UPDATE 6/18: The owners of a 10th and Aloha apartment complex pulled their landmark nomination for the property one day before it was scheduled to go before the Landmark Preservation Board. Property manger Michael Denning told CHS he originally nominated the Aloha Terrace property for landmark status under the assumption it would not qualify and that would increase its value. He said he had recently been told otherwise as his family works with several interested buyers.
Original Report: The longtime owner of a nine-building apartment complex at 10th and Aloha is asking the city to consider the property for official historical protection. The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider the nomination of the 1943-built Aloha Terrace apartments at its Wednesday, June 18th meeting (PDF).
It’s an interesting old piece of Capitol Hill and Seattle architecture.
The only question: What does it need protection from?
The ownership of Aloha Terrace did not respond to multiple inquiries from CHS about why the landmark nomination was submitted. In 2016, construction of the Broadway Streetcar will start nearby, but city officials told CHS the Aloha Terrace property will not be part of the project. Frequently the city or developers preemptively nominate buildings by policy or in order to ensure future development plans for the site won’t be held up by possible landmark status. CHS has not yet found record of any redevelopment plans for the site and the property has not been sold.
According to the nominating documents, the 902 E Aloha complex is a “modest” example of Seattle’s garden apartments, which feature “a large master planned site, internal streets and pathways, groupings of one-, two- and three-story buildings, and landscaped courtyards.”
Aloha Terrace was designed by George Wellington Stoddard, a Detroit-born architect who moved to Seattle in 1920 after serving in WWI. The grouping of two-story, blue-collar apartment buildings are situated around grassy courtyards that are increasingly rare in apartment complexes around central Seattle. The property is located one block east of the Harvard-Belmont Landmark District.
The nomination packet makes frequent use of the word “modest” — and describes the “garden apartment” part of the physical environment you’ll find scattered throughout Seattle’s neighborhoods:
The ownership of the 71-year-old building has been in the hands of one dedicated family for decades:
Current manager of the property Michael Denning has also been part of the ownership of some other unique chunks of Central Seattle.
To qualify as a landmark in Seattle building’s must be at least 25 years old and have “significant character, interest or value, as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the City, State or Nation.”
The landmarks board will consider the structure for nomination based on a designation process detailed here. The board meets Wednesday, June 18th at at 3:30 PM in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor, Room 4060.