SODO Stories, Experience SODO Series: Experience SODO
The SODO Stories: Experience SODO series is a collection of stories about businesses who offer different activities, opportunities and adventures located in SODO. The businesses featured in the Experience SODO series are all featured in our Experience SODO video. Each story/business is unique, and they help to create a vibrant community here in SODO.
Story & Photos by Jim Meyers, Vertizon Photography
Seattle has a chameleon in its midst and its name is SODO.
SODO sits at the dynamic and vibrant intersection of a rapidly changing city, where old and new mingle with art and industry to create a particularly fascinating breed of ever-morphing reptile. The SODO industrial area was born at the turn of the 20th century, when Denny Hill, at the now-base of Queen Anne Hill, was flushed away and deposited into the tidal marshes south of downtown, creating a vast new area that provided fertile ground for industries serving a growing city and nation. Today, some of those founding businesses still exist. 100+ year-old companies like the revered cabinetmaker OB Williams and the home of incomprehensibly large maritime things, Washington Chain and Supply, form the foundation of an incredibly diverse spectrum of businesses that call SODO home.
But as all chameleons know, change is inevitable.
By the time SODO’s namesake (SOuth of the [King]DOme) was imploded in March of 2000, Seattle’s growth and expansion was palpable. The old and gritty manufacturing ways of the area were slowly melding into the fabric of a new and vibrant urban culture of artists and entrepreneurs who were eager to find space in an increasingly dense and expensive cityscape. Two decades later, these worlds continue to intertwine at an ever-deeper level, creating what is today, arguable the most unique, vibrant and rapidly-changing areas in Seattle.
Mirroring the evolution of culturally iconic places like New York City’s SOHO area, SODO is the fleeting avant-guard of Seattle. It’s an urban and cultural revolution we’re lucky enough to experience in real time, as Seattle itself is re-born into one of the world’s leading modern cities. Naturally, a rapidly evolving industrial area attracts an incredibly diverse set of entrepreneurs eager for opportunities to create unique experiences in an equally unique range of cool spaces. From afternoon work-day escapes for a quick game of hoops, roof-top yoga or a little climbing, to things as disparate as weekend antiquing and trapeze arts – the experience of SODO is ever-growing and boldly unique.
The following EXPERIENCE SODO stories are part of the SODO BIA’s ongoing project to highlight the area’s businesses through the following groupings: things to do (Experience), things Made In, places to Shop and Services offered, all within the eclectic SODO area. In this installment, we’ll dive into a handful of the unique experiences that call SODO home and extend an invitation to come down and really feel what it’s like to have your finger on the pulse of the newest, oldest and coolest part of Seattle – a chameleon called SODO.