Archive for the 'Preservation in the News' Category

Louisa Hotel Update: After the Fire

View of the north and west facades of the historic Louisa Building in the Chinatown-International District. A Christmas Eve 2013 fire burned the western half of the building.

View of the north and west facades of the historic Louisa Building in the Chinatown-International District. A Christmas Eve 2013 fire burned the western half of the building.

MAin2 has been following the Louisa Hotel’s status after the western half of the building burned in a fire on December 24, 2013. This historic Chinatown-International District building, built in 1909, housed some of the neighborhood’s longest operating businesses including Mon Hei Bakery and Sea Garden Restaurant. All businesses have remained closed since the fire.

Here’s a Louisa Building FAQ from the property owner.

The Seattle Weekly’s current issue (March 19-25, 2014) features a an excellent cover story on the building and the neighborhood.

Here’s a building update from the City of Seattle (sent to community members on March 7, 2014):

We write to you today to provide an update on the status of the fire-damaged Louisa Hotel building located at 669 South King Street.  There has been some information in the news as of late, which we wanted to clarify.  As of March 5, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) began reviewing a permit application to stabilize the existing building to remove safety concerns for neighboring tenants and the public.  The proposal requires removal of the west wall on Maynard Alley, which was most severely damaged by the fire.  The remaining portions of the building will be braced and stabilized until future renovations can occur.  There are no plans to demolish the entire building at this time.

Both the City and the property owners are motivated to act quickly and preserve as much of the existing building as possible.  A permit will be issued shortly, which could allow work to begin by late-March.  Once the building is fully stabilized, it will allow private engineers to further evaluate the structure and help us determine the appropriate next steps regarding future redevelopment.  Attached is a fact sheet prepared by the owners of the building which provides answers to common questions and contact information for the community.

If you have questions about the status of the permit, please feel free to contact Bryan Stevens of the Department of Planning and Development. He can be reached at bryan.stevens@seattle.gov or 206-684-5045.

Preservation News and Events in the New Year – January 2014

Before-Party-poster blog

2014 is starting off with lots of news in the preservation world already. Here are some highlights (or lowlights in some cases):

-Christmas Eve 2013 Building Fire in Chinatown/International District: The Louisa Building (southwest corner of 7th Ave S and S King St), one of the historic district’s key structures, was ablaze on December 24. The 1909 building houses some of the neighborhood’s longest operating businesses including Mon Hei Bakery and Sea Garden Restaurant. All businesses are closed. The building is unsafe for entry, as determined by the City. The cause of the fire (which started on the vacant top floor) is undetermined at this point. For more info on the fire and its effect on the owner and businesses, go to the Seattle Times and NW Asian Weekly. It is unknown at this point whether the building will be demolished or if it can be saved.

-2013 Heritage Turkeys List: Once again, Knute Berger comes out with his annual Heritage Turkeys list of heritage and preservation disasters and bad projects/policies/actions. Read his Crosscut article for the full list.

-EVENT: The Before Party, Campaign to Restore Washington Hall: Historic Seattle and Washington Hall anchor groups 206Zulu, Hidmo and Voices Rising are hosting a party at the historic landmark on Saturday, January 18, 2014. Join the fun and festivities. Enjoy food, drinks and music! Learn more about the Capital Campaign for the Hall. Free and open to the public! Location: Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, Seattle (Central District); Time: 5:00 – 9:00 pm, all ages / 9:00 pm – Midnight, 21 and up. More details on the Washington Hall Facebook page.

-EVENT: Historic Seattle Annual Members Meeting, Frye Art Museum: Please join us as we welcome in our 40th year of education, advocacy, and preservation of historic structures in the lovely surroundings of First Hill’s leading cultural institution, the Frye Art Museum. Museum Deputy Director Jill Rullkoetter will discuss the museum’s history and its programs, and lead tours. WHEN: Thursday, January 23, 2014; 5:30 to 7:00 pm; WHERE: Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave, Seattle. More details here.

Preservation News of Note: Newest Seattle Landmark

Ad for US Cor-ten steel roof featuring Battelle Memorial Institute Seattle Research Center buildings / Source: Collection of the Friends of Battelle/Talaris

Ad for US Cor-ten steel roof featuring Battelle Memorial Institute Seattle Research Center buildings / Source: Collection of the Friends of Battelle/Talaris

November has been a newsworthy month for historic preservation so far. Here’s some news of interest:

-Newest Seattle Landmark! The Battelle Memorial Institute Seattle Research Center / Talaris was designated a Seattle Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Board at its November 6, 2013 meeting. The vote was unanimous. The property met four of the six designation standards (C, D, E and F):

C) It is associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political, or economic heritage of the community, City, state or nation;
D) It embodies the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style, or period, or a method of construction;
E) It is an outstanding work of a designer or builder;
F) Because of its prominence of spatial location, contrasts of siting, age, or scale, it is an easily identifiable visual feature of its neighborhood or the city and contributes to the distinctive quality or identity of such neighborhood or the City.

The Friends of Battelle/Talaris worked for over a year on this effort to prepare the nomination for the property, with assistance from Historic Seattle. Dozens of letters of support (mostly from the Laurelhurst community) were sent to the Board before the September 18 nomination meeting and November 6 designation hearing. At the November 6 meeting, public comments supporting designation were given by the Laurelhurst Community Club and Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. Original project architect for NBBJ, David Hoedemaker, was present for the meeting; he spoke about his experience with the project and design intent for the site. Rich Haag, landscape architect for the site, presented at the September 18 meeting. The Board appreciated hearing from the original designers.

Next steps in this process is the controls and incentives stage in which the City and property owner engage in negotiations. MAin2 will keep readers posted on that progress.

-Comment on the Draft State Historic Preservation Plan, 2014-2019: Getting the Future Right. The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation are seeking public comments on the draft plan. Comments are due by November 22. For details and to download a copy of the plan, go to DAHP’s website.

-Must Read“Roots of Tomorrow: Urbanism in our Blood,” a series of articles by Knute Berger that have been appearing on Crosscut. He delves into lesser known topics in Seattle’s history that help inform how the city was shaped, exploring urbanism and deep roots.

Preservation News & Events – October 2013

Meeker Mansion, Puyallup / Photos: Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and Ezra Meeker Historical Society

Meeker Mansion, Puyallup; Washington Preserves Fund recipient, 2013 / Photos: Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and Ezra Meeker Historical Society

Fall is a busy time of year for historic preservation. Here are some news and events of note:

Battelle Memorial Institute Site Nominated: This 18-acre modernist masterpiece in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood was built in the late 1960s-1970. The property was unanimously nominated by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board at its September 18 meeting. MAin2 wrote about the Rich Haag and NBBJ-designed campus here. The designation hearing is scheduled for November 6, 2013. The Seattle Times wrote an article about the property and landmark efforts by the Friends of Battelle/Talaris.

Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund: The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is seeking applications for this grant fund which provides up to $2,000 to organizations involved in preservation throughout the state. Deadline to apply is October 16, 2013. For more information, go to the Trust’s website.

Women’s University Club Celebrates 100th Anniversary: Explore the organization’s first century through its new, 112-page, coffee-table book, The First 100 Years: Women’s University Club of Seattle, 1914-2014. Available to the general public for under $40 at several area bookstores. Call the club for details: 206-623-0402. For other information about the club, see womensuniversityclub.com.

Tour a Mid-century Modern Gem: Join Docomomo WEWA as it celebrates Tour Day 2013 along with other Docomomo US chapters and partners throughout the country. Tour the Whittaker Residence, Saturday, October 5, 2013. The mid-century modern residence in Seattle’s Lakewood neighborhood (near Seward Park) was designed by Seattle architect Arnold Gangnes and built in 1956. For event details, go to Docomomo WEWA’s website. Continue reading ‘Preservation News & Events – October 2013′

Preservation News – Theft at Queen Anne Landmark

Seattle Church of Christ (2555 8th Ave W) in Queen Anne. Left photo: door with original metalwork intact; right photo: historic metalwork stolen / Source: Seattle Church of Christ

Seattle Church of Christ (2555 8th Ave W) in Queen Anne. Left photo: door with original metalwork intact; right photo: historic metalwork stolen / Source: Seattle Church of Christ

Recent preservation news of note:

Architectural Theft at Queen Anne Landmark

Last week, thieves stole original metalwork from the courtyard doors at Seattle Church of Christ (originally Seventh Church of Christ Scientist), a designated Landmark in Queen Anne (2555 8th Ave W). The photo above shows the doors before and after the theft. If you have any information, please contact the minister, Jay Kelly, at 206-914-2659
jay_kelly@me.com

Read more about the history of this church on the Queen Anne Historical Society’s website.

Lawsuit Filed Against City of Seattle for Landmark Designation

On February 6, 2013, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board designated an Art Deco style building at 777 Thomas St in South Lake Union (SLU). Rather than trying to work with this designation and incorporate the landmark into a new development project, the developer has chosen to take legal action against the City and Board. Knute Berger’s March 11 article for Crosscut describes the issue in more detail.

This small Art Deco gem in the neighborhood is one of a long line of threatened buildings in South Lake Union, an area that has seen and will continue to see considerable transformation due to redevelopment. In an earlier article, Berger writes about the bulldozing of history in South Lake Union. Seattle City Council is currently reviewing legislation to rezone SLU. Historic Seattle, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and neighborhood preservationists have been advocating for more meaningful and effective preservation incentives and mitigation in SLU. Stay tuned for more on this issue…

Spring time is for Preservation and Heritage Awards

The following preservation and heritage organizations/agencies will be honoring outstanding achievements in the field:

April 23, 2013AKCHO Annual Awards. The ceremony will take place at MOHAI. Details will be posted on the AKCHO website.

May 14, 2013 – Historic Seattle presents its Fifth Annual Preservation Awards in a ceremony at the Good Shepherd Center, 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Award recipients will be announced later in March. The event is sponsored by KeyBank with support from 4Culture. Tickets available now for purchase on Historic Seattle’s website.

May 14, 2013 – Yes, you read this correctly–two awards events on the same day! The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) is seeking nominations for its Annual Awards for Outstanding Achievements in Historic Preservation. The State Historic Preservation Officer will present the awards at a ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at Fort Vancouver Reserve in Vancouver, WA. The deadline to submit nominations is March 15, 2013. Download the nomination form on DAHP’s website.

John D. Spellman AwardsKing County Historic Preservation Program’s annual awards ceremony (we’ll post details and the date when they become available).


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The writers who post entries on MAin2 represent various views and opinions. The blog posts do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Historic Seattle.

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