.676.4500
olive8.hyatt.com/hyatt/pure/spas

Place for a facial
GENE JUAREZ SALON & SPA
Multiple locations, including
University District
(University Village)
2684 NE 49th St.
206.522.4700
genejuarez.com

HEALTH CARE

Medi-spa
CALIDORA SKIN CLINIC
Multiple locations, including Bellevue
10708 Main St., Suite 310
425.688.7800
calidora.com

Spa
ELAIA Spa, HYATT AT OLIVE 8
Downtown
1635 Eighth Ave.
206.676.4500
elaiaspa.com

Cosmetic dentist
DR. PRINCY S. REKHI,
HIGHLAND DENTAL
Renton
1080 Kirkland Ave. NE
425.226.1422
myhighlanddental.com

Place for skin care
CALIDORA SKIN CLINIC
Multiple locations, including Downtown
412 University St.
206.267.7869
calidora.com

Plastic surgeon
DR. SHAHRAM SALEMY
First Hill
Cabrini Medical Tower
901 Boren Ave., Suite 1650
206.464.0873
drsalemy.com

Hospital
SWEDISH MEDICAL CENTER
Multiple locations, including
Ballard
5300 Tallman Ave. NW
206.782.2700
swedish.org

PETS

Doggy day care
A DOG'S LIFE
Columbia City
4801 Rainer Ave. S
206.695.2758
adogslifedoggydaycare.net

Groomer [Correction: Fetch! Pet Care does not offer grooming services. They were erroneously voted for in this category. We regret the error.]
FETCH! PET CARE OF
WEST SEATTLE
West Seattle
9425 12th Ave. SW
206.965.9851
west-seattle.fetchpetcare.com

Veterinarian
TIE:
ELLIOTT BAY
ANIMAL HOSPITAL
Interbay
2042 15th Ave. W
206.285.7387
elliottbayah.com

SUNSET HILL VETERINARY CLINIC & REHABILITATION CENTER
Ballard
2403 NW Market St.
206.706.7800
sunsethillvet.com

Pet shop
MUD BAY
Multiple locations, including Greenwood
8532 First Ave. NW
206.789.7977
www.mudbay.us

SHOPPING

New boutique
FAIR TRADE WINDS
Wallingford (Wallingford Center)
1815 N 45th St., Suite 202
206.743.8500
fairtradewinds.net

Men’s boutique
BUILT FOR MAN (Showroom)
Available at multiple locations, including Veridis
Capitol Hill
1205 E Pike St.
206.658.7642
builtforman.com

Women’s boutique
FROCK SHOP
Phinney Ridge
6500 Phinney Ave. N
206.297.1638
shopfrockshop.com

Department store
Shoe store

NORDSTROM
Multiple locations, including Downtown
500 Pine St.
206.628.2111
nordstrom.com

Jewelry shop
TIFFANY & CO.
Multiple locations, including
Downtown (Pacific Place)
600 Pine St.
206.264.1400
tiffany.com

Optical shop
4 YOUR EYES ONLY OPTICAL
Wallingford (Wallingford Center)
1815 N 45th St., Suite 211
206.547.7430
4youreyesonlyoptical.com

Luxury shop
NEIMAN MARCUS
Bellevue
11111 NE Eighth St.
425.452.3300
neimanmarcus.com

Sale rack
NORDSTROM RACK
Multiple locations, including
Downtown
1601 Second Ave.
206.448.8522
shop.nordstrom.com/c/
nordstrom-rack

Children’s clothing store
PARON'S CLOSET
Wallingford (Wallingford Center)
1815 N 45th St., Suite 204
206.695.2455
paronscloset.com

Children’s book shop
SECRET GARDEN BOOKS
Ballard
2214 NW Market St.
206.789.5006
secretgardenbooks.com

Children’s toy shop
TOP TEN TOYS, INC.
Multiple locations, including
Downtown (Pacific Place)
600 Pine St. #220
206.623.1370
toptentoys.com

Gardening store
MOLBAK'S
Woodinville
13625 NE 175th St.
425.483.5000
molbaks.com

Grocery store
METROPOLITAN MARKET
Multiple locations,
including Queen Anne
1908 Queen Anne Ave. N
206.284.2530
metropolitan-market.com

Bookstore
THE ELLIOTT BAY
BOOK COMPANY
Capitol Hill
1521 10th Ave.
206.624.6600
elliottbaybook.com

Housewares
SUR LA TABLE
Multiple locations, including
Pike Place Market
84 Pine St.
206.448.2244
surlatable.com

Gift/card shop
BUTTER HOME
Capitol Hill (Melrose Market)
1531 Melrose Ave., Suite C2, Mezzanine
206.623.2626
butterhomeseattle.com

Furniture store
AREA 51
Capitol Hill
401 E Pine St.
206.568.4782
area51seattle.com

Auto dealer
LEXUS OF SEATTLE
Lynnwood
20300 Highway 99
425.774.7900
lexusofseattle.com

SPORTS & FITNESS

Fitness club
COMMUNITY FITNESS
Multiple locations, including
Ravenna
2113 NE 65th St.
206.523.1534
communityfitness.com

Boot camp
STRENGTH STUDIO
Capitol Hill
526 19th Ave. E
206.300.0709
strength-studio.com

Yoga workout and hot yoga
URBAN YOGA SPA
Downtown
1900 Fourth Ave.
206.420.0222
urbanyogaspa.com

Golf course, public
INTERBAY GOLF CENTER
Magnolia
2501 15th Ave. W
206.838.4653
premiergc.com

Sporting goods shop
REI
South Lake Union
222 Yale Ave. N
206.223.1944
rei.com

Boating supply store
WEST MARINE
Multiple locations, including
Ballard/Shilshole
6317 Seaview Ave. NW
206.789.4640
westmarine.com

Ski shop
EVO
Fremont
122 NW 36th St.
206.973.4470
evo.com

ENTERTAINMENT

Cultural museum
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
Downtown
1300 First Ave.
206.654.3100
seattleartmuseum.org

Art gallery
VERMILLION
Capitol Hill
1508 11th Ave.
206.709.9797
vermillionseattle.com

Performing arts venue
PARAMOUNT THEATRE
Downtown
911 Pine St.
206.682.1414
stgpresents.org

Theater company
ACT, A CONTEMPORARY THEATRE
Downtown
700 Union St.
206.292.7676
acttheatre.org

Casino (within 100 miles)
TULALIP RESORT CASINO
Tulalip
10200 Quil Ceda Blvd.
360.716.6000
tulalipcasino.com

Bowling alley
GARAGE BILLIARDS
Capitol Hill
1130 Broadway Ave.
206.322.2296
garagebilliards.com

Place to shoot pool
GARAGE BILLIARDS
Capitol Hill
1130 Broadway Ave.
206.322.2296
garagebilliards.com

Local pub
BELLTOWN PUB
Belltown
2322 First Ave.
206.448.6210
thebelltownpub.com

Dance club
CENTURY BALLROOM
Capitol Hill
915 E Pine St.
206.324.7263
centuryballroom.com

Live music venue
NEUMOS CRYSTAL BALL
READING ROOM
Capitol Hill
925 E Pike St.
206.709.9442
neumos.com

New local band
SAD FACE
sadface.bandcamp.com

Movie theater
MAJESTIC BAY THEATRES
Ballard
2044 NW Market St.
206.781.2229
majesticbay.com

Neighborhood art walk
PIONEER SQUARE FIRST
THURSDAY ART WALK
Pioneer Square
firstthursdayseattle.com

Neighborhood blog
WEST SEATTLE BLOG
West Seattle
2850 SW Yancy St., No. 116
206.293.6302
westseattleblog.com

Kids’ attraction
PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER
Queen Anne
200 Second Ave. N
206.443.2001
pacificsciencecenter.org

TRAVEL

Northwest resort
TULALIP RESORT CASINO
Tulalip
10200 Quil Ceda Blvd.
360.716.6000
tulalipcasino.com

In-city hotel
HOTEL ÄNDRA
Belltown
2000 Fourth Ave.
206.448.8600
hotelandra.com

FOOD & DRINK

New restaurant
POQUITOS
Capitol Hill
1000 E Pike St.
206.453.4216
vivapoquitos.com

Mobile/food truck
MARINATION MOBILE
marinationmobile.com

Pizza place
PAGLIACCI PIZZA
Multiple locations, including
Magnolia
1614 W Dravus St.
206.726.1717
pagliacci.com

Burger joint and cheap lunch
DICK'S DRIVE-IN
Multiple locations, including
Wallingford
111 NE 45th St.
206.632.5125
ddir.com

New bar and cocktails
CANON WHISKEY AND
BITTERS EMPORIUM
Capitol Hill
928 12th Ave.
206.552.9755
canonseattle.com

Local microbrew
GEORGETOWN
BREWING COMPANY
Georgetown
5200 Denver Ave. S
206.766.8055
georgetownbeer.com

Bartender
ABE FOX, SHELTER LOUNGE
Ballard
4910 Leary Ave. NW
206.829.8568
theshelterlounge.com

Hotel bar
ART LOUNGE,
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
Downtown
99 Union St.
206.749.7000
fourseasons.com/seattle/dining/art_lounge

Happy hour menu
PEARL
Bellevue
700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 50
425.455.0181
pearlbellevue.com

Takeout food
PASEO CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT
Multiple locations, including
Fremont
4225 Fremont Ave. N
206.545.7440
paseoseattle.com

Coffee shop
STARBUCKS
Multiple locations, including
Pike Place Market
1912 Pike Place
206.448.8762
starbucks.com

Neighborhood farmers market
BALLARD FARMERS MARKET
Ballard
Ballard Avenue NW
at 22nd Avenue NW
206.781.6776
fremontmarket.com/ballardwelcome.html

Outdoor dining
SALTY'S ON ALKI BEACH
West Seattle
1936 Harbor Ave. SW
206.937.1600
saltys.com

Ice cream shop
MOLLY MOON'S
HOMEMADE ICE CREAM
Multiple locations,
including
Capitol Hill
917 E Pine St.
206.708.7947
mollymoonicecream.com

Cupcake shop
TROPHY CUPCAKES
Multiple locations, including
Wallingford (Wallingford Center)
1815 N 45th St., Suite 209
206.632.7020
trophycupcakes.com

Pie shop
HIGH 5 PIE
Capitol Hill
1400 12th Ave.
206.695.2284
high5pie.com

Are High-Rise Wood Buildings in Seattle's Future?

Are High-Rise Wood Buildings in Seattle's Future?

Is Seattle ready for high-rises built of wood after 80 years of concrete-and-steel buildings?
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

When architect Joe Mayo walks into his office, he’s steeped in Seattle history. Mahlum Architects is located in Pioneer Square’s 1910 Polson Building, which served as a warehouse for gold mining equipment during the Klondike Gold Rush. Over the past 100 years, the building has also housed offices and artists’ lofts, and survived two arson fires. So it’s remarkable to see the original old-growth Douglas fir columns still rising from the floor and spanning the ceilings. “It creates a pretty amazing environment,” says Mayo.

Large buildings framed with wood from big trees were commonplace in Seattle and in other parts of the country in the early 1900s. But changing building codes and diminishing availability of large timber put an end to this style. Today, wood buildings are usually one- or two-story houses, while our apartments, hotels and office buildings are nearly all built from concrete and steel. The six-story Bullitt Center on Capitol Hill, which opened in 2013, is the first mid-rise building in Seattle constructed of wood in the past 80 years.

With the advent of a new wood building material called cross-laminated timber (CLT), it might one day become one of many such structures. Proponents say the benefits of building with CLT could be significant. CLT can be used to create buildings that are as tall as 30 stories (and beyond, some architects say) that are better for the environment and aesthetically pleasing, and can be quickly built, help create jobs in economically depressed regional timber towns and are as long-lasting as other buildings. Some research even suggests that wooden buildings offer health benefits for occupants.

Mayo says the material makes sense for our region. “Architecture should feel like it’s a part of a place,” he says. “We’re in the great Northwest, with some of the tallest trees in the world and the best timber in the country, and we have a long history of building with wood.”

But while building codes in Europe and in some other countries have changed to embrace the new material, and CLT buildings as tall as 10 stories are in use in Australia and London, U.S. building codes lag behind. Seattle recently became the first city to allow the use of CLT in construction, but that use is currently limited to five stories for residential buildings and six stories for office buildings.

“The City is open to proposals on larger buildings, but we do have to verify that fire safety and seismic issues have been addressed in the designs,” says Bryan Stevens, spokesperson for the City of Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections. That’s because, while these issues have been resolved for buildings in other parts of the world, the U.S. requires domestic testing if building codes are to change.

Washington State University is one participant in a multi-institutional program with the National Science Foundation and the Network of Earthquake Engineering Simulation that is testing how mass timber systems like CLT fare in earthquakes. Hans-Erik Blomgren, a structural engineer in the Seattle offices of the international engineering firm Arup who is a participant in the research program, believes engineers can solve this puzzle. “There’s no technical reason we shouldn’t be designing a building with this material,” he says.

U.S. fire codes have also long prevented the use of combustible materials such as wood in mid- and high-rise buildings, but engineers say code changes to allow for the use of CLT are also achievable. To understand how resistant to fire large pieces of wood can be, proponents suggest thinking of how hard it is to start a bonfire with really big pieces of wood. Not only are such pieces hard to light, but they burn slowly.

In theory, developers could propose larger CLT buildings before codes are changed, but they would have to invest time, money and coordination to get this new building type through Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections, with no guarantee that their designs would be approved. “It takes a very special project and specific client and certainly a very ambitious design team to take it on,” says Mayo.

Unless that client steps forward, builders will be waiting for the International Code Council (ICC) to work through the fire and earthquake issues and develop the necessary code changes before mid-rise and higher CLT buildings spring up in the city. 

“We know there’s been a lot of interest in this construction type,” says Stevens, “so we’re trying to be responsive to the demand without giving up safety.”

As with so many innovations, another problem for developers is that material costs for CLT can be high because there are so few North American CLT manufacturers. Developers wait for the price to go down, but manufacturers need more demand for a product. To alleviate this problem, some businesses and legislators are working to help bring CLT mills to Washington state. An Oregon lumber company, D.R. Johnson Lumber, in Riddle, Oregon, recently became the first certified manufacturer of CLT for construction material in the U.S.

Clt was developed in the 1990s by researchers in Austria and Germany who were looking for a use for pieces of surplus wood. The material is created by layering smaller pieces of wood together into a kind of sandwich that offers the strength and insulation found in the massive timbers of the past, and that can be used for the walls, floors, roof beams and posts that make up a building. 

One of the most touted aspects of this material is its role in fighting carbon emissions. Trees absorb carbon and use energy from the sun to grow, which makes them a lower carbon choice than concrete or steel, which not only don’t absorb carbon, but require much more carbon-emitting energy to manufacture. Trees are also a renewable resource, as long as they are harvested from a sustainably managed forest. And CLT can be made from otherwise underused or damaged woods, such as the vast forests of domestic pine that have been killed by mountain pine beetles.

Another selling point, particularly in urban areas, is that CLT panels are prefabricated—bring them to the building site, and your building goes up quickly, with less noise, pollution and traffic delays than with other materials. The eight CLT stories of London’s nine-story Murray Grove apartment building went up in nine weeks.

But building with CLT is not all about practical considerations, says Susan Jones, who owns the Seattle architecture firm Atelierjones and designed her family’s home as the first (and so far only) CLT home in Seattle’s Madison Valley in 2015. The material itself—in the case of her house, CLT primarily from white pine and left unpainted—is a sensual pleasure, from the quality and patina of the wood to the subtle pine smell in the house.

“It’s been incredibly satisfying to live with it,” Jones says. “That’s what architects are asked to do—we create beautiful spaces for people. What’s better than to immerse yourself into this incredibly rich natural environment of wood?”

Here in Washington, there’s enough raw material to immerse us all in that environment. But only a handful of projects in the state have used the material so far—for example, in Jones’ CLT house, in the walls of the Bellevue First Congregational Church sanctuary designed by Atelierjones and on a building project at Washington State University in Pullman. In Oregon, Joe Mayo recently worked on the design for what is to be the first use of U.S.-made CLT on a two-story building project, using panels manufactured by Oregon’s D.R. Johnson.

There are a few other regional CLT building projects in the design process now. In June, Washington state granted design-build contracts to several architects, including Susan Jones of Atelierjones and Joe Mayo of Mahlum, for 900-square-foot classrooms at several elementary schools in western Washington, to be constructed by the end of 2017. 

Another building, Framework, a 12-story building with retail, offices, and housing in Portland, Oregon, is currently in the design process, after a team, which includes Blomgren as its fire and earthquake CLT engineering specialist, won a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tall wood building competition created to encourage innovation with the material. Winners for 2015, including the Portland team and a team in New York City, each received $1.5 million for the research and development phase of creating buildings using CLT and other engineered wood materials.

At the University of Washington, associate professor of architecture Kate Simonen is leading another USDA-funded study to determine the relative environmental impact of using mass timber in commercial office buildings in Seattle, which follows on other studies indicating that this kind of building will have a lower carbon footprint than other building materials. 

While she’s cautious about reaching premature conclusions in her study, Simonen thinks it might not be a bad idea to start working now to get the structures built in our region. 

“We don’t have all the answers now, but in order to get those answers we need to help lead innovation,” she says. “It makes sense to take some risks in our region to advance a building material that supports our region.”