It's lights out for the Denny's Building and a blow to historic architecture. The development company that bought the company ended up winning this fight by proving they couldn't make a return on their $12.5 million investment if they had to incorporate the old wooden structure.
The Times had a nice quote from Ballard resident Eugenia Woo who said, "All the money Benaroya has spent to fight the landmark designation could have gone toward restoring the restaurant and that by now 'we all could be drinking martinis at a swank bar.' " Now that's an opinion we could get behind.
We at BGG would just like to say that we think this building should have been saved! For God's Sake How Many Times Do You Have To Tell Someone To Turn Left At The Ballard Denny's Before It Becomes A Neighborhood Landmark?! In addition to that, we are Scandinavian and love Mid-Century Modern. We were firmly in the court that this building fit the bill for historic preservation.
However, before we start weeping gently in our Eames chair prone with arms grasping our Herman Miller coffee table for support, we would first like to remind voters that this building was sold in the first place because of the already-started Monorail project. It was only subsequently sold to the Benaroya development company when the Monorail project failed a fourth vote AFTER the city had started buying neighborhood property. Not to kick a dead horse here, but if we had just voted down the monorail the first time or had actually built the frickin' thing, we would not be in this position. The city would have torn down the Denny's and replaced it with a modern - albeit probably ugly- monorail train station and ushered our hood into the 21st century. Would anyone have put up a fight at that point? I don't really think so but we may have just been fighting the city to save the old Denny's in that case. I can only guess that the battle would have lasted much longer and wasted more of our tax dollars. Bah! Next time, let's not plod along like we're reliving the stupid sub-plot from the movie Singles.