Stories in Stone: Looking for Geology on the Sidewalks of Seattle

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Most people do not think of looking for geology on the sidewalks of Seattle, but for the intrepid geologist, any good rock can tell a fascinating story. All one has to do is look at building stone downtown to discover a range of rocks equal to any assembled by plate tectonics. Building stones tell the stories of our cultural and natural history. On this 1.5 mile walk, join author David B. Williams and explore stone ranging from ancient (3.5 billion years old) to nascent (just 120,000 years old), see fossils as large as a cinnamon roll, as well as the same type of rock used by the Romans to build the Colosseum. We will discuss history, geology, and architecture to give a newfound appreciation for the urban wilds of Seattle.

About the Seattle Architecture Foundation

Design shapes communities on many levels, whether we are conscious of its impact or not. Everything we touch, everything we see in the built environment is a product of the design process. Plazas, public spaces, even things often considered natural, like parks and landscaping, are intentionally designed.

The Seattle Architecture Foundation connects people to the architecture, design, and history of Seattle. We believe the more you engage with design, the more you feel connected to your changing city. As a volunteer driven organization, we provide programs which will empower you to make a difference in your community. Below are the standards we bring to our work.

  • EDUCATION: Through our educational programs and events, SAF engages youth and adults with the built environment. We explore architecture as a visual record of our collective history, a force that shapes our daily lives, and a blueprint for our future.
  • EMPOWERMENT: Connecting the community with its architecture and design instills a lifelong commitment to and responsibility for the built environment. SAF believes an architecturally informed population is better equipped to advocate for design choices that best serve their community.
  • EXCELLENCE: SAF provides an opportunity for people to enhance their design knowledge, allowing them to seek and recognize excellence according to their own values and experience. SAF offers the highest quality programs and events, and serves as a community resource for information on the built environment.
  • COMMUNITY: The architecture of our communities reflects who we are and who we want to be. Through collaboration with community organizations and our volunteer‐driven programs, SAF facilitates connections and open dialogues between the many diverse voices of our city.
  • EQUITY: SAF is committed to racial and social justice, by providing equitable access to our programs, fostering a diverse volunteer corps, offering resources for civic engagement, and creating programs that represent diverse viewpoints within the city of Seattle.
  • VOLUNTEERISM: In collaboration with SAF staff, much of our programming is developed and presented by volunteers. It provides opportunities for mentorship through SAF staff, professional development, leadership, and deeper engagement with Seattle’s architectural community.
  • INTEGRITY: SAF promotes open communication of all policies, procedures and financial records and is committed to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct.

Cover image courtesy Andrew Croneberger/Seattle Architecture Foundation.

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Event Detail

September 14, 2019 10:00 am
September 14, 2019 12:00 pm


Seattle Architecture Foundation