Preservation in Progress

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Archive for the ‘Advocacy Alert’ Category

UW Draft Campus Plan

The University of Washington (UW) recently issued its 2018 Draft Seattle Campus Master Plan (CMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the plan. The CMP provides the framework for UW’s future development within the Major Institution Overlay (MIO) of the Seattle campus. The DEIS is intended to identify and assess possible impacts of development.

You can review the CMP and DEIS online: http://pm.uw.edu/cmp/about

Historic Seattle submitted comments and we encourage you to do so, too. Download a pdf of Historic Seattle’s comment letter.

As supporters of Historic Seattle, we value your advocacy efforts. Today, we are asking for your support. Contact UW and voice your support of historic preservation at the UW—not in opposition of or at the expense of additional growth, but in concert with appropriate new construction that does not erode the historic buildings and landscapes of the University’s Seattle campus. Public comment for both the CMP and the DEIS are due November 21, 2016.

Historically, the UW has had one of the most impressive and beautiful university campuses in the United States. Guided by its late 19th and early 20th century plans and executed designs, the campus’s character-defining features, spaces, and buildings reflect an evolution of development and growth through many decades. The significant historic resources on campus include not only the older buildings but also the collection of post-WWII resources.

To fully reflect its history, the UW must carefully consider the value of its historic and cultural resources from all eras, not just the older buildings related to its early roots. The draft campus plan continues the UW’s disregard of most of its post-WWII historic resources. This past summer, the UW demolished the National Register-listed Nuclear Reactor Building. The draft 2018 Plan indicates the UW’s intent to demolish more significant mid-century modern resources such as McMahon Hall and Haggett Hall dorms, designed by the prominent firm of Kirk Wallace & McKinley Associates and determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP).

The potential loss of more historic resources is troubling. Equally distressing is the University’s own contradictory statements that, on the one hand, tout “stewardship of historic and cultural resources” as a guiding principle, and on the other hand, give itself an “out” with its bold declaration that any structure that is more than 25 years old or historic can be demolished “if authorized by the UW Board of Regents.”

Furthermore, the CMP states that the UW is not subject to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance, following a recent King County Superior Court ruling in its favor. However, the draft Plan does not reveal the fact that there is pending litigation in the State Court of Appeals that will rule on this very issue.

Please stand in support of historic preservation by submitting your comments by November 21 to Julie Blakeslee, Environmental and Land Use Planner, Capital Planning and Development, via email at jblakesl@uw.edu or cmpinfo@uw.edu.

Image: Illustrative Plan of Campus at Full Build-out, University of Washington Draft Campus Master Plan (85 sites for development or redevelopment)

 

Support Seattle Legacy Businesses

It seems that every day there’s news about yet another beloved local business closing and there’s nothing we can do about it. Existing historic preservation tools do not protect specific uses or businesses. What else can be done? What can you do?

There are efforts underway to try to address this issue of how to protect Seattle’s older businesses. Historic Seattle has been working with other advocates to support the notion of a Legacy Businesses program in Seattle.

Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold has been leading an effort to raise awareness of the importance of these legacy businesses. For the City of Seattle’s 2017-2018 Proposed Budget, she is sponsoring a proposal to add $100,000 for a study on legacy businesses with the goal of identifying places and fostering an atmosphere in which they might better thrive going forward. The funding would support a study to determine the scope and definition of a Seattle Legacy Business project.

Historic Seattle supports Councilmember’s Herbold’s budget proposal addition—we testified at a recent Select Budget Committee meeting in support of the proposal.

Today, we are asking for your support. Please contact Council Budget Committee Chair Tim Burgess at tim.burgess@seattle.gov to request that he include the funding for the Seattle Legacy Business Study in his proposed balanced budget package. He will announce his budget package next Wednesday, November 2.

Seattle Weekly discussed the issue of Legacy Businesses in a recent article. Read more here.

Learn more about Seattle Legacy Businesses!

Photo by Joe Mabel, Wikipedia Commons. Bush Garden, Seattle Chinatown-International District

Save the Reactor

You heard from us last month about Historic Seattle’s efforts to save the Nuclear Reactor Building (aka More Hall Annex) at the University of Washington (UW). Thanks to those of you who attended the October 26 public hearing at UW and offered comments in support of preserving the National Register-listed Nuclear Reactor Building.

nrb buttonThe Save the Reactor advocacy campaign is a collaboration among three preservation organizations—Historic Seattle, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and Docomomo WEWA. We recently launched a website for Save the Reactor to advocate for the preservation of this significant Modern resource in Seattle. Explore the website and learn more about the building’s history, significance and advocacy efforts. Most importantly, we want you to get involved!

The UW’s Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed construction of the new Computer Science and Engineering Building II (CSE II) highlights a “preferred alternative” that would result in the demolition of this significant building for the construction of the new CSE II building. The Draft SEIS has not adequately considered the adverse effects to the Nuclear Reactor Building.

Please voice your support for a meaningful preservation alternative for the Nuclear Reactor Building. Tell the University of Washington it can do better, and must do better. For talking points, view the blog post on the Save the Reactor website.

We encourage you to submit written comments to the UW. Send comments to Jan Arntz, SEPA Responsible Official, jarntz@uw.edu. The deadline is Monday, November 23, 2015.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to advocate for the preservation of the Nuclear Reactor Building! There’s more advocacy ahead beyond November 23 so stay tuned…

If have questions about the Draft SEIS and/or you’d like to get involved with this advocacy effort, please contact Eugenia Woo, Director of Preservation Services, Historic Seattle, at eugeniaw@historicseattle.org or 206.622.6952, ext 245.

Photo credit: Abby Inpanbutr

Seattle 2035 Draft Comp Plan

Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has extended the public comment period on the Draft Comprehensive Plan, known as Seattle 2035, through Friday, November 20, 2015. The Draft Plan identifies proposed goals and policies that will provide a roadmap for the city’s growth over the next 20 years.

The city is hosting a series of community open houses to talk about the proposed changes and allow opportunities to ask questions or share your thoughts.

Historic Seattle urges you to get engaged and have your voice be heard! Your feedback will help DPD evaluate strategies for a city that grows according to the plan’s four core values: race and social equity, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity and security, and community.

The city’s most vibrant urban neighborhoods are those with a high concentration of historic buildings and mixed-scale development. The Comp Plan should value stewardship of historic properties as an important priority along with clean water, natural resources, open space, environmental stewardship, and social equity. It should lay out a path that leverages our historic and cultural resources in achieving healthy, complete communities.

Historic Seattle submitted its public comments outlining recommendations for strengthening the Historic Preservation component. Download Historic Seattle’s letter here.

Here are the key points related to historic preservation:

The Cultural Resource Element is being replaced with an Arts & Culture Element (page 135), where the Historic Preservation component now resides. The Historic Preservation component has been distilled down to one broad goal (page 140), and the language on several of the policies has been weakened.

Recommendations to better integrate historic preservation into the new Comp Plan include:

  • Expanding the Historic Preservation goals
  • Strengthening the Historic Preservation policies
  • Strengthening and expanding the proposed survey/inventory policy
  • Connecting the Historic Preservation component with other Comp Plan elements

Submit written comments by November 20, 2015 to:

Email:
2035@seattle.gov

Mail:
City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development
Attn: Seattle 2035
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

Thank you for advocating for the city’s Comp Plan update! If you’d like to get involved with this advocacy effort, please contact Brooke Best, Preservation Advocacy Coordinator, Historic Seattle, at brookeb@historicseattle.org or 206.622.6952, ext 226.

Top left image: Composite image by Clayton Kauzlaric, combining Google Earth view and 1891 bird’s eye view by lithographer E.S. Glover.

Help Save the Reactor!

Historic Seattle is once again asking for your help in our efforts to save the Nuclear Reactor Building (aka More Hall Annex) at the University of Washington (UW). Built in 1961, the Nuclear Reactor Building is an exceptional example of Modern design in Seattle and is important for its association with technology in the atomic age. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is an iconic structure on campus. The building is also on the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation’s current Most Endangered Historic Properties List.

The UW recently released its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed construction of the new Computer Science and Engineering Building II (CSE II), which lays out four alternatives for analysis. Its “preferred alternative” would result in the demolition of this significant building for the construction of the new CSE II building. A second alternative shows the new construction engulfing the Nuclear Reactor Building-a concept that fails to meet acceptable preservation design standards. A third alternative offers a different nearby site for the CSE II building, just south of the University of Washington Club, a modernist masterpiece on the campus. The fourth alternative is to take no action.

From our initial review of the Draft SEIS, we feel that that University has not considered the adverse effects to the Nuclear Reactor Building adequately in both the first and second alternatives. As a leading public university in the United States, with an outstanding architecture department, UW has access to an exceptional community of design and preservation professionals, faculty/staff, students, alumni, etc. who care about what happens to the university campus. With all these resources available, the University needs to try harder and work with the larger community to come up with a truly creative design solution that both preserves and honors the Nuclear Reactor Building in a respectful manner and allows for the construction of the new CSE II building.

If you care about this issue, please have your voice be heard! The UW is holding a public hearing on campus next Monday, October 26, from 4 pm to 7 pm (Kane Hall, Walker Ames Room #225). You do not need to be at the hearing for the full three hours. It is a block of time during which anyone may attend to provide public comments about the Draft SEIS.

Voice your support for a real preservation alternative for the Nuclear Reactor Building. Tell the University of Washington it can do better, and must do better.

If you are not able to attend the public hearing, you can submit written comments to the UW. Comments will be taken through November 23, 2015 and may be sent to Jan Arntz, SEPA Responsible Official, jarntz@uw.edu.

Download a PDF of the full Draft SEIS.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to advocate for the preservation of the Nuclear Reactor Building! If have questions about the Draft SEIS and/or you’d like to get involved with this advocacy effort, please contact Eugenia Woo, Director of Preservation Services, Historic Seattle, at eugeniaw@historicseattle.org or 206.622.6952, ext 245.

Photo credit: Abby Inpanbutr

Anderson Farmstead

The Waanderson-farmshington Trust for Historic Preservation has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) seeking organizations or individuals interested in relocating the historic Anderson House from is present site within the City of Issaquah’s Confluence Park to a new location. The full RFP may be obtained through the Trust’s website.

The City of Issaquah is undertaking a stream restoration project on the Anderson Farmstead in order to reduce channelization and confinement of Issaquah Creek. The project will impact the historic Anderson House, constructed circa 1900 and determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Because the City determined that rehabilitation of the Anderson House on the existing site is not feasible due to costs and conflict with the stream restoration project, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation (WTHP) is issuing an RFP to relocate the house on behalf of the City and in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), the King County Historic Preservation Program (KCHPP), and the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO). Proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 4, 2015.

The following stipulations apply:

  • The Anderson House shall be removed from City property, with or without the rear (west) porch and detached bedroom. The City will not provide property for relocation of the house.
  • The WTHP, KCHPP, and the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) will have final determination of approval of the relocation plan based on accepted historic preservation standards outlined for the rehabilitation of the house.
  • The House shall be offered for relocation and rehabilitation to a non-profit organization or to other private organizations and citizens in that order of priority.
  • $250,000 (less administrative costs not to exceed $25,000) is available to assist with relocation and rehabilitation costs.
  • If the above process does not identify a recipient committed to relocating and rehabilitating the Anderson House by October 1, 2015 or if the house is not removed from the Farmstead by December 31, 2015, the City has the authority to demolish the house.

A mandatory site visit to review the existing conditions of the Anderson Farmhouse and to ask additional questions is scheduled for Thursday, July 30 at 3:00PM. Interested parties seeking additional information should contact Chris Moore with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation at 206-624-9449 or via email at cmoore@preservewa.org.

Founded in 1976, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, an independent, non-profit organization, is dedicated to saving the places that matter in Washington State and promoting sustainable and economically viable communities through historic preservation. The Trust helps make local preservation work and builds an ethic that preserves Washington’s historic places through advocacy, education, collaboration and stewardship. Visit the Trust website at www.preservewa.org for more information.

Photos of Anderson House courtesy of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan

ADVOCACY ALERT: SEATTLE 2035 DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS) PUBLIC COMMENTS DUE BY JUNE 18th

ENSURE THAT PRESERVATION PLAYS A ROLE IN SHAPING THE CITY’S FUTURE!

Submit Your Comments to the City

Help Historic Seattle and other preservation advocates by weighing in on the City’s Comprehensive Plan update!

The City of Seattle recently released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the city’s Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) update, known as Seattle 2035. The Comp Plan will serve as our roadmap to achieving the future vision we want over the next 20 years, while preserving and improving our neighborhoods. Seattle 2035 covers things like land use, transportation, housing, environment, neighborhood planning, economic development, and urban design.

You can visit the online open house to explore the elements of the DEIS.

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is seeking public input on Seattle 2035. The public comment period will run until June 182015. Please send your comments on the Draft EIS to make sure that preservation plays a role in shaping the City’s future growth!

Send your comments via email by Thursday, June 18, 2015, to Gordon Clowers at 2035@seattle.gov.

Contact DPD today! Here are some key points:

  • The Draft EIS proposal states that “All Comprehensive Plan elements will be reviewed and updated as part of the proposal.” The draft does not address Economic Development, Neighborhood Planning, Cultural Resource, and Urban Design.
  • The current plan includes preservation under the “Cultural Resource” element (CR11-CR16).  The new Comp Plan replaces “Cultural Resource” with an “Arts and Culture” element. This new element focuses on art (public art, cultural space, arts education, creative economy, creative placemaking) and seems to eliminate historic preservation and protection of cultural resources. How will preservation be included in the future Comp Plan? How are the city’s existing preservation policies and regulations being addressed?
  • The “Environment” element addresses environmental stewardship, one of the plan’s core values. Environmental stewardship is primarily defined within the context of the natural environment (air, land, and water resources) and not built environmentThe analysis should address the role of preservation vs demolition in terms of environmental stewardship.

(more…)

Save the Nuclear Reactor

Help Historic Seattle and other preservation advocates save the UW Nuclear Reactor Building!

The University of Washington recently issued a request for comments for the scope of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that they are preparing for a proposed project—a new Computer Science and Engineering building (CSE II). The UW’s preferred site for redevelopment includes the National Register of Historic Places-listed Nuclear Reactor Building (aka More Hall Annex).

The comment period deadline for EIS scoping has been extended to April 2, 2015 (from March 18).

Please send your comments to the UW to voice your support for preserving the Nuclear Reactor Building and urge the university to consider alternatives to demolition. We believe there is a potential “win-win” alternative that allows for construction of the new CSE II building and preservation/adaptive reuse of the historic structure.

Contact the UW today! Urge the UW to broaden the EIS Scope to:

  • Identify additional alternative sites (the university is considering only two sites at this time); and
  • Include a preservation alternative that incorporates the Nuclear Reactor Building in the project

In addition, request that the UW hold a public meeting to further discuss the scope of the EIS. The State encourages lead agencies (the UW is the lead agency in this project) to engage the public early and throughout the EIS process, rather than just do the minimum to meet requirements.

Send your comments via email by Thursday, April 2, 2015, to Jan Arntz at jarntz@uw.edu. Ms. Arntz is the Environmental/Land Use Compliance Officer at the UW Capital Projects Office. For questions, please contact Ms. Arntz at 206-221-4319 or via email.

Download the EIS Scoping notice here.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to advocate for the preservation of the Nuclear Reactor Building! If you’d like to get involved with this advocacy effort, please contact Eugenia Woo, Director of Preservation Services, Historic Seattle, at eugeniaw@historicseattle.org or 206.622.6952, ext 245.

Photo by John Shea – Heart Bomb photo event, February 13, 2015

Neighborhood Conservation

Historic Seattle is helping the City of Seattle get the word out about neighborhood conservation districts. We know many you are concerned about the issue of neighborhood character. The City is developing a planning tool that can help our neighborhoods grow and retain unique character. We encourage you to attend one of the upcoming public meetings to learn more and share your thoughts with the City.

Neighborhood Conservation Districts!

Preserve your neighborhood’s character amidst booming development

Does your neighborhood have strong character that should be preserved, but isn’t eligible or appropriate for historic district status?

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is holding a series of Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) public meetings to gather resident input about establishing a program in Seattle. NCDs can be best described as a hybrid between Seattle’s Landmark Review Districts and the Design Review Program where unique neighborhoods can help set architectural style, square footage requirements, or other design elements. More information about neighborhood conservation districts may be found on Councilmember Rasmussen’s website.

Three public meetings are scheduled:

Georgetown, March 23, 6:00 pm, Georgetown Campus, South Seattle Community College, 6737 Corson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108 (meet in multi-purpose room C122 in Gene J. Colin Education Hall)

West Seattle, April 7, 6:00 pm, High Point Center, 6920 34th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126

North Seattle, April 8, 6:00 pm, Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

For more information, please contact Evan Clifthorne, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen’s Office, evan.clifthorne@seattle.gov or (206) 684-8808.

Nuclear Reactor Building Love

Historic Seattle and friends will be showing our love for the Nuclear Reactor Building (aka More Hall Annex) on the University of Washington campus at noon on Friday, February 13.  We’ll be taking a group photo and showing off our homemade valentines to the building, also known as “heart bombing.” Heart bombing is a tradition that’s only a few years old, and is a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day through public displays of affection for endangered and underappreciated places.

Please join us and bring your own homemade valentine to the building! Here’s a campus map—look for More Hall Annex.

The Nuclear Reactor Building is endangered because the UW is proposing to demolish the National Register of Historic Places-listed building and replace it with a new Computer Science and Engineering facility.

Find out more about heart bombing from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Photo: Abby Inpanbutr

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