Will you miss the viaduct? 🚗
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Will you miss the viaduct? 🚗

The viaduct under construction in 1952.
(📸: Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, 43548)


Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct is slated for demolition in 2019 and will be replaced by our controversial underground tunnel, which could finally open this fall after three years of delays.

But did you know that years ago, the viaduct was just as contentious as the tunnel’s been? Here are some key things to know:

OPENED: 1953. It was one of Seattle’s first big transportation projects after World War II.

WHY IT WAS BUILT: To help ease traffic congestion in downtown Seattle (lol). The traffic was caused by cars coming into the city via Highway 99, which was the West Coast’s first road to span between the Mexican and Canadian borders.

WHAT IT’S KNOWN FOR: Great drive-by views of the pier and Puget Sound … and gradually sinking after Seattle’s 2001 earthquake. 😱

FUN FACT: Before construction began in 1948, the viaduct was hated by some Seattleites. Why? Because they thought it was ugly. And what did they want in its stead? A tunnel. We aren’t joking.

WHAT’LL HAPPEN WHEN IT’S GONE: Organizers with Waterfront Seattle, a program that launched to turn Seattle’s shoreline into a public space, are teaming up with the city’s Office of the Waterfront to make the streets around the viaduct more accessible and walkable. Parts of the project, including rebuilding Pier 62 into a view point and outdoor concert space, are already underway. Other plans, like expanding the Seattle Aquarium’s exhibit space, creating a mile-long promenade, and building a walkway to connect Pike Place Market to the waterfront, could be finished by 2024.

Want to pass on this bit of transportation history? Go here to share this post. Will you miss the viaduct when it’s gone? Let us know why or why not here.

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Seattle schools have their next superintendent. And Denise Juneau will be the first Native American to ever hold the post. She recently headed up schools for the whole state of Montana, and she’ll start her gig here in July. Here’s the story from The Seattle Times, and just for fun, from Montana’s Helena Independent Record.

Whatcha smiling at? Walk into any local restaurant and you’ll see colorful face emojis grinning at you from a placard…or staring at you blankly. They’re part of King County’s now year-old food safety rating system, and it’s worth asking: Should you only eat at restaurants with explosive smiles, which are food safety code for “excellent”? And if you’re met with a “meh” at a restaurant you’re excited about — a.k.a., “needs to improve” — is that your cue to leave? Food writer Bethany Jean Clement breaks it all down for you. And here’s a tip: You can look up the food inspection record of any restaurant in our county here. (The Seattle Times)

Oh my. Behold Lady Prunella Knucklesnude von Wrinklebothum. She’s a Sphynx cat, she’ll throw things at you when you ignore her, and if this crazy contest is to be believed, she’s the second ugliest pet in Seattle. (The Stranger)

Listen up, drivers. Your city could become the first in the country to toll a bunch of its downtown streets. Our mayor, Jenny Durkan, said the city will start sketching out a plan to add what’s called “congestion pricing” to some of our roadways. The point? To cut back on car traffic and smog. Which streets? We’re not sure yet. When? Maybe as soon as 2021. Tolls are already coming to downtown when that new Highway 99 tunnel opens later this year. So could we really go through with this? “Road pricing tends to poll poorly,” said economist Matthew Gibson. “After people experience it for a while, support tends to increase.” (The Seattle Times)

Camp out up. Roughing it on the ground not doing it for you? Here’s a roundup of spots around the region where you can rent a treehouse for a weekend, including this 20-by-10-foot loft right here in Seattle. Yes, the Northwest is this cool. (Curbed Seattle)

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Things to do


💻👩  April 23-27: Connect with inspiring mentors, peers, and resources at the weeklong Women in Tech Regatta (South Lake Union)



👋  Sing it at Crowdsource Choir (Hillman City)
🏞  Take a free stroll through Seattle Japanese Garden (Montlake)
🎈  Take the fam to an actual UFO festival (Burien)
🗣  Talk peace, justice and MLK with Grandmothers Against Gun Violence (Central District)


🎟  See a burlesque “Romeo & Juliet” (Downtown)
🎟  Awe at acrobats, jugglers, and contortionists (Capitol Hill)
🍴  Dine out for Seattle Restaurant Week — through April 19 (All over)


⚡  Join a citywide pillow fight! (Capitol Hill)
🍻  Say happy birthday to Chuck’s Hop Shop (Greenwood)
🏞  Go for a Brunch Run (Sand Point)
🍴  Join the Duwamish tribe’s Princess Angeline Tea Party (West Seattle)
🎈Watch the beautiful Daffodil Parade (Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting)


🏞  Welcome the Arboretum’s new trail loop (Montlake)
🍴  Eat delish vegetarian bites at VegFest (Queen Anne)
🚲  Bike on the viaduct for the first and last time (All over)

Going to one of these? Send us a pic or tag #theevergrey. See more upcoming events (and submit your own) on our events page.


When you share The Evergrey with awesome locals who want to check in with their city, we can’t thank you enough. So, we give you gifts!

Shoutout to readers Warren Etheredge, Kara Mattaini, Janice Lichtenwaldt, Zach, and kdej for welcoming at least 10 new subscribers and earning a pack of special edition Evergrey stickers.

Katie Lynd, you’ve invited 25 new subscribers and are getting those stickers plus a custom keychain

And Anne Martens, whoa. For introducing The Evergrey to over 50 new subscribers, we’re giving you stickers, a keychain, a special edition Evergrey sweatshirt and a hand-delivered coffee drink on us. ☕

Thanks to everyone who’s been telling their friends, coworkers, bus seat buddies, and baristas about this here newsletter. Remember to use your custom referral link to our signup form at the bottom of this newsletter so you too can earn some perks. (Psst — Andrea James and dcarnegie — you’re just one subscriber away from those stickers!)

Cheers, and we’ll see you tomorrow. — The Evergrey

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