Last week, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted unanimously to nominate the Singerman Residence / Gaslight Inn as a Seattle Landmark. In a neighborhood that has been experiencing significant changes and redevelopment, the nomination of the building at 1727 15th Avenue takes on even greater meaning. Originally built in ca. 1904 for Seattle businessman and department store owner Paul Singerman, the property was purchased by the current owner, Stephen Bennett, in 1983. The house has been beautifully restored and transformed into a guesthouse. Mr. Bennett voluntarily submitted the landmark nomination, prepared by BOLA Architecture + Planning with assistance from John Fox, friend of the owner.
The building is important for its architecture as an outstanding example of the Seattle Classic Box or Four Square style. The property also has a significant association with the social history of Capitol Hill. As noted in the landmark nomination form, “The Gaslight Inn exemplifies the efforts by gay and lesbian residents to revive the neighborhood in the 1970s and 1980s, and to create identifiable LGBTQ space in the city.” In most cases, historic buildings are significant for their association with early history. In this case, the history of the recent past is just as significant, if not more so than the earlier history.
At the Landmarks Preservation Board meeting on August 19, 2015, representatives from Historic Seattle and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation spoke in support of the nomination and thanked Mr. Bennett, Mr. Fox and Susan Boyle and Meagan Scott from BOLA Architecture + Planning for bringing the nomination to the Board. The Board also greatly appreciated the opportunity to review the nomination and learn more about the the property. This portion of the Board meeting was a “love fest”–not usually the case at these public meetings when more often than not, property owners/developers and their lawyers are there to oppose nomination/designation.
A designation hearing for the Singerman Residence / Gaslight Inn is scheduled for October 7, 2015. We anticipate the property will be designated as Capitol Hill’s newest landmark. Hopefully, this will mean the property will continue to be preserved in the future.
The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog covered the story in the following posts:
“15th Ave’s Gaslight Inn to be considered as a landmark” (includes link to the download the landmark nomination form)
–Gaslight Inn building / credit: BOLA
–Smiles after the Landmarks Preservation Board meeting (l to r: Stephen Bennett, John Fox, Susan Boyle and Meagan Scott) / credit: Eugenia Woo