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Capitol Hill’s Hugo House to be reviewed as Seattle landmark, project in works

Screen shot 2013-04-23 at 6.25.41 AMThe Seattle landmark process will soon again be weighing the historical and architectural value of a building home to a Capitol Hill cultural institution. The 11th Ave home of theater, cultural center — and former mortuary — Richard Hugo House is scheduled to come before the Seattle Landmarks Board in May.

The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider landmark nomination for Manning’s Funeral Parlor/Richard Hugo House (1634 11th Avenue in Seattle) at its meeting on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at 3:30 p.m. in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor, Room 4060.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments.  Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board by May 14 at 5:00 p.m. at the following address: Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, P.O. Box 94649, Seattle WA 98124-4649.

The landmark nomination is posted on Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website at  under the heading of “Current Nominations.” A copy of the nomination will be available for public review after April 26 at the Capitol Hill Branch Library, 425 Harvard Ave E., 684-4715. It is also available at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ office, at Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700, telephone: 684-0228.

Screen shot 2013-04-23 at 6.21.42 AM Screen shot 2013-04-23 at 6.22.18 AMCHS has not yet confirmed details of the planned project but architects from The Johnson Partnership were responsible for compiling the landmark nomination report for the 1903-built former mortuary facing Cal Anderson Park. “As any proposed redevelopment of the subject building described within this report will require a permit from DPD, The property owner is providing the following report to the staff of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board (LPB) to resolve the property’s status,” the report notes.

The Johnson Partnership “offers design services emphasizing craftsmanship and sustainability, as well as historical resources consulting,” according to the firm’s site.

No permit applications yet appear on file for the property owned by the nonprofit Hugo House since 1999. CORRECTION: The organization does not own the building. We’ll clarify ownership in a future update.

The 16,000 square-foot structure built from an out-of-the-catalog home design by an unknown architect in 1903 is today used for performances, seminars and gatherings. It is named to honor area poet Richard Hugo.Screen shot 2013-04-23 at 6.23.07 AM

From the nomination report

From the nomination report

Used as a mortuary across from the old Lincoln Park since 1917, the longtime Manning’s Funeral Parlor was first transitioned to theater use in the late ’70s as home for the relatively short-lived Conservatory Theatre Company.

[mappress mapid=”46″]Seattle’s landmarks process is invoked as a check to review potentially historical buildings to determine if the structures are worthy of an increased level of scrutiny and protections from change. While landmark status does not prevent a landowner from modifying and developing a property, it does make significant changes subject to ongoing review and restrictions.

We’re checking to learn more about details of the project that has spurred the landmark review of the Hugo House structure. Recent sessions of the board have not been kind to area nominations with development waiting in the wings. Most recently, the Melrose Building was rejected before it was even nominated while the neighboring Pinevue Apartments advanced to a final vote before its subsequent rejection.

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9 thoughts on “Capitol Hill’s Hugo House to be reviewed as Seattle landmark, project in works

  1. Preserve Hugo House! No doubt some developer would love to knock it down and put in another 75 unit bread box!

    • Yes, there’s a good history of the building and its uses in the nomination packet linked above. We’ll go through it more thoroughly in a future post.

  2. It’s a great building and it’s always nice to have a little history in the neighborhood, but I worry this could interfere with the construction of more Apodments®.

    Because those PodPeeps® are what really makes the PodHood® PodRock®, you know? And tearing Hugo House down could make way for another 10,000 YouNitz®, easy.

    I just love those little PodPeeps®, and think we should build more MicroNestz® to attract them. They’re so cute, with their big eyes and MiniJobz®. Their fur is so soft and they come already HouzBrok’n®.

    So, yeah, sorry, but Hugo House has to go. I want more PodPeeps®.

  3. ‘I don’t need space to leave so neither should you! POWER TO THE PODS!’
    I do hope that Hugo House survivors the inept review board that seems easily influenced in their decisions depending on what follows behind the dollar sign.

  4. To all of the authors of the preceding posts: Although I am painfully aware that many a truth is said in jest, thank you for the giggle anyway.

  5. Pingback: A look at more than 100 years at 11th and Olive as Hugo House landmarks hearing nears | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  6. Pingback: Capitol Hill’s Hugo House falls short of landmarks protection as nonprofit eyes expansion | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle