While we’re celebrating a group dedicated to Capitol Hill history and preservation, here’s an update on one of the neighborhood’s most recent official landmarks — that won’t be protected as a landmark.
Last March, CHS reported on the ownership trust behind 15th Ave’s Sullivan House taking the city to court over the 120-year-old Capitol Hill mansion’s approval as a Seattle historic landmark and the decision’s scuttling of a planned multimillion sale.
That case has now been resolved with an agreement forged via the Seattle Hearing Examiner for the city to agree to not require controls that would have prevented demolition and development of the dilapidated but historic property.
In the January 18th agreement signed by the office of Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes and the law firm Hillis Clark Martin, and Peterson, lawyers for the estate of the house’s longtime owner Elaine Thorson, the city agreed to recommend the City Council impose no controls over altering the landmarked structure.
The agreement likely means the old house at 15th Ave and E Olive St. won’t last much longer. We’re told the property is under contract to be sold. King County records show that Hillis Clark Martin, and Peterson hold rights to a portion of “the proceeds of the sale” of the property. Attorney Amit Ranade says that will cover his firm’s fees. The rest of the proceeds will go toward an heir of the estate and charity.
The deal doesn’t mean the end of the landmarks process for the property, however. Ranade says the City Council must still pass an ordinance recognizing the designation but, with no controls over protecting the old house, the vote will be mostly a symbolic gesture.
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