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Board set to decide landmark protections for first of two 11th Ave auto row buildings with REI history

Screen-Shot-2014-11-18-at-12.41.12-PM-600x400Wednesday is a big day for the 1917-built 11th Ave building currently home to Value Village as the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board meets to consider whether the structure should qualify for protections that could end plans to redevelop the property.

Public comment will be part of the Wednesday session — note the room change — but you can also add your thoughts via email to Pike/Pine coordinator Sarah Sodt — [email protected] by Tuesday afternoon.

Landmarks Preservation Board Meeting

Seattle Municipal Tower

700 5th Avenue, **17th Floor**

**Room 1756**

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 – 3:30 p.m.

In December, CHS reported that — thanks to REI history and the building’s auto row legacy —  the Kelly-Springfield building and its neighboring White Motor Company building currently home to The Stranger and the Rhino Room had advanced to the next round in the city’s process to determine if the structures should qualify for protections that would limit changes to the external features of the buildings. Additionally, the board will consider the White Motor building for possible internal protections when it considers that property later this month.

CHS wrote about the nomination of the Kelly-Springfield building here in November. An effort to advocate for protecting the properties has been joined by neighborhood groups and supported by REI, the Seattle-based outdoor gear company that traces its roots back through its first major growth on Capitol Hill.

The hearings on the properties has included some concern about decorative elements removed from the buildings prior to the nominations. During the December hearing for the White Motor Company building, the representative for the developers said she was concerned members of the public had “accused” her clients of “removing elements” and that allegations in written comments received by the board that the building’s owners had acted to damage the structure’s possible standing as an official landmark were “patently false” and “without any evidence or basis in fact.” In January 2014, CHS reported that workers had removed decorative rosettes the previous fall and that representatives for the property owner and developer told the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council that the elements were removed so that they could be preserved and restored to the building as part of a new 75-foot-high, nearly-100,000 square-foot office project planned for the land at the corner.

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Prost Seattle
Prost Seattle
7 years ago

Just because they get listed as historic, does it mean that there can be no alterations to the structures? I thought a historic designation meant that there would have to be a cataloguing of all the significan architectural features of the building, but after that there could still be alterations made.

RWK
RWK
7 years ago

Historic (landmark) designation means that no changes can be made (without approval) to the exterior of the building, but the interior can be remodeled unless that is specifically designated…..as it is in the nomination for the White Motor Co. building (up for designation later this month).

CaphillTom
CaphillTom
7 years ago
Reply to  RWK

I would think adding the interior might make it more difficult to the the Landmark Board to accept it. We’ve had so many buildings get passed over already, I’m not optimistic anymore that they’ll get their designation.

Sandy Strehlou
Sandy Strehlou
7 years ago

Is REI supporting the preservation efforts? If not, they should be.

RWK
RWK
7 years ago
Reply to  Sandy Strehlou

They are. At the nomination hearing for the White Motor Co. building last month, a representative from REI spoke eloquently of the importance of the the two buildings for his company.