Olmsted Avenue!

Eastlake gained a new street and intersection this week: Omsted Avenue. The newly installed sidewalk cornerstone at East Shelby Street and Eastlake (just north of the new-to-be Little Waters Cantina) is the intersection of Omsted and Fairview Avenues. Never mind that Seattle’s avenues run North-South, Omsted Avenue doesn’t exist, and that the cornerstone is on Eastlake not Fairview — our E-Coli cornerstone has returned.

            OK – perhaps Eastlake’s much-anticipated new restaurant might prefer distance from E-Coli, but the little squirmies are a valuable component of this little piece of neighborhood folklore.

            Last century, an updated Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) tunnel was dug under Eastlake Avenue. Unfortunately, the person in charge of directing the remote-controlled tunnel boring machine forgot to calculate the dog-leg turn in Eastlake Avenue at Hamlin Street. So the boring machine, heading northbound, deviated from the street right-of-way and got stuck under the 1920s Bar-Mart building. Around this same time, the Cornerstone sidewalk art project was brewing. The CSO tunnelling and art projects might have been financially connected – a 1% For The Arts type of thing.  Don’t know.  Some say the E-Coli cornerstone was intended for Boston and Eastlake, but was deemed too close to Serafina’s. Others say the sewer tunnel’s abandoned boring machine adjacent to this location made the fecal matter hosting E-Coli bacteria cornerstone placement artfully appropriate. I don’t even know if the abandoned boring machine was removed when Bar-Mart was torn down and replaced with the Dog Building Apartments (my name – due to its wonderfully-high dog-to-human tenant ratio).

          But whatever! Our E-Coli cornerstone is back into the sidewalk. And now Olmsted Avenue joins Red Avenue, East Nelson Place and Eastlake Avenue NE as obscure urban photo scavenger hunt destinations of our Eastlake.

6 thoughts on “Olmsted Avenue!

  1. Benjamin Lukoff

    Red, Nelson, and Eastlake NE still exist, but not only does Olmstead not exist, it doesn’t even appear on the original plat.

  2. Robert Rudine

    Olmsted! Jason Huff from Arts and Cultural Affairs says the erroneous Cornerstone will be replaced. In the meantime visit the newly dubbed OLMSTED AVE. At the East Shelby Street Right of Way that leads to the parking garage of the Pug (to be more breed specific with Jules’ moniker) apartments.

  3. Robert Rudine

    More like a beastly reincarnation of our signature Cornerstone in another body. The incused sandstone portrait of the organisms was built to the wrong scale compared to the 32+ other Cornerstones. The artist Stacy Levy lost her original templates and so the image was reworked and magnified. Then the stone was mistakenly cut the size of the whole composition (including glass blocks) of the others. So, the fallacious and ectopic glass blocks don’t even match up with the edges of the sandstone. But E. coli was and is the most appropriate of all the Cornerstones subjects because this project was part of the 1% for the arts on the CSO project designed to keep fecal matter and E coli out of Lake Union where the stormwaters had previously overwhelmed the system and combined with raw sewage and discharged into Lake Union. So, this Cornerstone really celebrates a cleaner lake and fewer of these infectious organisms.

  4. Chandira

    Ha, I noticed this for the first time on my walk home last night and was wondering…
    Thanks for clearing this up!

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