RFP: Reconnaissance-Level Architectural History Survey of Downtown Olympia
The City of Olympia seeks the services of a qualified consultant to conduct a reconnaissance-level survey of Downtown Olympia.

Reconnaissance-Level Architectural History Survey of Downtown Olympia 

Project Overview:

The City of Olympia seeks the services of a qualified consultant to conduct a reconnaissance-level survey of Downtown Olympia.  This survey will be used to help support the City of Olympia’s master planning efforts under its Downtown Strategy, which integrates areas such as economic development, land use planning, social services, climate change response, and preservation planning.  In additional to traditional preservation planning approaches, the City will be considering alternative approaches such as introducing reuse zones or conservation districts.  This architectural history survey is intended to provide the City with baseline information needed to make thoughtful decisions on managing change in our historic Downtown. 

Partial funding for this project has been secured with a $18,000.00 Certified Local Government (CLG) grant through Washington State’s Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP).  Additional grant funds are being sought which, if received, would bring the total project budget to up to $23,000.00.  The project area will be modified to match the final amount secured.  Accordingly, the successful consultant will conduct a reconnaissance survey of all buildings located within the project area of ca. 60 blocks under current funding or ca. 75 blocks under full funding.

Project Scope:

The focus of this study will be the pedestrian survey all buildings located within the ca. 60-/75-block project area, regardless of age.  This is estimated at 180/250 properties depending on funding availability.  Field study will be supplemented with information from archive sources such as Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and historical photograph collections.  This project must meet DAHP standards for Reconnaissance-Level Survey. 

The primary analysis will be the evaluation of eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) using Criterion C for each building that is over 45 years old or older.  Further analysis will include potential boundary expansion of the existing NRHP- designated Olympia Downtown Historic District. 

In addition, the consultant will identify any clusters of historic buildings of interest which may not rise to the level of individual or district NRHP designation but otherwise form a notable collection of historic properties, such as those grouped character of historical use.  The consultant will describe and provide justification for their method of selecting these properties and any associated boundaries in the final report.

Project deliverables are:

·         A comprehensive, illustrated report including a description of research methods, context, analysis with justification, and a summary table of all properties surveyed with identifying photos and eligibility recommendations;

·         DAHP Historic Property Inventory (HPI) report forms or updates* for all properties built up to and including 1972 – estimated at 125-175;

·         Digital copies of all survey photographs; &

·         Two public presentations.

The consultant must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards for Architectural Historian.

Proposed Project Timeline:



Estimated Starting Date

Estimated Completion Date

Project kick-off presentation and meeting with Olympia Heritage Commission & other Downtown stakeholders


November 30, 2016

Background research & field work

December 2016

January 2017

Report drafting & HPI form input

January 2017

April 2017

Submittal of complete first draft of report &

50% of HPI forms for review by City & DAHP


April 24, 2017

Report & HPI form edit & input

April 2017

July 2017

Submittal of complete second draft of report & 100% of HPI forms for review by City & DAHP


July 3, 2017

Final report & HPI form completion

July 2017

August 2017

Final deliverables due


August 28, 2017

Final presentation to Heritage Commission & other Downtown stakeholders


September 27, 2017

Proposal Submission:

1)     Introductory letter, including a summary of the team and their roles on the project, as well as demonstration of the team’s project understanding and approach;

2)     Resumes of each member of the project team;

3)     Estimated project budget for both funding possibilities ($18,000.00 or $23,000.00);

4)     References – names and contact details; and

5)     Indication that, if selected, they will sign our Professional Services Agreement (sample attached).

Submissions must be limited to a total of six (6) pages


Please submit all materials by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, September 19, 2016 to:

Michelle Sadlier, Historic Preservation Officer

City of Olympia

PO Box 1967

Olympia, WA 98507

Email: msadlier@ci.olympia.wa.us | Phone: 360.753.8031


Submitting consultants will be notified whether they have been selected as a finalist by Friday, September 30, 2016.  Finalists will be invited for an in-person interview to take place in early October.


*Completed HPI forms shall include at a minimum:

·         Location information (including UTMs);

·         Surveyor and survey name;

·         Heritage listing status (e.g., National, State or Local Register if applicable);

·         Observable current use of the building;

·         Observable architectural information;

·         Brief statement of significance;

·         Determination of Eligibility for the NRHP under Criterion C;

·         Estimated date of construction; and

·         Digital image

The forms submitted for properties recommended Eligible for the NRHP should include sufficient detail to justify the determination in the observable architectural information and statement of significance sections.