The Showbox at Risk of Demolition for New Tower

Al Smith (April 1940) via MOHAI

This week marked the 79th anniversary of the opening of The Showbox and now it is facing demolition. Founded in 1939 as the Show Box, performers over the years have included included Duke Ellington, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, and Lorde.

Earlier this week a pre-application was submitted to the city of Seattle on behalf of The Onni Group of Vancouver, British Columbia, with plans to build a 44-story mixed-use tower in place of the venue at 1426 1st Avenue.

The proposed Perkins+Will-designed tower would have 442 apartment units, ground level retail, and below grade parking with 88 stalls. The tower’s site would include where the Showbox sits and its adjacent parking lot.

The Showbox is located out of the jurisdiction of the Pike Place Market Historical Commission and currently isn’t a protected building. However, it does fit many of the requirements for landmark status. It is likely that it will undergo the review process with the Landmark Preservation Board as part of the development process.

Onni’s proposed tower has been met with strong opposition as an online petition has already gathered over 55,000 signatures.

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