Celebrating Bellingham's Rich Architectural Cityscape
Bellingham, WA - A few years ago, I arrived for a downtown appointment a few minutes early. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I went for leisurely walk around town to kill some time. My vision was focused on eatery interactions, coffeeshop conversations, fellow pedestrians, and passing cars. Everything you’d expect to see on a relatively busy day downtown. My relaxing stroll was rudely interrupted by the whopping sound of a helicopter flying surprisingly low overhead. I looked up just in time to see the tail before it disappeared behind the buildings. While looking up I noticed the architectural detail of the building where I was standing. I was at the intersection of Magnolia and Commercial. The building was the old Bon Marche building, now the Crown Plaza. Although, that building had stood there my entire life, and I had been in it and passed by it literally hundreds of times, for the first time I recognized just how beautiful it was. I walked around the block a couple of times, smartphone in handy, snapping pictures along the way.
Returning to my studio after the appointment, I immediately went to Google maps and took a Street View tour of town, taking note of all the architecture along the way. That was the beginning of what I call the Landmark Project. I started studying the history of downtown buildings which eventually evolved into a series of poster art focused on Bellingham architecture. I completed a few pieces, then set it aside for a series of demanding projects and finally lost it in the maze DropBox archives.
When the poster file recently resurfaced, I've considered adding to the series with a couple of new illustrations in the upcoming year. I'm not sure what buildings to include, but I'm certain the selection process will be another fascinating exploration into Bellingham's architectural heritage. If any one has suggestions, I'd love to hear them!