Historic Booth Building Denied Landmark Status

Booth Building @ Broadway & Pine circa 1917 via UW Special Collections

The Booth Building is not a landmark, but it should still be saved.

The 1914 Booth Building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Pine was, until recently, a Seattle Central College owned building that has a long and important history. Perhaps most notably, it was the first location of the Cornish School, and founder and namesake Nellie Cornish lived in the building as well. The Cornish School was Seattle’s first major music school and grew to become Seattle’s first major art school. Cornish had a significant and broad impact on music and arts culture in Seattle, something the city is known for.

If you are landmarks wonks like we are, you know that a building only needs to satisfy one of six criteria to be honored and protected with landmark designation. We see strong evidence that the Booth Building fulfills almost all of them. Its association with Nellie Cornish is one. Association with social history of Seattle is another. It embodies an architectural style: Spanish revival; and it’s a major work of noted Seattle architects Thompson and Thompson. And to round out our list, the Booth Building is the most notable building at one of Seattle’s most notable intersections. The Broadway Crossing building across the street echoes the shape of Booth, and the two buildings work in visual tandem.