The University of Washington (UW) recently issued its 2018 Draft Seattle Campus Master Plan (CMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the plan. The CMP provides the framework for UW’s future development within the Major Institution Overlay (MIO) of the Seattle campus. The DEIS is intended to identify and assess possible impacts of development.
You can review the CMP and DEIS online: http://pm.uw.edu/cmp/about
Historic Seattle submitted comments and we encourage you to do so, too. Download a pdf of Historic Seattle’s comment letter.
As supporters of Historic Seattle, we value your advocacy efforts. Today, we are asking for your support. Contact UW and voice your support of historic preservation at the UW—not in opposition of or at the expense of additional growth, but in concert with appropriate new construction that does not erode the historic buildings and landscapes of the University’s Seattle campus. Public comment for both the CMP and the DEIS are due November 21, 2016.
Historically, the UW has had one of the most impressive and beautiful university campuses in the United States. Guided by its late 19th and early 20th century plans and executed designs, the campus’s character-defining features, spaces, and buildings reflect an evolution of development and growth through many decades. The significant historic resources on campus include not only the older buildings but also the collection of post-WWII resources.
To fully reflect its history, the UW must carefully consider the value of its historic and cultural resources from all eras, not just the older buildings related to its early roots. The draft campus plan continues the UW’s disregard of most of its post-WWII historic resources. This past summer, the UW demolished the National Register-listed Nuclear Reactor Building. The draft 2018 Plan indicates the UW’s intent to demolish more significant mid-century modern resources such as McMahon Hall and Haggett Hall dorms, designed by the prominent firm of Kirk Wallace & McKinley Associates and determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP).
The potential loss of more historic resources is troubling. Equally distressing is the University’s own contradictory statements that, on the one hand, tout “stewardship of historic and cultural resources” as a guiding principle, and on the other hand, give itself an “out” with its bold declaration that any structure that is more than 25 years old or historic can be demolished “if authorized by the UW Board of Regents.”
Furthermore, the CMP states that the UW is not subject to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance, following a recent King County Superior Court ruling in its favor. However, the draft Plan does not reveal the fact that there is pending litigation in the State Court of Appeals that will rule on this very issue.
Please stand in support of historic preservation by submitting your comments by November 21 to Julie Blakeslee, Environmental and Land Use Planner, Capital Planning and Development, via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Illustrative Plan of Campus at Full Build-out, University of Washington Draft Campus Master Plan (85 sites for development or redevelopment)