Archive for March, 2013

Seattle Architecture Foundation Tours for 2013

View of Seattle skyline from Kerry Park / Photo: Eugenia Woo

View of Seattle skyline from Kerry Park / Photo: Eugenia Woo

The Seattle Architecture Foundation’s tours for 2013 begin in April! SAF has lots of great tours planned for every month from April through December. They’re currently offering a fantastic deal–3 for $30. That’s three tours for $30. Purchase by April 8 to get the discount. Learn more about the tours offered on SAF’s website. Buy tickets online. These tours are a great way to learn more about the city’s architecture. Sign up soon because many will surely sell out.


Advocacy Alert: Support Preservation in South Lake Union

Designated Seattle Landmark Troy Laundry Building at Fairview and Thomas, South Lake Union. The block that it sits on is planned for redevelopment.

Designated Seattle Landmark Troy Laundry Building at the northeast corner of Fairview Ave N and Thomas St, South Lake Union. The block that it sits on is planned for redevelopment, incorporating the Troy Laundry Building and the landmark Boren Investment Co. Building. Photo: Historic Seattle

Make Your Voice Heard – Contact Seattle City Council Today! 

Seattle City Council is considering a proposal to rezone South Lake Union that will result in a considerable increase in density and building height. The rezone’s intent is to: 1) help create more jobs, housing and economic activity, and 2) conserve regional farmland and forest.

Historic Seattle appreciates the objectives of the South Lake Union Rezone proposal and believes continued planning for the area’s growth and use is necessary. While we understand the need for increased height and density in the South Lake Union area, it is also important to note that continued massive redevelopment of a historic neighborhood can diminish community character. The 2012 Environmental Impact Statement for the rezone clearly stated there would be negative impacts on historic resources.

Yet there is no preservation mitigation proposed in the rezone legislation. The preservation incentives currently offered in the proposal are not meaningful or effective enough.

The architectural heritage of the Cascade neighborhood and South Lake Union area is an eclectic one. The presence of warehouses and commercial buildings that are indicative of the light industrial history of this area is particularly important to tell the story of one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods. Historic character doesn’t mean only maintaining and preserving individual designated landmarks. Historic character, as a component of neighborhood character, is much broader than that. It’s about how a streetscape, block or neighborhood feels. The most pedestrian-friendly and livable neighborhoods are the ones that evoke a sense of place and history.

Saving less obvious landmarks or character buildings takes more effort. Weaving in the old and the new in a way that considers historic urban form and recognizes the value of the neighborhood’s historic fabric is a more thoughtful approach to development than treating the community as a blank slate of developable parcels on a land use and zoning map. The Terry Avenue Building is an excellent example of the rehabilitation of a designated landmark that has been preserved in its entirety (and incorporated into a larger new development), housing popular restaurants that greatly enhance the community.

Economic development and preservation are also not mutually exclusive. Older warehouse and commercial buildings are generally well-built and offer flexibility for creative adaptive re-use. Small businesses are able to thrive in these types of buildings because they often offer more affordable spaces to rent and have decades-old patina and character that make for more interesting places. Continue reading ‘Advocacy Alert: Support Preservation in South Lake Union’

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

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.