Power of Place Episode #46 | Porchlight Parade Zack Bolotin

Step into the multiverse of Zack Bolotin, owner-operator of Porchlight Coffee & Records on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Not just a cafe, Porchlight is a platform for Zack’s varied talents, including graphic design, photography, art curation, book publishing and online retailing. It’s also a record label.

Listen as Zack describes how his endeavors, admittedly wide-ranging, are anchored in his family's history and an affection for old things. He shares how he incorporated his parents' memorabilia collection into Porchlight's publication "62 Souvenirs: Keepsakes from the 1962 Seattle World's Fair." Zack also recounts his discovery of mid-century architectural photography by Art Hupy published in “Pacific Architect & Builder,” a defunct trade journal produced by Zack’s grandfather Roscoe Laing. Reminiscent to Zack of Julius Shulman's contemporaneous work in Southern California, he restored and published a selection of Hupy’s photos as "Art Hupy: Architecture and Life in the Pacific Northwest" in collaboration with Docomomo US/WEWA.

Accompanying Zack’s inspiring stories are songs from an assortment of Porchlight Records' labelmates, among them his collaborative project, Pretty Old, whose tracks blend ruminations on remote motels, fictions by Raymond Carver and memories of roadside attractions.

A self-taught entrepreneur, Zack chose to keep his business small, sustainable and anchored in community. His maverick spirit—casual, classically Pacific Northwest—affirms that a livelihood can be both purposeful and expansive. These lighthearted stories uphold Zack’s city as a place of goodness.

"As much as a city is made by people; it’s made by the buildings and businesses that come and go as well; you can’t advocate for every single building to stay where it is. You have to pick and choose. There’s a balance between preservation and new buildings. That’s how it always has been.” - Zack Bolotin

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  • Host: Edward Krigsman
  • Guest: Zack Bolotin
  • Sound Engineering: Daniel Gunther
  • Photography: Travis Lawton
  • Administration: Mary Mansour
  • Series music: Theme by Tomo Nakayama as performed Grand Hallway; Additional music by Andrew Weathers.
  • Episode music: Cataldo, Danielle Fricke, Tenderfoot, Time Pieces and Pretty Old (songs written and performed by Zack Bolotin, with Annie Truscott, Tomo Nakayama, Jason Clackley and Meredith Lampe).


This episode is dedicated to Bryan Ford, enthusiast of mid-century architecture, and to the advocacy of Susan Boyle and Eugenia Woo.