SCUD Wall of Jell-O Molds
SCUD, the home of the Cyclops Cafe, was a mixed-use residential block in Belltown, long a down-at-heels neighborhood just north of Pike Place Market. During Belltown's long transition from Bohemian hangout to Yuppie stomping ground, SCUD was operated and inhabited by a community of creative crazies -- the Subterranean Cooperative of Urban Dreamers. Long known for its wall of copper Jell-O molds, the building's living quarters contained several *themed* suites: a medieval monk's cell and self-mortification chamber; the studio space of strikingly original artist Ashleigh Talbot; and a stunning re-creation of that famous collection of myth and horror memorabilia, the Jones Fantastic Museum, complete with mummies, witches, vampires, wraiths and Nazgûl whose screeches would freeze your blood.
The owner of the building loved having a funky arts co-op in residence when fat-cat developers were drooling to get their hands on the land; entails in her estate ended up giving the residents a comfortable cushion of time before they were squeezed out by the latter-day vampires in the development office. But after extensive legal battles, this Seattle landmark was demolished in September 1997 to make way for -- you guessed it! -- yet another Brand-X mid-rise condo tower. Q: Do any loyal fans of this site sense a recurring theme here?
Below, a mini-gallery of SCUD-related artwork by the Inmates. All photos copyright © 1996, 2012 by Larry Neilson
Wilum Pugmire, Seattle's only green transvestite vampire, is seen here hanging out at SCUD's front door, figured with Googie heiroglyphics by Ashleigh Talbot (1993 photo). Wilum had a dream commute to his day job at the Cyclops Cafe, conveniently tucked into the SW corner of the building.
A photo of Ashleigh's back, with tattoos designed and laid out by herself, on the wall of her room at SCUD. Enlarge
Some of Ashleigh's doodles on the hallway walls at SCUD.
Dynamic doodads: Inspired by the work of Ashleigh Talbot