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Picture of the Day

August 15, 2016


What kind of civic centerpiece might Seattle be building for $160 million? To look at this rendering with its large public plaza and red abstract art doodle hanging in spacious atrium you might reasonably guess it's a new museum or performing arts center--you know, a cultural institution that represents the core values of a city that preens itself on inclusiveness and innovation. But look closer. The foreboding sky is a tip-off, as are the red and blue lights in the distance. And of course the SPD above the entrance is a dead giveaway, but it's telling that these details are de-emphasized though they represent the building's purpose as proposed North Seattle precinct, which if built would be the most expensive police station in the nation, if not the world. It will house a bombproof command center, ample storage for 1033 Program military equipment, and a subterranean firing range for honing assault weapons skills. It will also serve to process detainees on their way to the new $210 million youth jail. All this glitter and excess is a lavish gift to a federally investigated police department that balks at demands for accountability. The job of the cops should be to make themselves obsolete, not enshrined in signature architecture of glass and steel as if a police state were something to be proud of.