Letter to the editor: Building design creativity in Edmonds


Why do we have these lifeless buildings proposed in Edmonds? Designs brought into our community, such as assorted projects along the 99 Corridor, apartment buildings presently proposed on Main and Dayton streets in downtown Edmonds and now the proposed new Boys and Girls Club building at the new Civic Playfield. Many of these project designs which lack creativity are replacing buildings of character and history in our community. The proposed project design for the Boys and Girls Club is an example.

The design for the new Boys and Girls Club replaces a building of character and history with a building design similar to the public safety complex across the street. This proposed design is adequate if the design goal was to be compatible with the public safety building however this ignores the history and memories of many families and community members of the existing boys and girls club. It lacks history and community connectivity. It’s not that the design is poor, rather it lacks creativity. We are purported to be the creative City of Edmonds. Where is the creativity in this and other designs?

The character of Edmonds should be one of history, community, art, the Salish Sea and the great outdoors. This is a community with popular reference as a city where art meets nature. Who is at the helm of guiding our new projects about Edmonds? Perhaps that’s where our creative effort requires additional focus to guide the vision for the future of our city.

Will Magnuson

  1. Maybe we should have a contest with young people providing visions for the looks of the building. Personally the building doesn’t fit its surroundings anymore the footprint seems to small. I got it we should take some of the newly refurbished space and turn it into a much more grand building, hate to pay for things twice but under current leadership doing it twice seems to be standard operating procedure and spending on wants is the flavor of the day.

  2. I agree! Towns like Leavenworth and Poulsbo REQUIRE all building to be consistent with their “themes”. Why can’t Edmonds do the same? It sure works for these other two towns, people flock there. Our planning board is obviously in disarray based on the recent departures and turnover. Who’s area is this under? The Mayor? City Council? Remember, it’s time to vote soon!

  3. On the Boys and Girls Club a few architectural details could be included on the new building. Such as the small square windows, for one. I’m often impressed when we travel by the architectural details people have taken the time to include. Yes, that will raise the cost, but if cost is your only concern, why not build simple concrete block structures and call it a day? We are going to have to live with these new buildings for a long time

  4. Can the current exterior design of Boys and Girls Club be duplicated and extended in scope to accommodate the the interior planes?

  5. I am sorry but I do not understand what you mean by “creativity.” It sounds like we only want buildings that look old, the way they used to when we were young, and that do not account for the modern things that buildings must do in our community. Or we can be like Leavenworth and Poulsbo and require buildings to look like some other town in Europe that burned down in a fire 150 years ago. It breaks my heart when someone paints a fish or insipid landscape on the side of the building and claims it is a “community connection.” It’s paint for goodness sake! We love to criticize here in the City of Edmonds but never do we have actual solutions. This new building looks great, and we should cherish it once it is built.

  6. List of Current and/or Soon to be current Edmond’s Problems:

    An expensive new waste water system that so far doesn’t work.
    A proposal by a very possible lame duck city administration to buy $37M Hwy 99 property for which no funding exists.
    Severe problems in all of our water sheds with erosion caused by excess run off that needs proper channeling.
    Pending severe shortfall of our General Fund that the current Administration wants to prop up with one time ARPA funds to pay for an ongoing cost of fire protection.
    Request for increased water sewer fees to cover inflation costs of parts and labor and failed system expenses (hauling cooked poop out of town).
    Comprehensive Plan re-write with consultation fees in the $100s of K’s of dollars.
    City staff leaving in droves and not being replaced to make the budget look better.
    City codes re-write that has been funded but not completed for almost 20 years.
    A push for an ill advised multi-million dollar “Missing Link Walkway” project in front of the Ebb Tide Condos that has cost the city and the building owners millions in legal and court costs, benefiting only lawyers so far.
    Ever worse crime all over town.

    Buildings and what they look like will soon be the least of our very real problems.

  7. Creativity is the essence of good design. It is not about making new buildings look old or creating theme towns. There will always be many challenges confronting us. Many public challenges are addressed in the short term. Poor planning and development is often with us 50 years or more. Creative building design is important for the community and need not be expensive or exclusive. Good creative design is much like a puzzle. It takes just a little talent and a bit of time to solve. Creative design of our buildings and properties enhances our experiences in our community by providing a sense of place. It improves our everyday lives. It is important.

  8. Speaking of creativity, Sunrise Street seems to be a contest of who can design with the least idea of esthetics.

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