Gentrification has set its sights on another great American cultural center — this time it's at Seattle's legendary Showbox.
Opened in 1939, Showbox hosted some of the greatest jazz, pop and rock artists of the 20th century. Perhaps most consequentially, Showbox was a key venue for Seattle's grunge scene as the movement simmered to a boil in the region in the late-'80s and early-'90s.
Now the club is set to be all or mostly torn down and replaced with a 44-story high rise.
Chris Cornell's daughter Lily Cornell Silver, who grew up in Seattle and has promoted shows at the venue on her social media, recently decried the news via an Instagram Story post.
"This Showbox closing cannot stand!" McKagan wrote. "This place was musically flavored what Seattle IS at its core. Progress is great and all, but not at the cost of the soul of the city."
This @ShowboxPresents Market closing cannot stand! This place has musically flavored what Seattle IS at its core. Progress is great and all, but not at the cost of the soul of the city.— Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) July 26, 2018
McKagan later shared the link to the Change.org petition, informing his followers that he signed it. As of Monday morning, the petition was more than halfway to its 150,000-signature goal.
Over the weekend, the Vancouver-based developer, Onni, which is handling the project nominated Showbox for landmark status, reports The Seattle Times.
But the report also notes that Onni could simply preserve a feature of the venue — such as the facade or marquee as historic — and demolish the rest down to build its apartment tower.
The Times says Onni may have nominated the Showbox for landmark status itself because it could speed up the permitting and approval process with the city. Onni reportedly used the same tactic on The Times' own former building, which is now being turned into residential and office towers.
Only the facade was preserved in that case, says The Times.
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