Archive for January, 2012

Save the Date! Revitalize Washington, Statewide Preservation and Main Street Conference, May 22-24, 2012

Join preservation colleagues and friends for Revitalize Washington, the annual Statewide Preservation and Main Street Conference in Chelan May 22-24, 2012. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is accepting session proposals. The deadline is February 24, 2012. See the Trust’s website for details and to download a proposal form.  

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Advocacy Alert! Help Save the Jensen-Byrd Building in Spokane

Jensen-Byrd Building, Spokane / Photo: Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

Support our preservation comrades in Spokane in their efforts to save the historic Jensen-Byrd Building! This significant warehouse built in 1909 and designed by Spokane architect Albert Held for Marshall-Wells Hardware Co. is owned by Washington State University which plans to sell the property to Texas-based Campus Advantage for the purpose of demolition. New student housing would be built on the site. What is astounding about this predicament is that WSU has chosen to sell the property to an out-of-state entity with no appreciation of Spokane’s heritage when there is an alternative to sell to a Spokane-based developer who has a proven track record of rehabilitating historic buildings and would approach the project as an adaptive re-use rather than demolition and new construction.

Spokane Preservation Advocates is asking you to support their efforts by writing to WSU and asking them to develop a plan to renovate the building rather than tear it down. Details can be found on the SPA website.

2012 Historic Seattle Program / Annual Members Meeting January 23

Historic Seattle’s 2012 Program is here! We begin the new year with our Annual Meeting at the Neptune Theatre (co-sponsored by Seattle Theatre Group). Please join us on Monday, January 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm. You’ll enjoy a special performance by Book-It Repertory Theatre of The Future Remembered, adapted from the HistoryLink retrospective celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair. Details about this event are on our website. You can download the program brochure on our website or go to our Events Calendar to see our slate of events for the year and register on-line. Members attend events at a discounted price and get access to special members’ only events. If you’re not a Historic Seattle member, we encourage you to join!

Digital Scans Continue to Be Available from UW Special Collections

Yesterday, MAin2 wrote this piece about the closure of the photo lab at UW and how that would mean the public could no longer obtain reproductions (in print and high resolution digital files) of historic photographs from Special Collections. We asked you to write to UW Administrators to voice your concern. Your voices were heard! Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns and how you value Special Collections.

Please read the comments posted on this blog regarding the closure of the photo lab. Notable comments are the two posted by Paul Constantine, Associate Dean of University Libraries and Director of Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries and the comment posted by Christina Burtner, one of the two photographers who work at the Classroom Support Services (CSS) Photo Lab. Check out the CSS Photography blog and learn more about these fabulous professional photographers who have been running the lab.

MAin2 is happy to report that the University of Washington Special Collections will be working with a new service provider for digital scans of materials.  Here’s a message received today from Paul Constantine,

“Thanks to all who have expressed concern about the impact of the closure of the CSS Photo Lab on users of Special Collections. I am writing to let you know that as of January 20, 2012, Special Collections will be working with a new service provider for digital scans of our materials. While this digitization service will continue without interruption, I ask your patience as we work out new workflows and procedures.

Thank you for sharing your concern and for your support of excellence in the UW Libraries. I hope that you will continue to make use of Special Collections.”

The Special Collections website has already changed its message from yesterday and now states that they will be working with a new service provider. Thank you UW Administrators!

Historic Photographs Are Not Just For Viewing

Asahel Curtis photo of the University of Washington campus in 1912 / Source: UW Special Collections, Asahel Curtis Collection (CUR934)

We all enjoy looking at historic photographs. One of the best repositories for historic images in Puget Sound and the state is the University of Washington Special Collections. Starting January 20, 2012, that’s all we’ll be able to do, look at the photographs. According to the UW Special Collections website,

“As of January 20, 2012, due to the closure of the Classroom Support Services Photography lab, we will temporarily be unable to provide photographic prints or digital scans. We are actively exploring alternative services. Photocopy services are not affected by this change. We apologize for this inconvenience. Please email us at speccoll@uw.edu with questions. Thank you.”

We are all aware that tough economic times and budget cuts have affected and continue to affect all sectors—public, private and nonprofit. But for a major public educational institution with one of the best libraries and archives in the country to not provide photographic prints or digital scans for users is mind-boggling. Photographic prints and high resolution digital scans have not been offered free of charge in the past. There has always been a fee charged by the photo lab which is understandable because it costs money to run a photo lab, which is essentially a business. Researchers know the value of the materials and know they usually have to pay to access them for use in their projects and publications.

What is the point of building a collection of photographs and providing public access to them if all we can do is just look at the photographs? This will negatively affect a wide range of users including scholars, researchers, students, museums, historical societies, historians, preservation consultants, writers and developers among others. Moving forward, why would potential donors—individuals, organizations and corporations consider donating their materials to the UW if these materials cannot be reproduced?

The message posted on the Special Collections website says the photo lab is temporarily closed. How temporary is temporary? What efforts are being made to re-open the photo lab? Is there another business model that will work?

If you are scratching your heads over this decision and care about UW Special Collections, then we encourage you to contact the University, voice your views on the matter, and describe how you may be affected by this change. You may email your message to the following individuals:

Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson
Dean of University Libraries, Libraries Administration
betsyw@u.washington.edu

Joyce Agee
Associate Director of Development, Libraries Administration
Office of the Dean
ageejoy@u.washington.edu

Heritage Awards: Good and Bad

The ferry Kalakala is on Knute Berger's Heritage Turkeys list for 2011. Here it is in 1946 in much better days. Photo: MOHAI, image #1983.10.16251.2

Knute Berger’s annual Heritage Turkeys article in Crosscut came out today. This is the third year in a row that Berger’s given out turkeys to projects that show how much more work needs to be done to protect resources in the fields of preservation, archaeology and heritage.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation has issued a call for nominations for its annual SHPO Awards. The awards honor projects and people that represent outstanding efforts in the field of historic preservation and archaeology. The deadline to apply is March 9, 2012. The awards ceremony will take place May 8, 2012 in Olympia.

Fashioncraft Building Designated a Seattle Landmark

Fashioncraft Building, Seattle / Photo: Karin Link, Seattle Landmark Nomination Form

At its meeting on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board designated the Fashioncraft Building (2022 Boren Avenue) as the newest Seattle Landmark in a unanimous 9-0 vote. The landmark nomination was prepared by cultural resource consultant Karin Link for the Seattle Historic Preservation Program. The nomination was prepared as part of the 2007 Downtown Historic Resources Survey which identified the property as potentially eligible for landmark listing. Download the nomination here (look for 2022 Boren Avenue).

The building owner, Recovery Cafe, acquired the property in early 2010. Recovery Cafe staff and board members enthusiastically supported the nomination and designation. The organization retained the services of David Peterson of Nicholson Kovalchick Architects to present additional information about the significance of the building as it relates to the economic heritge of the city. The Schoenfeld Brothers, the original building owners, are often described as founders of Seattle’s modern clothing industry. The building (constructed in 1929) was used to house a business that manufactured neckties. Presentations by Ms. Link and Mr. Peterson made the case for designating the building under three designation standards–C, D and F. Continue reading ‘Fashioncraft Building Designated a Seattle Landmark’


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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.