10th Ave E’s J.W. Bullock house (Image via Seattle Landmarks Board nomination)
Tearing down Ballard? DPD demolition-related permitting activity, 2015 (Source: seattle.gov)
With most development comes destruction. Before construction cranes can loom large over city streets, the past’s buildings must be razed.
Last year, the City of Seattle received 711 demolition applications. That’s compared to the scant 14 received ten years ago. The demolition increase has led some on Capitol Hill — like the owners of the Gaslight Inn and most recently the owners of the J.W. Bullock Residence — to seek shelter under landmark protection.
UPDATE: The Urbanist has blown apart the “711” demolitions stat. We’ll stick with our pull of seattle.gov numbers for Capitol Hill, however — 94 permits in 2013, 70 in 2014, and 67 through September this year. Thanks to @bryceroda for pointing out the issues raised with the citywide numbers.
Last week, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted to move the 1220 10th Ave E house forward in the process to be considered for official landmarks protections. CHS reported on the details of the nomination here.
First defined in 1977 as the Landmark Preservation Ordinance, the Seattle municipal code states, “the economic, cultural and aesthetic standing of this city cannot be maintained or enhanced by disregarding the heritage of the City and by allowing the unnecessary destruction or defacement of such cultural assets.”
Around 30 single family homes are permitted for demolition across the Capitol Hill area every year. For a few, landmarks designation has become a way to keep properties away from the growing reach of Seattle development.
That’s the route taken by J.W. Bullock-owner Dr. Valerie Tarico. Although she says she has no personal vendetta against the rising density of Capitol Hill, she said she wants to protect the 103-year-old J.W. Bullock house from that particular fate.
“It’s something I’ve thought about for years,” Tarico said in an interview prior to last week’s vote. “It’s a stewardship issue. This building was made by our ancestors that put a lot of care and precision into their craftsmanship. Buildings like this are not going to be made again.” Continue reading