The finishing touches being put on Hotel Ballard last spring. Construction of the building has apparently spurred community backlash.
Is Hotel Ballard a travesty? Is Ballard doomed?
In a recent Slog post, The Stranger asks an important question, "Is Ballard DOOMED?"
The question comes in response to the new Stoneburner restaurant and the building that it is housed in, Hotel Ballard. When The Stranger published a review of Stoneburner, commenters apparently had a bone to pick with the building -- itself hardly a subject in the review.
"This particular new building, the Ballard Hotel, is hideous, looks like it belongs in Vegas next to the fake Eiffel tower."
"You don't see any problems with a behemoth of yellow stucco punctuated by air conditioning vents and balconies that wandered in from a Southern Plantation mail-order catalog? You have no qualms about archways of chalky, chunky sandstone on loan from the Magic Kingdom collection? The entire Hotel Ballard facade (and the hotel interior, I'm told), screams of money without context or taste."
"Hotel Ballard is HIDEOUS! I hadn't been to Ballard in a number of months until 2 weeks ago, and I couldn't believe that ugly suburban McMansion-style hotel was the final product."
"You can tell Hotel Ballard lacks any self-consciousness by the street sign proclaiming its rooms to be 'opulent.' Sorry but I expect my rooms to be plutocratic. That building, including the adjoining restaurant, belongs in Kirkland."
"Horrid horrid horrid hotel. ... It looks it was transplanted from suburban Phoenix."
While there are also some semi-positive comments -- or, at least, some "Who cares?" comments -- about the building, there seems to have been a strong underlying passion among Ballardites. For some, the new Hotel Ballard building doesn't fit in with the rest of the Ballard Ave Landmarks District. In fact, people are contending it doesn't even fit into Seattle. Las Vegas, a southern plantation mail-order catalog, Kirkland, Phoenix? Maybe one of those places.
In an unofficial poll, The Stranger asked readers: "Can Ballard last in the form it is now? Has greed destroyed Ballard?" 34.69 percent of readers responded "No, Ballard cannot last all fancypants'd up! And yes, greed has destroyed it!" and 36.05 percent responded "I don't care."
What do you think? Is Hotel Ballard a travesty? Let us know in the comments below.
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