UPDATE: The Hahn Building is now a landmark!
On Wednesday, January 20, the Landmarks Preservation Board voted to designate the Hahn Building as a City of Seattle landmark under criteria C & F, with six in favor and one opposed. We are grateful to the Board & the hundreds of people who provided written and verbal comments in support of landmarking.
What is the Hahn Building? Why is it Threatened?
The corner of Pike Street and 1st Avenue serves as the gateway to Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market. On the west side of 1st Avenue, buildings are protected by the Pike Place Market Historic District. Just across the street, however, buildings of the same age, historic character, and neighborhood value are often threatened by the wrecking ball unless they are individually landmarked.
Like The Showbox down the same block, the property at 103 Pike Street – the Hahn Building, formerly known as Hotel Elliott and currently home to the Green Tortoise hostel – could be demolished if it is not protected as a landmark. Community advocacy group Save the Market Entrance nominated the building for landmark status in late 2019. Historic Seattle is supporting the grassroots group’s efforts by helping the public navigate the landmarking process.
What are landmarks criteria?
There are six criteria that make a place eligible for landmark status. The Hahn Building was designated under criteria C (association in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political, or economic heritage of the community, City, state or nation) and F (because of prominence of spatial location, contrasts of siting, age, or scale, it is an easily identifiable visual feature of its neighborhood or the city and contributes to the distinctive quality or identity of such neighborhood or the City).
Is the Hahn now saved? What’s next?
Landmarking has three key steps: nomination, designation, and the determination of controls & incentives. Controls are a part of the landmarking process and describe the protections to the physical elements of the building. Without controls, the Hahn Building could be torn down. Like designation, there are specific rules on what can be considered for this part of the process. We support controls being placed for the Hahn Building & will call on the public to do the same when the time comes.
Original photo by Shree Ram Dahal