Lake Union Houseboat

Seattle is lined by water. To the west is the Puget Sound and to the east is Lake Washington. Many boat based industries have been created along these shores. The Lake Union houseboats are the most unusual.


The Lake Union Houseboats are on the eastern and western sides of Lake Union. An easy way to see them is on the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop. This 6.2 mile trail runs around Lake Union.

Some sights on the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop are:


The first houseboats on Lake Union were made in the 1920s. They housed workers in the industries on Lake Union. Houseboats on Lake Union became common housing for Seattle’s poor when the Great Depression took place in the 1930s.

By the 1950s, the Lake Union Houseboats were seen as a slum. The city tried take away the houseboat’s harbors, but many houseboat owners fought the city. While the number of house boats on Lake Union was cut, some where allowed to tie up at harbors on Lake Union.

Today around 480 houseboats remain on Lake Union. They are a special part of Seattle’s urban fabric. You can see them from the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop, but you should not go into their private harbors.


Houseboats are a form of naval architecture. They must be nice places to live, and sea going boats. This leads to some special design limitations.

The first houseboats were on trees tied together. As time went on some had hulls.

Today most are built on concrete floats. These last longer and are more stable. This makes it possible to create more complex houseboats like the one in this week’s painting.

Eugene Oregon Autumn Skyline from Skinner’s Butte

The top of Skinner’s Butte has great views of the Eugene, Oregon skyline. The fall colors in this painting add to the view’s beauty. Skinner’s Butte is also right next to downtown Eugene’s many parks, stores and cafes.

Activities around Skinner’s Butte

Skinner’s Butte is in downtown Eugene. This makes it easy to get to food, theaters and hotels. Places to see near Skinner’s Butte are:

History of Skinner’s Butte

The Eugene area was the homeland of the Kalapuya people prior to the arrival of European settlers in the 1800s. The Kalapuya people where forced onto the Coast Reservation following treaties between 1851 and 1855.

The Kalapuya called the butte Ya-Po-Ah. The butte is currently named for Eugene Skinner. He built a house on the butte in 1846. The Skinner Butte Park opened in 1914.

A rock quarry operation ran on the north side of the butte from the 1890s to the 1930s. Today it is a popular rock climbing spot.

The Design of the Skinner’s Butte Area

Downtown Eugene uses a square based urban design. This comes from the Public Land Survey System (PLSS). The PLSS separates most of the United States into squares.

The PLSS is used to record land owners. Before the 1950s, the PLSS was also used to design towns and roads.

In this week’s view the area with lots of color was designed using the PLSS. The area past this is cul-de-sacs among Douglas Firs. Cul-de-sac design became common after the 1950s.

Seattle Chinese Garden

The Seattle Chinese Garden is a partnership between Seattle and its Chinese sister city Chongqing. The garden is special for using a southern Chinese garden design. It is also near to other gardening sights on the South Seattle College grounds.


The Seattle Chinese Garden is on the grounds of the South Seattle College. The college has a large horticulture program. It also supports community garden efforts like the Chinese Garden.

Other garden sites at the South Seattle College include:


Seattle and Chongqing became sister cities in 1983. Since then they have exchanged 200 missions sharing art, education, medicine and more.

Chongqing is a major city along the Yangtze River in southern China. It is important for its trade and industry. Chongqing is also one of the largest cities in the world with a population of 22 million people.

The Seattle Chinese Garden began in the late 1990s. Materials and a construction crew were sent to build the Song Mae Pavilion. In 2010 the Knowing the Spring Courtyard was completed.


In the United States Chinese Gardens are often treated as one type of design. Many Chinese Gardens in the United States are in cities where Chinese immigrants settled. This resulted in the United States’ Chinese Gardens using a city design style with many courtyards and walls.

China has a wide range of garden design styles though. The Seattle Chinese Garden is special for using a country estate garden style. The garden has a courtyard, but also has trails through bamboo groves and beds of peonies.

Woodland Park Rose Garden

The Woodland Park Rose Garden is a beautiful retreat from Seattle. The 2.5-acre garden has 200 different sorts of roses and uses organic gardening processes. It is also near the Woodland Park Zoo and Green Lake.


The Woodland Park Rose Garden is one of many sights in the Woodland Park. This makes Woodland Park a good area to spend a day in. Other things to see in and around Woodland Park are:


The city purchased the land for Woodland Park in 1899. They hired John Charles Olmsted to design the park in 1908. His design used existing buildings and sights created by the developer Guy Phinney in the late 1800s.

One of Olmsted’s suggestions was the creation of a rose garden. Approval was given to design the garden in 1922. The Woodland Park Rose Garden opened in 1924.

The Woodland Park Rose Garden was famous enough that it became an All-American Rose Selection test site in 1947. It lost this title in 2010 but still show cases organic gardening processes.


The Woodland Park Rose Garden uses a French Formal Garden design. This design type developed in the 1600s. It uses geometry to lay out the garden.

The French nobility liked formal gardens because of the importance they put on order. The most famous example of a French Formal Garden are the gardens at Versailles.

The Woodland Park Rose Garden uses geometric forms to lay out the rose beds. It also uses pruned hedges throughout the garden. These are important features of French Formal Gardens.

Linus Pauling Science Center

Linus Pauling was a leading chemical scientist and peace activist. He won Nobel Prizes in both areas. He graduated from Oregon State University (OSU) in 1922.

The Linus Pauling Institute moved to OSU in 1996. The Linus Pauling Science Center was completed to house the institute in 2011. This week’s image is of the Linus Pauling Science Center’s west side.


The Linus Pauling Science Center is in the northwest corner of the OSU grounds. This is near Monroe Avenue’s restaurants and bars. It is also a convenient place to park when walking to Bald Hill.

Some of the places to see on Monroe avenue are:


Linus Pauling won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1954. He is famous for his work to bring together chemistry and quantum mechanics. Pauling also helped to start the study of biological chemistry.

Then Pauling won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. He protested the development of nuclear weapons starting in the 1940s. In the 1960s, Pauling also joined peace protests against the Vietnam War.

What Pauling is best known for today is Vitamin C though. He wrote a book claiming Vitamin C could cure colds in 1970. This led to the popularity of Vitamin C as a cold treatment.

Later studies have shown that Vitamin C is not an effective remedy for colds though. The Linus Pauling Institute continues researching the impact of nutrition on health though.


The Linus Pauling Science Center was built using a neomodern design. This is a perfect design for a science building. The well-ordered facade gives a sense of logic. The brick work and plantings soften the angles though.

Neomodernism is a continuation of modernism. It developed in the late 1990s in response to Post-Modernism. Neomodern designs are popular in current public and corporate buildings.

These designs use the simple lines and limited decoration of modernism. They also use new materials and technologies like computer drafting though. The result is what some people call the Apple Store look.

Seattle’s Georgetown Neighborhood

Georgetown sits in the middle of Seattle’s industrial area. Today the area is know for its arts, breweries and history. The neighborhood is also full of beautiful buildings from the early 20th century.


Many Seattle breweries started in Georgetown. The neighborhood is also known for its arts scene and historic sites. Some important locations include:

  • Elysian Brewing
    • The most well known brewery in Georgetown.
  • Fantagraphics Books
    • The bookstore for Seattle’s indie comic book publisher.
  • All City Coffee
    • A fun spot to warm up at.
  • Telephone Museum
    • See telephones from throughout history and how they work.
  • Hat and Boots
    • A large pair of cowboy boots and a hat that were part of a hotel on highway 99 in Georgetown. They were moved to Oxbow Park when the hotel was removed.


Georgetown is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seattle. The first European town in the Georgetown area was founded in 1851. The Europeans decided to move to what is now downtown Seattle in 1852 though. Georgetown became a part of Seattle in 1910.

The area became an important hub for industry and trade. Georgetown is close to the Duwamish River. This made it easy to move lumber from the area around Georgetown to Seattle.

There were also farms in the Duwamish valley around Georgetown. The farms sent their produce through Georgetown to Seattle. The boats were replaced with trains in the 1870s.

The area’s beer brewing industry developed because hops were grown in the local farms. The area also had a large German population. Georgetown eventually became one of the largest beer producing areas in the world.


Georgetown has kept most of its buildings from when it was built up in the early 20th century. The business areas mostly have industrial buildings built of brick. This gives the neighborhood a rough look while also feeling welcoming.

Sketch Review: Between Gears by Natalie Nourigat

In Between Gears, we watch Natalie Nourigat as she completes her last year at the University of Oregon. It is a sweet story of changing from one life stage to another. And we get a look into life in Eugene, Oregon.

The story is made up of a comic recording each day of the year. These records run from September 17, 2009 to June 14, 2010. Nourigat originally posted these on a blog. You can purchase them in book form though.

Eugene Locations

I liked the story since I graduated from the University of Oregon too. Nourigat goes to several important places for college students.

Rennie’s and Taylor’s

The social life of the university is focused on the many bars and coffees houses close to campus. With so many it can be hard to choose which one to go to.

Nourigot’s social trips mostly take place in two bars across the street from the university grounds called Rennie’s and Taylor’s. They are dive bars that are popular with locals. They give out lots of fried food and beer for a low price.

Chapman Hall

drawing of main entrance to Chapman Hall

Chapman Hall is the home of the Honors College. Nourigat spends a lot of time here as she writes an honor’s thesis.

University of Oregon Quad

The university quad is important in Nourigats’s story because Chapman Hall and the library are on the quad. This puts the quad in the middle of Nourigat’s story.

Amtrak Station

Over holidays the Amtrak Station is full of students traveling home. I was happy to see that Nourigat include the station. She travels home to Portland several times in Between Gears on the train.

Student Life in Eugene

I also like Nourigat’s way of showing life in Eugene though. In many ways life as a student is limited and full of small joys.

Nourigat shows the limitations of student life on the first page with a large part of Eugene marked as uncharted in the book’s map. We also see this in Nourigat’s focus on a small number of locations.

Most of the story takes place on the University of Oregon Memorial quad. Nourigat did an honors thesis and is at Chapman Hall a lot since it is the home of the honors college. The main university library is also on the Memorial Quad.

We also see times of happiness too. This is shown nicely when Nourigat finds a sunny balcony at Friendly Hall at the start of the story. Similar scenes are throughout the story.

A section where Nourigat sees a comic book show at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art was fun. We see Nourigat’s excitement for her craft and her reason for making comics.


The story ends suddenly. Nourigat completes her thesis and graduates in two weeks. She then goes with her mom on a road trip to San Francisco.

This left me feeling that the story had not ended. So, I was happy to see that Nourigat has written several autobiographical graphic novels since Between Gears came out in 2010. I look forward to reading them.

Ladd’s Addition Rose Garden

Ladd’s Addition is a neighborhood on Portland’s Eastside. The neighborhood is surrounded by roads with restaurants and cafes. The neighborhood is also the home of a rose garden test site and interesting architecture.

Ladd’s Addition Activities

Ladd’s Addition has many attractions. Its plan uses a diagonal design that makes for interesting walks. The neighborhood also has 4 rose gardens in the neighborhood. These gardens are part of Portland’s rose test gardens.

Hawthorne Boulevard is on the northern edge of the neighborhood and Division Street on the southern edge. Both streets have lots of restaurants, cafes and stores.

Interesting places to see on Hawthorne and Division are:

  • Food truck lot at Hawthorne Blvd. and 12th Ave.
  • Cinemagic at Hawthorne Blvd. and 20th Ave.
  • New Seasons Market at Division St. and 20th Ave.
  • Speilman Bagels and Coffee Roasters at Division and 21st Ave.
  • Palio Desert and Espresso on the Ladd Circle round about at the center of Ladd’s Addition

History of Ladd’s Addition

Ladd’s Addition is named for William S. Ladd. He subdivided the land for Ladd’s Addition in 1891. Most houses in the neighborhood are from 1905 forward.

The houses are designed in a variety of designs. The design types include Craftsman, Bungalow, Tudor and others. This makes the neighborhood a great place to see many different architectural types.

Design of Ladd’s Addition

William S. Ladd gave Ladd’s Addition a diagonal plan. This is very different from the rest of Portland, which uses rectangle based plan. Ladd choose this plan because he L’Enfant’s use of diagonal roads in the plan for Washington DC.

L’Enfant was a Frenchman who came to the United States to fight in the revolutionary war. After the war he became a designer and was hired to layout Washington D.C. His plan was based on European cities and French Formal Gardens.

French Formal Gardens became popular in the 1600s and 1700s in France. They used geometric plans to show order and reason. The most famous french formal garden is the Gardens of Versailles.

University of Oregon’s Chapman Hall

Chapman Hall sits on the Memorial Quad on the University of Oregon grounds. This places it near to restaurants and cafes on 13th avenue. It also sits in one of the oldest parts of the university’s grounds.

Activities in the Area

13th Avenue is a short walk from Chapman Hall. It has many restaurants, cafes and stores. Local favorites are:

  • Cafe Roma for coffee and pastries.
  • Taylor’s for hamburgers and beer.
  • The Duck Store for all your University of Oregon swag.

The memorial quad also has important landmarks on it. The Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum has a world class collection and changing exhibits. The Knight Library offers a quite space. Memorials for students and graduating classes.

Chapman Hall History

Chapman Hall was completed in 1939. It sits where the university’s first sports field was located. The sports field was removed in 1921 to make way for the Memorial Quad.

The building originally housed the Department of Home Economics and the university book store. In 1961 the Honors College moved into the building. The Honors College has been in Chapman Hall ever since. The bookstore moved to its current space a block west in 1966.

Chapman Hall Style

Chapman Hall is made in a Mediterranean style by Ellis F. Lawrence. It uses bricks and terra cotta tiles laid in geometric forms on its wide facade. It also has large arched windows and doors.

The Mediterranean style was popular in the 1920s and 1930s in the United States. This style was made from many other styles such as Renaissance and Beaux-Arts architecture. Ellis F. Lawrence used this style in the many buildings he designed on the Memorial Quad.

This can be seen in Chapman Hall’s sister buildings at the north end of the quad. The style was also used for the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum and the library. Chapman Hall was the last building Lawrence designed for the Memorial Quad.

Waterfall at the VanDusen Botanical Garden

The VanDusen Botanical Garden is in the Shaughnessy neighborhood of Vancouver, British Columbia. It is on part of an old golf course. It opened to the public in 1975.

Activities at VanDusen Botanical Garden

It makes for a good place to walk. It has miles of paths though the collections of plants and objects. The garden also has a restaurant and cafe.

VanDusen Botanical Garden Collection

The garden covers 55 acres (22 hectors). It has plants from all over the world. The most important collection is the garden’s rhododendrons. They have almost 1000 types of rhododendron.

The garden also has many things from all over the world. There are totem poles from the local Musqueam peoples. The garden also has a hedge maze, a Korean pavilion and sculptures.