City green-lights plans for demolition of 14th Ave church, planned development on hold

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

The City of Seattle has signed off on a permit to demolish a 109-year-old church on 14th Ave.

The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections issued the permit last week but when the house of worship owned by the Seattle Word of God Church will be demolished isn’t yet clear.

Word of God Church Pastor Curtis Taylor wouldn’t speak to details about the demolition, and a representative with the demolition contractor Ryatt Construction said the company didn’t have information about when the church would be torn down.

According to city documents, 22 townhouses were being planned to fill the lot, but the project has been canceled, a city permit technician supervisor confirmed.

CHS previously reported on the planned 22 townhomes being developed on the property owned by the church.

Taylor said the church will not be developing the property, but wouldn’t speak more about plans for the land.

Department of Construction and Inspections documentation lists a representative with Isola Homes, a company that “specializes in Built Green modern homes,” as the primary applicant and a financially responsible party on the canceled application for the townhouse project. The Word of God Church is also listed as an applicant and the owner.

Attempts to contact Isola Homes were not returned. No other applications for permits for the property are currently on file with the city.

According to the county, the church has stood since 1907. In the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, the masonry church suffered serious damage but continued to host worshippers through this summer.

Church properties aren’t subject to the typical processes used to assess old structures in the city because in 1996 the Washington State Supreme Court ruled to deny Seattle’s landmarks board its designation of the 5th Ave First United Methodist Church for the city’s protections program. The court ruled that the First Amendment doesn’t allow laws like Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Ordinance to impede the free exercise of religion, the Historic Seattle organization wrote in a statement about the church.

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2 thoughts on “City green-lights plans for demolition of 14th Ave church, planned development on hold

  1. I’ve wondered while passing that church what is going to happen to it. I hope that someone plans apartments rather than townhouses. If that parcel could support 22 town houses, I am sure it could support double or triple the number of units as apartments (of various sizes) depending on the zoning.