Letter From The Editor

Martin Luther King Jr. Way South as seen from Columbia City in Seattle.
Photo by Dennis Wtpho

As I write this from a downtown Seattle office,two skyscrapers are deftly being erected next door. Everyone at Forterra has a 22nd story view of all the construction, a distraction when you’re eating lunch or sitting in a front conference room. Visitors to the office always pause to gawk at these enormous steel skeletons — one a 36-story building in progress, the other slated to be 43. The sight of these wannabe buildings is so fascinating, it often distracts you from an awesome vista of Mount Rainier.

The assembling, the forging, the hoisting, the pulverizing, the razing — it’s either the glorious roar of prosperity or the vociferous din of a city losing its soul. We may not agree about all the change that is happening but I’d argue we agree on what we value in Seattle. So here it is in this issue of Ampersand: unique neighborhood locales, the working class,wildlife, artists, affordable housing and beautiful open spaces where we can play and grow things.

We publish this magazine because we value this place — this stunning, vibrant, forward-thinking, sometimes maddening place. Twice a year we devote 40 pages to stories about our built and natural worlds as told through a range of (always) local contributors. We’ve reached a milestone with this issue, Issue No. 5, which we’re calling The Urban Issue.

I hope you enjoy what you find here.