Discovery Institute Found!

OUR last post on this topic was Where Is the Discovery Institute? At that time we literally couldn’t locate the headquarters of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).

We had found an apparent problem with the address given in the Contact page at the Discoveroid website. There we were informed: “Discovery Institute main offices are located in the Marion Building in downtown Seattle.” The address given is 208 Columbia Street, Seattle, WA 98104.

But that seemed to be contradicted by a post dated 15 November 2007, at the personal blog of Discoveroid founder and Overlord, Bruce Chapman: Think Tank Moving Up by Moving Downtown. Chapman’s post includes a photograph of an attractive building which readers are led to assume is a picture of the Discoveroids’ new digs. Chapman’s picture appears at the start of our previous post, and he provided the same address as that which was given at the Discoveroid “Contact” page.

Out of curiosity, we searched the internet for independently-posted pictures of the Marion Building in Seattle. That’s when the problem appeared. The photos we found of the Marion Building were of a dingy-looking edifice, not the attractive building pictured in Chapman’s post. One such photo was dated 20 November 2007, and Chapman’s post — picturing a very different-looking building — was dated five days earlier. They were definitely two different buildings and they had different addresses. Hence the title of our original post: Where is the Discovery Institute?

Accordingly, we dispatched one of our clandestine operatives to personally investigate the situation, and this post is an abridged account of his secret mission. Our operative says:

At 7:30 pm I located the Discovery Institute main entrance; it is on Columbia midway between 2nd and 3rd as described on their contact page. It shares a building with a gym, and is identical to the picture posted by Chapman (see photo below, the entrance is by the “One Way” sign). There is nothing to see through the main entrance doors but a little room and possibly an elevator. That building, of course, does not say “Marion Building”, which is adjacent.

Operative’s Photo of Discoveroid Entrance

Our operative gave us a link to the layout provided by Google Maps. The building at the corner of Columbia and 2nd Avenue is labeled “Discovery Institute.” Further along that same building’s frontage on 2nd Avenue it’s also labeled “Xplore Fitness” (presumably the gym) and then “Futurwise” (whatever that is). Continuing along 2nd Avenue there’s another building adjoining the first one, labeled “Metropolitan Grill.” Moving yet further along 2nd Avenue there’s a third adjoining building. It’s labeled “Mad Oven,” and that is at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Marion Street.

Hey, we found a review: Mad Oven BBQ. It says:

If barbecue joints are churches, then Mad Oven is a storefront chapel. The digs may not be very flashy, and the ministry may not be as popular or as well-publicized as others in the city. But the sermons (sandwiches of pulled pork, beef brisket, or hot link, all sauced appropriately) are solid enough to keep the congregants coming back.

We continue now with our intrepid operative’s report:

It is hard to tell if there is one building with different sections added at different times or three connected buildings; different parts look like different buildings but it seems to all be connected together. The “building” which houses the gym and the DI main entrance has offices on the upper floor but I think those are for the gym. The Marion Building [in the middle of the three] houses the Metropolitan Grill (see the two photos below) on the ground floor; the uppermost floor has “to lease” signs in the windows.

The second floor of the Marion Building does appear to have offices. It also appears that you can access one building from the other; it could be that it is really all one building. In the center of the block there is public parking. They may have a private entrance or a service entrance there which accesses the “Marion Building” directly.

Operative’s Photo of Marion Building

Operative’s Second Photo of Marion Building

It would seem that the Discoveroids occupy the seedy-looking second floor (or some portion thereof) above the Metropolitan Grill in the middle section of a three-building sandwich, that section being named the Marion Building. For some unexplained reason, the Discoveroids’ entrance is in the better-looking adjacent building at the corner, which mostly houses a gym.

On with our operative’s report:

I didn’t try to go in; it was after office hours, it was starting to rain (in Seattle? get out!) and there were amblers about. The main entrance to the Discovery Institute has a bunch of security stickers and “no loitering signs”; probably people have messed with them. (Those people you see hanging around the DI entrance are waiting for a bus.) I myself needed a restroom; repressing the obvious impulse I adjourned the investigation and retired to a nearby restaurant.

My conclusion, from going there and reading their contact information: They ARE in the Marion Building but their main entrance is in another “building” which is connected.

Here’s a late-arriving supplement to our operative’s report:

It’s three buildings together: Seattle Trust and Savings (DI main entrance with gym), Marion (DI offices), and Melhorn. They appear to be interconnected now.

Here’s the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods pages for each:

Seattle Trust & Savings Bank [now the gym used as the Discoveroids’ entrance], then the Marion Building [which houses the Discoveroids’ offices], and then the Melhorn Building [on the other side of the Marion Building, housing the “Mad Oven”].

So there you are, dear reader. The Discoveroids occupy the second floor above a restaurant in the middle of a three-building collection, with their “official” entrance and a gym on one side and the Mad Oven barbecue on the other side. In such surroundings, the Discoveroids are toiling to remake science and society in their image.

We are grateful to our clandestine operative for a most informative report.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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21 responses to “Discovery Institute Found!

  1. I’d love to spot Casey on a set of heavy bench presses.

    “Oops!”… ; )

  2. Gabriel Hanna

    The Marion Building is actually at the end of the three building sandwich, it’s the Melhorn in the center.

    Not that I would know anything about this clandestine operation.

    Anyway, so you go in on Columbia between second and third, and walk through the buildings all the way to the other end of the block (the Marion Building), apparently.

    The next mission for your operative should be to go into the public parking in the center of the block and see if there is a private entrance to the Discovery Institute that accesses the Marion Building directly.

    Or maybe they occupy the second floor of all three buildings?

  3. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Not that I would know anything about this clandestine operation.

    No, of course you wouldn’t. Next visit, perhaps our operative will sample the cuisine at the Mad Oven.

  4. Looks like a rock to me!

  5. Gabriel Hanna says:

    The Marion Building is actually at the end of the three building sandwich, it’s the Melhorn in the center.

    Sorry. I’m a simple man and easily confused. So you’re saying that the Discoveroids’ entrance is at one end of the block, while their offices are at the other end. A most efficient arrangement!

  6. Gabriel Hanna

    So you’re saying that the Discoveroids’ entrance is at one end of the block, while their offices are at the other end.

    If they hold all three second floors, then it actually makes sense. One of the buildings has to be THE address, but they might occupy all three.

    Without actually going inside it’s hard to tell. I’d like to hear from someone who’s been inside. Maybe the clandestine operative has to do it, poor bastard. If his wife lets him.

  7. Gabriel Hanna, now I’m really confused. The Google Maps diagram, upon which I relied, shows Metropolitan Grill in the middle of the three-building sandwich, and the Mad Oven is at the end of the block. The pics of the Marion Building, on the other hand, certainly look as if it’s located at the corner. I think the whole town is messed up.

  8. Gabriel Hanna

    The pics of the Marion Building, on the other hand, certainly look as if it’s located at the corner. I think the whole town is messed up.

    The Google map isn’t that accurate. Look at the street view. It’s out of date, but you can clearly see the three buildings.

    Metropolitan Grill occupies the bottom of Marion and Melhorn, as you can see in the pictures, and I didn’t see Mad Oven.

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    Marion is on the corner, that’s why I showed two sides.

  10. Gabriel Hanna says: “Marion is on the corner …”

    Fine. And the attractive building Chapman pictured in his post — the one with the gym — is at the other end of the block. I guess that’s where the Discoveroid entrance is, for some reason, but it’s not where their offices are, and the picture Chapman posted is misleading.

  11. the picture Chapman posted is misleading.

    I’m shocked!

  12. stigs mate

    I would have thought it was obvious, the customary entrance to the DI has got to be the back door!

  13. stigs mate says: “the customary entrance to the DI has got to be the back door!”

    [Gasp!] How very insensitive.

  14. Gabriel Hanna says: “Here:”

    Good pic, but I can’t copy it. Check this out: Marion Building block. That shows the whole block, starting at the corner with the Marion Building. The far corner, which is the building pictured in Chapman’s post, is hidden by trees.

  15. Here’s another link of interest. It’s a broker’s listing of properties for rent, and it includes the three buildings in the Marion Building block. The addresses are all on 2nd avenue. Number 804 is the building in Chapman’s post, number 814 is the building in the middle of the block, and number 820 is the Marion Building, where the Discoveroids are located.

    Note that all three buildings use their individual addresses. Note also that all three buildings have space available. The Discoveroids obviously aren’t occupying all the space of the one building they’re in.

  16. The Discoveroids obviously aren’t occupying all the space of the one building they’re in.

    Aw, come on! How much room does Luskin need for some wood shavings and an exercise wheel?

  17. Doc Bill says: “How much room does Luskin need …”

    But … but … what about all their research? Their labs? Their equipment? Their specimen collections? That stuff takes up a lot of room.

  18. retiredsciguy

    SC: “But … but … what about all their research? Their labs? Their equipment? Their specimen collections? That stuff takes up a lot of room.”

    Perhaps their building harbors a tunnel entrance that leads to the Creation Museum (they’re not as far apart as they would have you believe), where they conduct most of their research.

  19. satchmodog

    Anyone have a menu for the Metropolitan Grill?

    I’m sure their menu makes for more enlightened reading than anything at DI

  20. Stigs mate

    Satchmodog “Anyone have a menu for the Metropolitan Grill?”

    Mmmm, far more enlightened reading….

    http://www.themetropolitangrill.com/pdf/MetDinner0426.pdf

    Looks real good to me 😉