Ghost Cabin

Ghost Cabin is a site-specific installation that pays homage to the historical site at Chophouse Row in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Inspired by the foundations of a pioneer-era structure found during construction of the mixed-use development, the piece tells the story of the site’s original occupants in the form of a gabled cabin. Ghost Cabin has brought new life to the courtyard by creating a space for the community to share.

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When contractors were working on the Chophouse Row project in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood back in 2013, they made a startling discovery. Buried several feet below the eclectic mix of historical buildings they discovered the foundation of a small house—the remnants of a pioneer settlement dating back to the late 19th century.

Contractors began calling the structure “Grandma’s House,” and when the project hit some inevitable construction delays, the crew joked about Grandma’s ghost coming back to slow their progress.

In 2017, Liz Dunn, Developer and Owner of Chophouse Row, commissioned an art piece for the courtyard space above the site of “Grandma’s House.” Dunn asked local curator, Greg Lundgren, to help select the artist. The vision for the piece was something that would create a sense of community, while honoring the site’s history. After reviewing a number of proposals, SHED Architecture & Design, was selected to design the piece.

To produce the piece, SHED projected the silhouette of a gable cabin onto the various surfaces of the courtyard corner then applied cedar wood planks within the artwork boundary. When visitors move through the space, the angled outline of the structure becomes increasingly distorted and unrecognizable. But from a precise vantage point, the cedar planks come into alignment to reveal the gabled cabin—named “Ghost Cabin” to pay homage to the site’s mysterious history.

Ghost Cabin has brought new life to Chophouse Row. What was once a simple courtyard has become a destination in itself. It is a gathering space for business meetings, musical events, or a glass of wine by the fire. All these years later, Chophouse visitors to are enjoying this site’s original structure in a whole new way.