GSGH #7 winner limerick

Though it sat uncommented on for more than a week, episode 7 of our Great Seattle Gargoyle Hunt, has been addressed at last, the lion in question being correctly identified by my friend and fellow history buff Pedro, who found it staring at him from the facade of the Alaska Building on the southeast corner of Second and Cherry and was so excited he couldn’t wait to comment online and phoned in his winning answer from the sidewalk, which is completely against the rules.

Gargoyle #7

I’m chagrined to report that I have no personal history with the Alaska Building, no fun stories to tell about it. Its fourteen stories were completed in 1904, and according to it remained Seattle’s tallest building until the Hoge building was raised kitty-corner across the street in 1911. It was owned until recently by the City of Seattle, but they sold it to a developer who pledged to renovate it into mixed-use retail and housing but pulled a bait-and-switch and turned it into a Marriott Hotel instead. So it goes in the Emerald City. Cheatin’ and backstabbin’ and double-crossin’ are as common in the Seattle skyline today as they were back in the post-Klondike days when the old dame was built.

Seattle's first steel-framed skyscraper, with recent addition and Marriott sign visible in back.

I was a little worried when I saw construction happening on the building a year or so ago, but all they did was add some footprint in the area that once formed the open L of the back of the building. The new portion goes all the way up in back but it is unobtrusive from most views and you can’t see it at all from the front corner. It could have been worse.

Here's a c.1925 view of the Alaska Building from further south on Second. Image property of Museum of History and Industry.

The Alaska Building from a different angle during construction in 1903 or 1904. The best part about some of the old shots of the Alaska Building are the views of the old New York Block, which stood where the Dexter Horton Building is now, here at left. The Corona and the Collins Building in the distance are still standing. Image property of University of Washington Libraries.

Thanks for playing Pedro, and for takin’ it to the streets! Like the smarty he is, Pedro requested his limerick in the ’80s gangsta rap idiom, but I wouldn’t know how to begin to comply with that request, and besides, any other meter and rhyme structure would no longer be a limerick, now would it? So to the ’80s gangsta rap request I say, “Don’t push it, buster”. But I’ll see what I can do. First, your conventional prize:

Pedro had just a spare minute
He sought for our gargoyle in it.
He strolled to the east
and found our game’s beast
Then phoned in his answer to win it.

Now, keeping in mind that I know almost nothing about rap, let alone the difference between 80s gangsta rap and any other kind, here is my best attempt.

My home skillet Pedro
was struttin’ the hood, yo
looking good,
made the drop at a stop in P Square.
While there in the fresh air he felt the stare,
the cold glare as he wandered east,
sought the beast,
until he came to a place, face to face
with the stone cat. Imagine that!
‘I’m in!’ he said with a grin and phoned it in
for the win —
but the prize ain’t a dolla, just a holla — hey!
Pedro, that’s the way, way to go, way to play.

Okay, you knuckleheads. Enough with the rule-breaking and special dispensations. From now on I’m going to be a stone grump about this.


5 Responses to “GSGH #7 winner limerick”

  1. 1 Jennifer Sanchez December 13, 2011 at 11:36

    Wish I lived in the Seattle area. I have visited so many times and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the architecture and vibe. Beats the stucco homes here in Las Vegas! Great pics and history. Good job Pedro!

    • 2 Matt December 13, 2011 at 21:17

      I think of Seattle as one of the youngest cities in the west, but I guess Las Vegas has us beat there. Well, we’ll try to make sure our old buildings are still around for when you visit.

  2. 3 P. Lana December 13, 2011 at 20:53

    Excellent effort Matt! The truth is that your site is blocked by the network server at my job (all the racy content I suppose). I was so excited to have found it I just had to call for the win.

    Your Pal & Home Skillet,


    • 4 Matt December 13, 2011 at 21:23

      I’m glad you approve of my measly rap offering, and I’m glad you called your answer in, now that I know the whole story. I was just twitting you anyway, because it really was a great moment in the game — an actual in situ ID. And it wasn’t like anyone else got robbed of a win. This was your cat, fairly caught. Congrats. I did try to call you back that eve, but it was your work phone and they told me you’d scarpered. Let’s knock some old building over after the holidays!

  1. 1 Gargoyle #7 | The Great Seattle Gargoyle Hunt Trackback on January 20, 2012 at 22:06

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