Tuesday is the deadline for you to weigh in on what might seem to be one of the more unlikely candidates to become a neighborhood landmark — Seattle City Light’s Brutalist, brick-walled East Pine Substation.
The E Pine at 23rd Ave facility will go in front of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board Wednesday “to determine the historic status of the property prior to a SCL proposal to increase the substation’s capacity, security and reliability for the surrounding Central Area, First Hill, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods,” according to the department’s nomination document (PDF) on the property.
CHS reported on the landmarks process and planned expansion in November. City Light said the expansion project is in its early design phase on a project to make room for future equipment upgrades and build-outs including gate access and security as well as “seismic integrity” of the substation. A community comment period is expected to begin sometime later this year when the design reaches the “30%” milestone. Construction would begin in the second quarter of 2019 with completion expected sometime in 2020.
In determining if the expansion project will be subject to historical landmark controls, the board Wednesday will need to sort out if the 1967-built substation designed by Fred Bassetti & Company in the Brutalist style meets criteria for significant architectural value worthy of preservation.
The structure also has a certain Brutal appeal:
One thing unlikely to be landmarked — the project’s over-budget cost:
From an architectural standpoint, the extra dollars were worth it:
Have the accolades stood the test of time? The landmarks board Wednesday will decide if the substation should move forward in the process to protect the city’s past investment in infrastructure that it believed added, at least architecturally, to its surrounding neighborhood.