Landmarks and Historic Registers

While places, new and old, define the built character of communities, established criteria are used to evaluate and officially designate places as historic. Listing resources at the national, state, county and local level provide frameworks in which historic places can be judged for their significance to a particular community’s past. While some designations are merely honorary, others help protect and foster the preservation of the place.

Historic Seattle has successfully worked to preserve a wide range of architectural resources—from the high style to the vernacular. Whether formally designated/listed in a historic register or not, we value places that are significant in their communities. Historic Seattle offers technical assistance to individuals and neighborhood groups seeking to learn more about nominating properties. Following are brief descriptions of landmark and historic register programs:

Seattle Landmarks and Historic Districts

The City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program administers over 450 designated Landmarks and eight historic districts (Ballard Avenue, Columbia City, Fort Lawton, Harvard-Belmont, International District, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square and Sand Point Naval Air Station.

A complete list of Landmarks, database of historic properties, explanation of the designation process, and upcoming Landmarks Preservation Board agendas can be found on the Historic Preservation Program website.

King County Landmarks

At the county level, the King County Register of Historic Places serves as the official list of those properties which have significantly contributed to the history of King County. To date, over sixty historic places have been designated King County Landmarks.

A complete list of King County Landmarks, explanation of the designation process, and staff contact information can be found on the county’s Historic Preservation website.

Washington Heritage Register

The Heritage Register is Washington’s official honorary list of places significant in the history and prehistory of the state. It is administered by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP). Learn more about the Washington Heritage Register on DAHP’s website.

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register is the country’s official honorary list of places significant to a community, region, or the nation. It is maintained by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. In Washington, the National Register is administered by the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation. Learn more about the National Register of Places on DAHP’s website.

If you have questions about any of the above-referenced programs and processes, contact Historic Seattle’s Director of Preservation Services, Eugenia Woo, at EugeniaW@historicseattle.org.

 

Photo: Talaris (originally Battelle Seattle Research Center) – designated a Seattle Landmark in 2013 / Source: Marissa Natkin, copyright 2011