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Northgate Mall, opened in 1950, was one of the first modern shopping malls built in the US following World War II. The mall is currently going through its second major renovation, this time evolving into a mixed-use facility that includes the training center for the Seattle Kraken NHL team.

Not much was open in the shopping portion of the complex when we visited, but the Kraken Community Iceplex was going strong. Two of the three NHL-sized rinks were occupied, with spectators watching from the overlooking restaurant, and the Kraken Team Store was busy with customers.

We took the light rail train to Northgate Station, the current end of the line, and spent a few hours exploring the area. On the way back, we stopped off at the University of Washington campus and toured the historic grounds.

Below are highlights from January 17th 2022. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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En route to the light rail station, we passed Westlake Park. It’s a popular place to stage a protest or demonstration.
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Picking up an ORCA transit card at Westlake Station. The card allows payment on all forms of transit in the central Puget Sound area, including buses, light rail and ferries.
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Westlake Station
Waiting for our train to Northgate Station underneath the city at Westlake Center.
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Train Arriving
The Sound Transit Link light rail train we’ll taking to Northgate. Sound Transit builds and operate express buses, light rail, and commuter train services for the central Puget Sound Region across Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. Their coverage ranges from just outside Olympia in the south to Everett in the north.
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On Board
On board the light rail train at Westlake Station. This is our first train trip since perhaps the Flam railway in Norway nearly a year ago.
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Northgate Station
Northgate station, opened Oct/2021, currently is the northernmost station in Link light rail system. But the 8.5-mile (13.5 km) link to Lynnwood is half-complete and will open in 2023, and the 16.3-mile (26km) extension to Everett in in the planning phases. At the southern end, we toured the extension to Federal Way with Nordhavn owner Bill Grady of KLB Construction, one of the main contractors for the project. KLB also participated in the building of the Northgate extension.
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Northgate Mall
Northgate Mall, opened in 1950, was one of the first modern shopping malls in the country. The mall is currently going through a major renovation, and not much is open.
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Kraken Community Iceplex
The new Kraken Community Iceplex is part of the Northgate Mall renovation. The Kraken NHL club practice here, and the facility also support public skating, hockey and figure skating.
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Kraken Store
Lots of Kraken gear for sale at the team store in the Kraken Community Iceplex, but nothing nice in extra-small.
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Opening Game
One wall of the Kraken Community Iceplex shows a huge mural of the Seattle Kraken opening game at Climate Pledge Arena. That’s us, enjoying the game in the red circle (click image for a larger view).
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One of the three NHL-sized ice rinks in the Kraken Community Iceplex.
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Freestyle Skate
Some of the skaters in the freestyle session were quite talented.
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Public Skate
A busy public skating session on the third rink at the Kraken Community Iceplex.
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Video Camera
A crew from Root Sports was in the bleachers gathering footage of the public skate. This camera is equipped with both dual cellular modems for direct communications back to the station, supporting remote reporting, and high-bandwidth local wireless communications, for mobile game reporting.
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One of several Zamboni ice-cleaning machines at Kraken Community Iceplex. The machines we saw a few years ago on the east coast of the US ran on propane, but the green choice is now electric.
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We’ve been hearing about various shortages of products, such as cat litter, due to supply-chain issues. This Petco store at Northgate had plenty of litter, but their cat food shelf was pretty bare.
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U District Station
We took the light rail back south from Northgate and stopped at the University of Washington. The U Distrct station has art installed on the wall made to look apartment windows.
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BMW 440i
BMW continues to produce more aggressive sport sedans and the twin-turbo 6-cylinder 440i follows the trend.
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Hutchinson Hall
Hutchinson Hall on the University of Washington campus was built in 1927 as the Women’s Physical Education Building and currently houses the Drama Department.
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Paccar Hall
The striking Paccar Hall, completed in 2010, is home to the UW School of Business. The building was constructed with a $18M grant from the Piggott family, who head the truck-manufacturing company Paccar. They produce the Kenworth, Peterbilt, and Daf over-the-highway trucks.
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Raitt Hall
Raitt Hall was completed in 1916. It was the first of four buildings constructed around the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, or Quad, the main quadrangle at the University of Washington.
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Smith Hall
Smith Hall, completed in 1938, was the final building erected to enclose the Liberal Arts Quadrangle.
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The 47-bell Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation Carillon atop Kane Hall was a gift from UW alumnus Gordon Peek and is the only instrument of its kind in Washington. A carillon is an instrument made up of a chorus of bells played on an by an organ-like keyboard.
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Suzzallo Library
The striking Suzzallo Library is named after Henry Suzzallo, who was president of the university from 1915-1926. The first phase was completed in 1926 and the final phase in 1963.
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Red Square
Brick monoliths adjacent to the Odegaard Undergraduate Library on Red Square, the University of Washington’s central plaza. One of the monoliths was built to ventilate an underground garage, and the other two were built for aesthetics.

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2 comments on “Northgate
  1. John Schieffelin says:

    Lantern show looked wonderful. Your pix of your “pet” cruise ship Ovation keep reminding me to book an Alaska cruise ship voyage.
    Thanks for blog post. Entertaining and informative.

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