Seattle has always been a boom town, shaped as much by the gold rush of the 19th century as by the explosion of the tech industry today. And yet, this most recent surge of development has provoked an outpouring of emotion and nostalgia, as week by week our beloved quintessentially Seattle haunts disappear.
It seems the entire city is grieving its changing face, in conversation, on Facebook, through art installations and digital tributes. But what about something tangible that we can hold in our hands? What will preserve our stories and map the city’s immediate past before our memories fade? Nothing is being done to permanently compile the spaces that meant so much to us…until now.
This is to publicly announce a call for submissions, an appeal to create a shared history from our current nostalgia. I am launching a project called The Ghosts of Seattle Past. And you are invited to be part of it.
On 15th Video. Reservoir Park. RCKNDY. Cinema Books. Manray. Fallout Records. The Funhouse. Charlie’s. The Cloud Room. Countless others.
Share your memories of our lost spaces, whether from last week or the last century. Send your photographs, drawings, and memorabilia. Write just a few lines or submit a long-form essay celebrating a place you held dear. Use the medium that tells your story best.
Your contributions will be curated into a living atlas to tour galleries and festivals, until it is overflowing with stories. At that point, it will be published as an anthology featuring hand-drawn maps of the places you’ve commemorated, and will be available far and wide.
This is not an effort to stem the tide of change nor to debate Seattle’s future, but a suggestion that we reflect on its past. Wherever this city may be going, may we remember what it’s been, and who we’ve been in it.
The Ghosts of Seattle Past wants to know: Where do you miss?
The Call for Submissions is open Aug. 1-31. Don’t let Seattle spaces be forgotten.
The Ghosts of Seattle Past is an atlas of our memories, a collaborative map of places loved and missed in a rapidly evolving city. In this interactive art installation curated by author/editor Jaimee Garbacik, storytelling and cartography preserve the venues, restaurants, shops and institutions we’ve lost to development in Seattle, the city of the future. The Ghosts of Seattle Past will first appear at the annual Short Run small press festival at Fisher Pavilion in October.