Site of 1983 Wah Mee massacre to be destroyed

Print
Email
|

by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

khou.com

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 8:21 AM

SEATTLE -- For 31 years, it has remained locked up and uninhabited at the bottom of a building.  The old Wah Mee Club in Chinatown's Maynard Alley, site of the 1983 massacre that killed 13 people.

But as soon as this month, the basement site and the three floors above it, are slated to be destroyed.

"All the collapsed debris has caused a lot of stress on the top of the ground floor," explained Teri Woo, whose family owns the building at 7th and S. King, "The structure is compromised."

On Christmas Eve, fire tore through the 104-year-old building.  A cause was never determined.

Businesses along the street level have not been able to move back in.  Half of the top floors, which contained artifacts from the old hotel that used to operate there, were burned.  Aerial footage captured by a drone camera operated by the Woo's shows charred remains of the International District's past.

Teri Woo, whose sister Tanya works for KING 5, said Tuesday demolition of part of the family's building could start later this month due to safety concerns.

The Woo's aim is to build apartments and retail on the site within two years.

If, as planned, the Wah Mee Club is destroyed, the family plans to hold a vigil in honor of the victims.

"Because of all the bad memories involved," said Woo, "I don't think anyone would complain if it were no longer there."

Seattle's Department of Planning and Development confirmed it had received plans, but had not had a chance to review them Tuesday.

Print
Email
|