Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Seattle's Walrus'

As a volunteer tour guide for the Seattle Architecture Foundation, I have learned so much about the skyline of this city I feel such a fondness for. There are small details on buildings that don't always get noticed. The Arctic Hotel, which was recently opened after a major remodel is one of the more unique buidings. Originally, it was built as a private club in 1917.

My favorite design detail would have to be the Walrus' on the Arctic Hotel Building. It is unique for its intricate terra-cotta ornamentation and 25 walrus heads peeking off its exterior. Though the walruses' tusks were originally authentic ivory, an earthquake in the 1940s shook a few of them loose to the ground. To protect passersby from the unusual urban hazard of being skewered by falling tusks, the ivory was replaced with epoxy.