Preservation in the News

Hotel New Washington in Seattle, Thanksgiving dinner menu, 1953 (check out those prices!) / Source: UW Special Collections

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM MAin2! Ok, so the image above has nothing to do with the content below, but it’s fun and we think you’ll enjoy it.

Here’s some recent preservation news:

Seattle City Council formally adopted the 2011-2012 budget on November 22. In terms of preservation, City Council restored funds to maintain one of the Landmarks Preservation Board Coordinator positions in the Department of Neighborhoods. Many property and business owners, developers, neighborhood groups, and preservationists who cared enough about preservation in Seattle contacted City Councilmembers during the budget process to urge Council to restore these funds. Your voices were heard!

Livable South Downtown? For the past few years community stakeholders and business/property owners from South Downtown neighborhoods have worked with City of Seattle staff to evaluate zoning and other land use regulations to find ways to increase residential population and business activity while also protecting two important historic districts–Pioneer Square and the International District. City Council held a public hearing in the I.D. on November 22. Two recent articles in Crosscut offer opposing viewpoints on whether offering higher density in Pioneer Square is good or bad for preservation. Stuart Silk argues new incentives will spur growth in Pioneer Square. Art Skolnik maintains raising height limits will be detrimental to preserving the character of Seattle’s oldest business district.

Magnuson Park, Long History of Controversy. Part of this former naval air station is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the highest level of significance. Yet what is one to to do with all the old buildings and all that open space? There are so many competing interests at the park but the potential has always been there for great public open space and adaptive reuse of hangars, barracks, a fire station, hospital, and office buildings, among others. Some structures have been adaptively reused successfully. Most have not and are deteriorating. So what’s the problem? Read this article from Knute Berger in Crosscut for the latest issues.