Historical Society Doings For The First Half Of 2018

Greetings local history lovers!

We hope you are enjoying your summer so far! We have been too and better yet, we have a lot of exciting and important news we've been meaning to share about our activities over the past several months. First off, we just finished co-writing a landmark nomination with Historic Seattle and have otherwise been keeping tabs on at-risk historic buildings. We continue to move forward on our mapping and photo scanning projects, but at a more relaxed pace. And we've been actively engaging the community through social media. We've just been so enthralled in these activities and the demands of life outside CHHS lately, that we haven't been able to put something like this together for a while. That is until now, so let's get to it!

Preservation News

Roy Vue Apartments, 2018. Image: Hayley Blavka

1.Roy Vue Apartments - 615 Bellevue Ave E

  • In case you missed it, a developer back in April was looking to purchase this historic building, gut it, and build over its central garden space.

  • But thanks to an amazing grassroots effort organized by Roy Vue residents and backed by CHHS and Historic Seattle, we convinced the developer to drop their plans after declaring our intention to seek landmark protection for the building.

  • On July 18th Jeff Murdock of Historic Seattle hand-delivered our nomination to Erin Doherty, the city's landmarks coordinator.

  • The Roy Vue has a long way to go before it is fully protected, but we are confident that it will get there.

  • In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for a celebration!

2. Eldridge Tire -1519 Broadway

Eldrige Tire, 7/15/2016. Image: The Johnson Partnership

  • This unique Spanish Mission revival building has stood here since 1925.

  • In early 2017, the city's landmarks preservation board considered it for nomination.

  • In March 2017 they designated it.

  • Last week the Seattle City Council confirmed it with a ordinance.

  • Another win for preservation!

3. Sullivan House - 1632 15th Avenue

Sullivan House, 2018. Image: CHS Blog
  • After receiving landmark status in February, 2018, the owner attempted to challenge the decision in court the following month claiming that the decision would deprive her of reasonable economic use of the property.

  • On June 22, Eugenia Woo and Jeff Murdock of Historic Seattle and Marvin Anderson Architects published an incredibly detailed report that refutes the above claim. You can read it in full here.

  • At the most recent landmarks preservation board meeting on July 18th, the house's owner requested an extension to the controls and incentives negotiation period.

  • It is believed they are making this request in order to review the report.

4. Capitol Hill Design Guidelines

  • About a year ago, the City of Seattle launched a community-driven effort to update their design guidelines for Capitol Hill.

  • Toward the end of May this year, they submitted their first draft for public comment.

  • On May 30th, I wrote a review of this first draft with the support and feedback of my fellow CHHS board members.

  • In this review, I described in detail what was missing from the draft from a historic preservation perspective.

  • You can read this review here.

5. Seattle Central College South Annex Building (AKA the Booth Building) - 1532 Broadway

Booth Building, circa 1914-1921. Image: University of Washington Special Collections

  • Back in January, Youthcare signed on to establish a new homeless youth shelter here.

  • As the 6 to 9 month feasibility study comes to a close, it remains uncertain whether this historic structure, once the home of Cornish College and Nellie Cornish herself, will be a part of the project or be demolished.

  • As advocates for preservation, we would like to see the building preserved as a part of the new homeless youth shelter.

  • Given the building's size and high-profile historical background, it should trigger a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) review and require a landmark nomination.

  • In the months leading up to that nomination, we plan to do our own research on the building in order to testify to the landmarks board on the veracity of the nomination report.

6. Knights of Columbus Building - 722 E Union St

Knights of Columbus, 2016. Image: Wikimedia Commons

  • On June 15, SRM Development of Spokane Washington purchased the Knights of Columbus building.

  • On July 9, we learned that they intend to keep and rehab the building as a part of larger residential project that involves two adjacent undeveloped lots.

  • The same day John Feit, chair of the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council, reached out to ask us to join a multi-advocacy effort to engage the new owners during the early development phase.

  • Our goal is to ensure the building remains and the new development around it fits in with it.

7. Conover House - 1620 16th Avenue

1620 16th Ave, Google Images.

  • In late April we received news of a proposal to demolish and redevelop the historic home of Charles T Conover, former Seattle PI writer and editor turned real estate developer in 1888.

  • Conover and his business partner Samuel Crawford played a significant role in the early development of Seattle including the establishment of the Plat of Renton's Addition in which the house stands.

  • Conover and his family lived in the house from 1901 to 1924 and converted it into apartments in 1925.

  • Eugenia Woo of Historic Seattle informed city staff of the home's historic significance to ensure that it is properly reviewed for its potential as a landmark before the proposal to replace it can move forward.

8. Avon Apartments - 1831-35 Broadway

Avon Apartments, 1831-1835 Broadway. July 2018