Advocacy Update: Feb. 3, 2015
The fight to save Harborview Hall continues on! It's been a little while since we've sent out an update about the situation with Harborview and their historic hospital building, but things are moving again, unfortunately, in the wrong direction.
A recent Capitol Hill Blog post
details how the Harborview Medical Center is making a last-ditch effort to get the building torn down to replace it with a plaza. Harborview Hall and Harborview Medical Center need a better solution than shortsightedly tearing down one of the few remaining Art Deco buildings in Seattle for plaza space.
Please contact the King County Council and urge them to support redevelopment of Harborview Hall.
Download a sample letter of support: Save Harborview Hall
If you are a resident of King County, email or write your district councilmember. If you live outside the county, email or write King County Council Chair Larry Gossett.
Harborview Hall, Seattle
Part of the Harborview Medical Center Campus in Seattle's First Hill neighborhood, Harborview Hall stands as a fine example of the Art Deco style in Seattle and a notable work of architect Harlan Thomas. But perhaps more important is the role Harborview Hall played in training multiple generations of nurses, serving as the base for the University of Washington’s School of Nursing from 1931 to 1961. Despite this, the master plan in place for the Harborview Medical Center Campus calls for the Hall to be demolished, replaced with an open plaza. Complicating matters is the fact that King County owns the buildings on the medical campus, but responsibility for facilities management falls to the Harborview Medical Center Board of Trustees.
Under the leadership of County Executive Dow Constantine King County intervened, asking the Trustees to allow the county time to assess the economic feasibility of redeveloping Harborview Hall. A local developer with experience rehabilitating medical-related facilities has made an initial determination that redevelopment is economically feasible. Recently, the developer, in coordination with county staff, have presented possible redevelopment scenarios to the Harborview Medical Center community and its stakeholders. While the present consideration of development scenarios is a positive step, the future of Harborview Hall remains uncertain.
The plan to redevelop Harborview Hall continues to have its detractors. Furthermore, rehabilitation of the building will require county involvment. Because of this, it is imperative that members of the King County Council hear from preservation advocates about the importance of saving Harborview Hall. Please contact members of the King County Council to voice your support - instructions for contacting councilmembers, along with a sample letter, can be found above.
Harborview Medical Center provides invaluable services to their patients and to the region in general. The Washington Trust understands the challenges this institution faces as it seeks to implement its mission and provide the best care possible for the community. Yet the medical center is located in a neighborhood possessing unique character derived in part from the architectural legacy present and shares a responsibility with all neighbors to sensitively address future growth in a manner considerate of the existing historic infrastructure.
Don't forget to show your support and "like" the Harborview Hall facebook page!