Like mathematics and buffalo wings, architecture is so deeply ingrained in our modern world that it sometimes goes unnoticed. For $7, today's Groupon will open your eyes with a ticket to your choice of 13 architectural walking tours, held on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays, from the Seattle Architecture Foundation (a $15 value). This deal is good for all Downtown and Community tours (see the sidebar for the list of tours available); all tours begin at 10 a.m. and last roughly two hours. Starting points vary according to the tour.
With each Seattle Architecture Foundation tour, you'll gain a better understanding of the richly complex history of your local arches, beams, and buttresses, as well as the cultural atmospheres that shaped them. Architecture 101: Windows on Seattle's Style gives design-dabblers a crash course in distinguishing English Gothic from Beaux Arts and identifying the defining characteristics of brutalism—a structure comprised largely of death metals, gory imagery, and heavily distorted acoustics—but it also explores how the use of glass has reflected changing social trends. Art Deco: Risky Business in the Roaring '20s transports time-tourists back to the era's Mayan temples, lavishly ornamented lobby-caves, and elegant flourishes. Design Details: Lions, Griffins & Walruses, Oh My! will train eyes to spot the menagerie of stone wildlife that adorns so much of the Emerald City. Greatest Hits: Chart Toppers and Heart-Stoppers treats visitors and natives alike to all of Seattle's timeless favorites—the Rainier Club, the cantilevered Central Library, and the Giant Umbrella—without requiring them to buy all of the city's albums.
The foundation also targets tours toward gay neighborhoods, Chinatown, and Seattle's up-and-coming hotspots. Whatever the tour, the Seattle Architecture Foundation's educational adventure will delight families or groups of friends who have lived together for years and are now legally considered family.
Seattle Architecture Foundation
While it’s impossible to know what Seattle’s skyline will look like in the future, the Seattle Architecture Foundation hopes that citizens at least have some input and interest in the developments. To do this, the organization arranges a slew of architecture- and design-related walking tours, lectures, youth workshops, and volunteer opportunities throughout the city. Ideally, the activities help people become more informed and enthusiastic about great design and more willing to become involved when the city finally launches into space.