Starbucks has its main offices in a building that used to be Sears' Seattle distribution center. There were intervening decades of dispirited abandonment and tentative rental, so as tales of heroic real-estate development corporations go, Nitze-Stagen's is not totally implausible. And, as this sort of book goes, Macintosh does a good job of not just writing corporate hagiography.
I want to remember two things: one, that the Sears towers were built to hide the water-tanks needed for the newfangled fire sprinklers. The buildings seem generally to have been very practical and not unasthetic like that; concrete pillars set to allow decent light into the workspaces, for instance. There was a train siding running right through the building, too, because Sears' business was intermodal. (I guess the US didn't import enough finished goods to warrant an integral dock, back then.)
The odd thing is this assertion:
In Seattle, many of the industrial district's old warehouse buildings that would have been eagerly adapted to loft spaces in the 1980s and 1990s had been demolished in the 1930s in favor of smaller, wood-frame structures. (p. 44)
We had a district of concrete warehouses and knocked them down in the Depression to build (mostly two-story, giant pole-barn) wood structures? Why on earth? It's hard to imagine that the wood buildings ever had lower running costs, even. What did I miss?
Dewey: 725.35028 M1892R
ISBN: 09762369057500So wrote clew in Cities.