District 7: Jim Pugel

Historic preservation survey responses by Seattle City Council District 7 candidate Jim Pugel.

Responses may be lightly edited for clarity and formatting. Please note that Historic Seattle does not endorse candidates for public office.

1. What’s your favorite historic place in Seattle and why do you think it’s important?

It’s got to be Pike Place Market. I know it may be a clichéd answer but there isn’t any other historic place in Seattle that’s both significant to the city’s history while also existing as a vital hub for merchants, artists, restaurateurs, street musicians, etc. Pike Place Market exudes energy. The unique spaces, corridors and signage in the market maintain a level of character that can’t be recreated in newer markets, squares or other public places. I love it. It’s an incredible place for both tourists and locals alike.

2. How can Seattle accommodate its increase in density while preserving the unique character of its neighborhoods?

Historical landmarks and neighborhoods can be preserved and maintained through incentive programs — current tax programs, building and zoning code reliefs, and other local incentives have proved useful for preserving historic places. However, we can always do more. Creative, new uses for older buildings in Seattle can help accommodate its growing population while still preserving the identity that makes Seattle and its neighborhoods unique. Fire Station 18 in Ballard is a good example of this strategy as it currently houses a restaurant and local offices. Utilizing this method to preserve other historic buildings is completely viable. Buildings can even be repurposed to accommodate the need for affordable, multi-unit housing.

3. The cultural spaces which many people feel define Seattle are increasingly at risk of redevelopment. Do you feel that it is important to preserve these places, and how can we accomplish this?

I think it’s extremely important to preserve the historic places that make Seattle unique. In order to preserve/restore historic Seattle buildings or places, it’s important to raise awareness within the community about their history, role in our community, and the potential threats they may face. This can be done through community engagement, tours, education programs and by partnering with local media. Additionally, the pursuit of a National Register listing or local historic designation is important for historic preservation.

4. How would you strengthen the City’s historic preservation program to ensure continued protection of designated Seattle Landmarks and historic districts?

I’ll admit that I am not an expert on this subject, but I would support local incentives for encouraging the preservation of local landmarks, historic districts. I would also fight to include more sites and neighborhoods on the local and national historical registries. I’d be thrilled if you could send any additional information Historic Seattle can provide so I can be a better public servant and ally for the preservation of historic Seattle.

5. What role does historic preservation play in planning and land use beyond designating landmarks and historic districts?

Historic sites and landmarks are significant draws to prospective community residents and can serve as important cultural, artistic places for communities to enjoy or even locales for events and gatherings. Repurposed facilities can serve as protected spaces for both businesses and residents while also helping Seattle maintain its identity as it continues to grow.