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Broadway’s 114-year-old Capitol Crest moves forward in landmarks process

The Seattle landmarks board this week sent a Broadway building home to a longtime neighborhood favorite restaurant to the next step in the process to afford the 1905-built building protections on its historic exterior.

In a 6-2 vote, the board opted to consider the nomination of Broadway’s Capitol Crest building, also once known as the Avon Apartments, and today home to Annapurna and Albacha restaurants, the Ace Barber Shop, as well as 14 apartment units above, that is set to be demolished to make way for a planned mixed-use project from Champion Development.

“The features identified for preservation include the exterior of the building,” a board spokesperson tells CHS.

The possible landmark protections wouldn’t necessarily mean the 1800 block Broadway at Denny building would be saved from the wrecking ball. With landmark status, the property owner would set about a process to determine possible controls on the building. In past instances, that has resulted in new development that has retained historic facades. In other more rare instances, developers have made the case that a landmarked building still should be demolished to make way for new projects.

In the meantime, tenants including Annapurna face the prospect of finding new homes. CHS reported over the summer on Annapurna’s search for a new location.

The board will take up the possible designation of the building February 5, 2020. The meeting begins at 3:30 PM and is held in the Boards and Commissions Room (L2-80) at City Hall. You can also email your comments.


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9 thoughts on “Broadway’s 114-year-old Capitol Crest moves forward in landmarks process

  1. The landmark process is seriously flawed if it allows landmarked buildings to be still demolished, or if just a small portion (the facade) of the old buildings is incorporated into the new. The legislation needs to change, and soon. Developers should not be allowed to call all the shots.

  2. This building is unremarkable, like most of the buildings on the hill. Tear it down and build something useful. Take pictures and put them in a museum.

  3. We really don’t need yet another mixed use building in Seattle. The city is getting seriously overbuilt. Rents and property values are declining and yet there are still tons of projects like this starting. With the new city council, very few high-paying jobs will be created here as the east side cities are much more pro-employer. Where will the tenants come from? This developer is unlikely to see a good return on their investment.

    • The rate of increases have slowed. Very different than rents actually decreasing. Basically, all of the new construction so far means that Seattle has slightly narrowed the gap between how much the population is growing, and how many housing units we have. But the gap is still there.

      Oh, and that fact that all jobs are going to move to Bellevue because of the new city council. I’ve been hearing that jobs are going to start flying away from Seattle any day now because we’re too progressive since I first moved here 20 years ago. The high point, of course, was the the minimum wage increase, was which supposed to be the death knell of our economy, as declared by conservatives all over the country. And yet here we still are, exploding in population and money. es, Amazon chose to move some of their next phase of growth to a new skyscraper they’re building in Bellevue, right by the light rail. This is actually good for all of us, so that we have a bit of breathing room to make some more dent in the housing and transit deficits. It doesn’t mean we can stop trying to catch up in those areas.

      Now if what you really mean by “overbuilt” is: “I liked Seattle better when it was smaller.” Perhaps that’s true, but it’s not a basis for policy, sorry.

      • So, will people like you only be satisfied when all the single-family neighborhoods in Seattle are turned into apartments and condos? How sad that would be. Our serene residential neighborhoods are the backbone of our city.

  4. In my opinion, this building would have qualified for protection back in ’56. But by ’78 much of what made the building unique was covered up/transformed. I don’t see this being historical for any reason other than sentimentality.

    Given the proximity to a mass transit hub, this seems like a perfect example of a parcel of land that needs to be transformed. I definitely think there are Capitol Hill buildings worth saving but you have to pick your battles. Something’s got to change as the neighborhood continues to grow and this building seems like a logical choice for that change.

    • My thoughts exactly. With all the renovations it’s received this building is in no way a historic representation of early 20th century Seattle architecture. Here are a few changes that really jump out to me as character altering:

      Between 1934-1956: First floor commercial space received a new HVAC system which reduced the ceiling height and removed the top pane of glass from the store fronts.

      Between 1956-1978: the second and third floor openings to the balconies were filled. First floor commercial space had several of it’s store front windows replaced with walls.

      Between 1978-2019: All the original exposed brick was painted over, the remaining inaccessible balconies were removed, and the Broadway doorway was altered to match a restaurant’s aesthetic.

      What we see today looks nothing like the building that opened in 1905.

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