Preservation in Progress

Historic Seattle’s Blog

Admiral’s House

Historic Seattle’s Role:

Historic Seattle holds a preservation easement protecting the exterior of the house and portions of the site.

About the Admiral’s House:

Situated on a bluff overlooking Elliott Bay and downtown Seattle, the Admiral’s House represents the significant role Seattle played in World War II naval history. Between 1944 and 2006, the residence was home to the commanding admiral for the Pacific Northwest and was the site for official entertaining – hosting as many as 1,000 dignitaries each year. As part of the process of conveyance (selling the property) in 2010, the Navy was required to submit a landmark nomination and protect the historic property with a preservation easement. Today, the property is a City of Seattle designated landmark (2010) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (2013).

Current and Future Uses:

The Admiral’s House currently serves as the headquarters for Global Seas, a maritime management company, and is also an event venue for weddings and other functions.

14th Ave W Houses

Historic Seattle’s Role:

In 1977-78, Historic Seattle purchased three of five houses on the west side of Queen Anne Hill after they were identified as historically and architecturally significant through the Urban Resources Inventory for the neighborhood. The houses once bordered Smith Cove at the north end of Elliot Bay and were part of a large Finnish community. The five houses (four of which have protective easements) were re-sold to private individuals and designated as a Seattle Landmark in 1978 as the 14th Avenue West Group.

Current and Future Uses:

The houses continue to be individually owned and occupied as single-family residences or duplexes. Protective easements on all four houses (2000, 2006, 2010, and 2016 14th Ave W) are held by Historic Seattle to ensure the exteriors of these houses will remain intact and original to their turn-of-the-century construction.

 

Photo: Marissa Natkin

23rd Ave Houses

Historic Seattle’s Role:

Originally built as low-income Victorian era speculative housing, four of the houses were slated for demolition. Historic Seattle purchased three of the residences and obtained a preservation easement on the fourth. The exterior was restored and the interior was completely renovated. Although this type of housing was once common in Seattle, remodeling and demolition in the high density Central Area has made rows of wood-frame Victorian era houses a unique example of Seattle’s earlier streetscape.

The houses, with protective easements, were re-sold to private individuals and designated as a Seattle Landmark in 1979 as the Twenty-third Avenue Houses Group.

Current and Future Uses:

The houses continue to be individually owned and occupied as single-family residences. Protective easements held by Historic Seattle ensure the exteriors of these houses will remain intact and original to their turn-of-the-century construction.

 

Photo: Historic Seattle, ca. 1979

Ankeny/Gowey House

Historic Seattle’s Role:

Historic Seattle purchased the house in 1980 after being approached by the Gowey family, residents of the house since 1933. After major exterior restoration, the house was sold to a private party who extensively renovated the interior.

Current and Future Uses:

The house continues to be a single family residence in a neighborhood that has been experiencing growing development pressure from large, multifamily projects. Covenants included in the sale of the house (Historic Seattle holds a preservation easement on the exterior), Seattle Landmark designation, and good stewardship by property owners continue to protect the Ankeny/Gowey House and site.

Belmont/Boylston Houses

Historic Seattle’s Role:

The Belmont/Boylston (“Bel-Boy”) project includes six turn-of-the-century (1893-1903) houses–three were built as double houses designed to appear as single-family homes. Historic Seattle acquired the properties in 1989. After six months of renovation, 47 one-bedroom, studio, and single-family low-income apartments were created. The Bel-Boy project received numerous awards for its successful combining of historic preservation and low-income housing, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award in 1992.

Current and Future Uses:

Five of the six buildings were sold in 2008. 1411 Boylston Avenue was retained by Historic Seattle and continues to be operated as a 16-unit, single room occupancy, low-income apartment building.

This property is managed by United Marketing Inc.  Please contact United Marketing Inc. at (425) 562-1200 or info@umiapartments.com for more information regarding this property.

Earl Layman Street Clock

Historic Seattle’s Role:

Originally known as Young’s Credit Jewelers Clock and located at Fourth Ave and Pike St, the large time-piece was donated to Historic Seattle by the family of Dean Black. After resting in the backyard of Mrs. Black’s home for many years, the clock was restored and installed on the southeast corner of First Ave S. and S. Main St in Pioneer Square in 1984 by Historic Seattle with funds from the Pioneer Square business community and friends of Earl Layman. Meyer Sign Company refurbished the casing and Carlson Navigation rebuilt the mechanism. The clock was renamed after Mr. Layman, the long-time City of Seattle Historic Preservation Officer, for his instrumental role helping organize and administer the Pioneer Square Preservation District during its formative years.

Current and Future Uses:

Still owned by Historic Seattle, the clock is currently maintained and wound weekly by adjacent property owners.

 

Photo: Jennifer Tucker

Fire Station No. 18

Historic Seattle’s Role:

After being declared surplus property by the City of Seattle, Historic Seattle acquired Ballard Fire Station No. 18 from the City in September 1976, for the purpose of complete renovation and adaptive reuse. The fire station, originally built for horse-drawn fire engines, is noteworthy for its early sophisticated engineering, brick massing and architectural style. Fire Station No. 18 was in continuous use for 63 years–longer than any other fire station in Seattle. The building is a designated Seattle Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Historic Seattle holds a preservation easement on this property.

Current and Future Uses:

Fire Station No. 18 remains a significant focal point of the Ballard neighborhood. The building is currently used as a restaurant and offices.

 

Photo: Jennifer Tucker

Fire Station No. 25

Historic Seattle’s Role:

After being declared surplus by the City of Seattle, the Fire Station was transferred to Historic Seattle in 1977, which in turn sold it to Commonwealth Pacific (in 1979) with a protective easement. The fire station was decommissioned as a fire house in 1970. At the time of the 1979 sale, the structure was in poor condition. The roof leaked and an interior load bearing wall had been removed. After complete renovation of the exterior and adaptive remodeling of the interior into 16 townhouse apartments, the building reopened in December 1980.

Current and Future Uses:

Fire Station No. 25 continues to stand as another example of the successful union of historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse. It was designated a Seattle Landmark in 1976 (Ord. #106054) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Main Street School Annex

Historic Seattle’s Role:

This early frame school building was built as an annex to the original 1873 Main Street School at the corner of Sixth Ave S and S Main St. The building originally contained a two-room floor plan. The City’s first kindergarten met in the Main Street School Annex building which was donated by Mrs. Bailey Gatzert. The school played an important role in the cultural development of the Asian community serving as the education center for the majority of Seattle’s first generation Americans of Japanese and Chinese descent. The property, threatened to be demolished, was bought by Historic Seattle in May 1974 from H. T. Kubota, making it the organization’s first property transaction. Once the property was stabilized and a suitable owner was found, the building was sold in December, 1975 with protective easements in place to protect the building from future demolition or alteration.

Current and Future Uses:

Fully restored, the former school building is currently used for professional offices. Easements continue to protect property.

 

Photo: Marissa Natkin, copyright 2005

Morrison Hotel

Historic Seattle’s Role:

The Morrison Hotel originally housed the Arctic Club, a social organization for veterans of the Klondike Gold Rush. The September 14, 1912 issue of Pacific Builder and Engineer described the building as the “richest and most commodious home of any social organization west of Chicago.”

In 2004, while renovating both the interior and exterior of the building, Morrison Hotel LLC gave Historic Seattle an exterior preservation easement of the facade for the purpose of preserving the building’s exterior appearance and materials. The property is a also contributing building to the Pioneer Square Preservation District.

Current and Future Uses:

The Morrison Hotel has played a vital role in providing emergency shelter and services to disabled homeless adults in Seattle. This 190-unit apartment building provides a range of support services to men and women with mental disorders, addictive illnesses, and physical disabilities.

Historic Seattle continues to hold a preservation easement of the exterior.

 

Image: Vintage postcard view of the Hotel Morrison, 1942

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