The history of Seattle, of any city really, shows in the buildings that are still standing and the ones that have been torn down. In Seattle, the Pike Place Market came close to being demolished. That weird garage in Pioneer Square dubbed the sinking ship, it might've been the template for the entire neighborhood. The fact that it stands ugly and alone is a testament to the social and political activism of "Allied Arts." The group has receded in influence in recent years. But through the efforts of its eclectic members, much of what we value about the city still stands.
R.M. Campbell arts critics for the Seattle P.I. for 30 years. He was around for many of the battles Allied Arts launched. Mary Coney, now a retired UW Professor , was one of the Presidents of Allied Arts. Campbell has written a history of the organization, "Stirring Up Seattle: Allied Arts in the Civc Landscape." Mary Coney provided a lot of history, facts and material for the book.
When you read it, you might be surprised to find out who some of the Allied Arts firebrands were. Some names will be familiar, some will be new. But for almost 30 years, the one time "Beer and Culture Society" shaped the city we know today.