Pike/Pine Landmark Designation

Two Pike/Pine Auto Row buildings up for Landmark designation in January

The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board (LPB) will be deciding whether to designate two Auto Row buildings in the Pike/Pine neighborhood at two upcoming meetings. First up for consideration at the January 7, 2015 LPB meeting is the Kelly-Springfield building (1525 11th Avenue), constructed in 1917 and used originally for truck sales and service, and tire sales and service. The property was nominated at the November 19, 2014 LPB meeting.

The second property, the White Motor Company building (1021 E Pine St; built 1917-1918), is scheduled for a designation hearing at the January 21, 2015 LPB meeting. It was originally an automobiles sales and office. The property was nominated at the December 17, 2014 LPB meeting.

Both buildings were designed by Seattle architect Julian Everett.

Why are these buildings significant?

The buildings are associated in significant ways with the history and development of Auto Row and the two connected buildings were the original home of outdoor retailer REI. The buildings are also significant for their architectural style and period. Additionally, the White Motor Company building is prominently located on a key corner of the Pike/Pine neighborhood and is an easily identifiable visual feature of the community.

Advocacy efforts

History has shown former Auto Row buildings to be good candidates for adaptive reuse, particularly for locally-owned businesses. They are more than just old brick or terra cotta facades. They are also defined by the interior volume of space and heavy timber features. These buildings add greatly to the character of the Pike/Pine community. The loss of this character to another exterior wall retention project (not actual historic preservation) will be their fate if the buildings are not designated.

Neighborhood advocates, along with Historic Seattle and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, have been supporting the nomination and designation of the Kelly-Springfield and White Motor Company buildings. For more detailed information about advocacy efforts, check out the Capitol Hill Seattle blog.

You, too, can show your support by sending an email to the Landmarks Preservation Board or by attending one or both of the designation hearings on January 7 and 21 (open to the public). Learn more about the history and architecture of these two buildings by downloading PDFs of the nomination reports via the Seattle Historic Preservation Program’s website. Comments should focus on the designation standards.

The January 7 meeting takes place at 3:30 pm in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 17th floor (room 1756; this is a room change from the Board’s usual location on the 40th floor). Download the agenda. The agenda for the January 21 meeting will be available the week before the meeting. Send public comments via email to Landmarks Preservation Board Coordinator Sarah Sodt at  sarah.sodt@seattle.gov  by 5 pm today (January 6) or attend the meeting and provide comments in person.

Photo: 1937 image of the Kelly-Springfield building / Source: Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Branch