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Capitol Hill’s Hugo House falls short of landmarks protection as nonprofit eyes expansion

Screen-shot-2013-04-23-at-6.25.41-AM-400x231With a major addition that stands on the south side of the structure today and other significant updates and overhauls over its more than 100 years of life, the Richard Hugo House — once, Manning’s Funeral Parlor — failed to meet the bar for the Seattle Landmarks Board on Wednesday as the 11th Ave theater and class space was rejected for historical protection.

The vote was unanimous.

The 1958 addition to the original 1903 structure was perhaps the greatest sin weighed from an architectural and historical aspect in evaluating the building.

We posted the nomination report for Hugo House here. CHS looked at the prospects for landmark status for the property here.

Hugo House director Tree Swenson told CHS the nomination process is part of an evaluation of options for her literary nonprofit as it searches for the best path to expand its programs and offerings.

UPDATE: Thursday night brings the Capitol Hill Community Council arts forum to discuss preserving and creating arts and cultural spaces around the neighborhood. CHS reported on the opportunities of a planned Capitol Hill Cultural Overlay District to create everything from a cultural landmarks process to an incentive program for art-friendly developers here.  Thursday’s meeting begins at 6:30 PM in the Cal Anderson Shelterhouse just off 11th Ave.

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6 thoughts on “Capitol Hill’s Hugo House falls short of landmarks protection as nonprofit eyes expansion

  1. Gah! It was 1958! Lots of stupid architectural things were done in the 50s and 60s. Thats too bad HH is being punished for it.

  2. Is it really HH being punished? It sounds like they are trying to determine the best course of action for them – which, if they stay at their current location, would probably mean changing the building. The historic landmark determination is the first step to see if that’s even a possibility.

    I think the Hugo House would be far more thoughtful about any changes to the building than anyone who would buy it from them (most likely a developer who would salivate at the notion of razing the building for more cheap and fugly units so close to the light rail station), so fingers crossed that they can figure out a way to support their expansion right where they are.

    • I couldn’t agree more. If this isn’t a landmark what is? Perhaps the Board should just tour the neighborhood and decide what (if anything) would qualify for landmark status. I am guessing not much with the current regime………

      Who picked these people? Roger Valdez?

  3. Tearing this building down and building a modern structure is a great move. The building needs millions in renovations and has been remodeled so many times that there is little left of what was there originally. Kudos to Hugo House. I await their next move.