Archive for December, 2012

Making a Case for Designating the Washington Coliseum (aka Key Arena) as a Seattle Landmark

Washington Coliseum / Key Arena (Photo: Eugenia Woo)

Washington Coliseum / KeyArena (Photo: Eugenia Woo)

A recent Crosscut guest opinion piece by Michael Herschensohn makes the case for designating KeyArena as a Seattle Landmark. 

Built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, the structure was originally called the Washington State Coliseum—it housed the Century 21 Expo’s theme exhibit, the World of Tomorrow among other exhibits. The Coliseum was designed by prominent Seattle architect Paul Thiry who was the master planner and architect for the fairgrounds. The Space Needle, US Science Pavilion (now Pacific Science Center) and Coliseum were the three key anchors at the Fair and remain so today. The Coliseum’s scale and size dominates the western portion of Seattle Center. Its form, design and structural engineering make it a unique structure in the city.

The Coliseum remains the last obvious potential landmark at Seattle Center that has not been nominated/designated. There are other resources at Seattle Center that are landmarked—the Armory; Kobe Bell; Monorail; and Horiuchi Mural. The Space Needle and Pacific Science Center are landmarks but are not owned by the City.

Seattle Center has recently selected a cultural resources consultant team to conduct a historic resources survey and inventory of eleven structures on the campus. KeyArena is included on the list. Landmark nominations may also be prepared as part of this process. We hope to see positive nominations for the Coliseum/KeyArena and other worthy structures as a result of this process. We anticipate the survey and inventory to be completed by February 2013 and nominations to be prepared by Spring/Summer 2013. As MAin2 finds out more about this project we’ll share the news with you.

Coast Modern Film at Northwest Film Forum Dec 11-13

coast modern screenshot

Here’s your opportunity to view the film, “Coast Modern,” at the Northwest Film Forum December 11, 12 and 13. Tickets available online.

If you attend the screening on December 12, you may enjoy a pre-screening happy hour at 6pm, hosted by ARCADE. The bar will be open with special happy hour prices, and Coast Modern producer Leah Mallen and directors Gavin Froome and Mike Bernard will be at the Film Forum for an in-person introduction and Q&A following the 7pm screening.

From the NWFF website:

Coast Modern turns the lens on the sleek interiors and lush gardens of stunning examples of modernist architecture, from Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle, from the early 20th century to the second wave of post-war America to today’s current modernist renaissance. Featuring conversations with architects and their patrons, the films asks if Modernism’s time has finally come, or whether it really went away.”

Saving Windows Saving Money

saving windows

Windows are among the most visible and important features of a historic building. Far too often they are replaced for new windows that are not compatible with the building in terms of style and material. The aesthetic qualities of a building can drastically be altered with inappropriate replacement windows. The argument often given in support of replacements rather than restoration/retrofit is that the old windows are not energy efficient.

The Preservation Green Lab addresses the issue of energy savings through an in depth analysis of window replacement vs. retrofitting. For detailed reading of the report, we direct you to the Green Lab’s website. This is an important study that provides valuable insight into the issue.

Following are key findings of the report (source – Preservation Green Lab):

Retrofit Measures Can Achieve Performance Results Comparable to New Replacement Windows. When the performance for each upgrade option is taken into account, this study shows that there are readily available retrofit measures that can achieve energy savings close to new, high performance replacement windows.

Almost Every Retrofit Option Offers a Better Return on Investment than Replacement Windows. Findings from the cost analysis showed that new, high performance windows are by far the most expensive measure, costing at least double that of common retrofit options when considering materials, installation and general construction commonly required for an existing home. In all climate zones analyzed, cellular shades, interior storm panels and various exterior storm window configurations offer a higher average return on investment compared to new, efficient replacement windows.

The Bottom Line. Retrofitting windows with high performance enhancements can result in substantial energy savings across a variety of climate zones. Selecting options that retain and retrofit existing windows are the most cost effective way to achieve these energy savings and to lower a home’s carbon footprint. Retrofits extend the life of existing windows, avoid production of new materials, reduce waste and preserve a home’s character.


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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.