Seventh Church of Christ Scientist

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2007

Location: Seattle, King County

In 2007, congregants of the 7th Church of Christ Scientist on Seattle’s Queen Anne hill, grappled with the reality of diminishing membership rolls coupled with increasing maintenance costs for their historic sanctuary. The congregation chose to sell to a developer with plans to construct four single-family homes, prompting inclusion in the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered List. As structures owned by religious organizations are exempt from local landmark ordinances, the developer placed responsibility on the congregation for demolishing the historic church prior to acquiring the property. But neighbors appealed the demolition permit, allowing time for the Washington Trust, through an agreement with the congregation, to seek a buyer interested in preserving the building. Fortuitously, this coincided with the Seattle Church of Christ’s search to find a permanent home for its growing congregation. The rest is history: the Seattle Church of Christ enjoys a robust congregation and is a proud steward of the historic sanctuary.

The Showbox

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2019

Location: Seattle, King County

Completed in 1917, the building now known as the Showbox was originally built as the Central Public Market, a competitor to the nearby Pike Place Public Market. In 1939, the building underwent a substantial Art Moderne remodel and opened as a performance venue, “The Show Box.” For the next 80 years, the building continued mainly as a performance venue, with brief stints as other ventures and a few periods of vacancy.

The period of Showbox history many people will remember began with new management in the late 1970s. During this time, the Showbox featured Punk Rock and New Wave-era bands, eventually becoming the premier rock venue in the city. In the 1990s, the Showbox also held comedy shows in addition to continuing to nurture Seattle’s growing rock scene. The Showbox has changed management several times in the recent past, but it continues to be a pioneering music venue and a key feature of Seattle’s identity as a music city.

When it was announced in 2018 that a developer is making plans for a 44-story tower on the site of the iconic Showbox theater, the Seattle community exploded in opposition to the project with the campaign to #SavetheShowbox garnering attention from nationally-known musicians in support of preserving this icon of Seattle’s musical culture.

Due to Seattle’s landmark ordinance and environmental review processes, the developer was compelled to nominate the Showbox for landmark status with no intention of preserving it or incorporating the building into their development. Historic Seattle, a local partner of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, commissioned and submitted a landmark nomination ahead of the developer to ensure it would be well researched and take a nuanced approach to the layered history of the building.

The Showbox was unanimously designated a landmark last year in July 2020, but the campaign to #SavetheShowbox is far from over. The best way to save a building is through a good owner, and that’s why we are hopeful that the pending joint purchase offer from Historic Seattle and Seattle Theatre Group will be accepted.

Camp Kilworth

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2018

Location: Federal Way, King County

In 1934, William Kilworth purchased 25 acres in the South Sound and immediately deeded the property to the Tacoma Area Council of Boy Scouts. World War I veterans, who were members of the Tacoma Rotary Club, built the centerpiece of the camp in 1935: the Rustic-style Rotary Lodge. Over the decades, several other supporting structures were built, including an outdoor amphitheater that looks out over a dramatic view of south Puget Sound. Today, the property and its shoreline are one of only two places in rapidly growing Federal Way regarded as a highly sensitive environmental area; the high bank coastal forest on the site also serves as a wildlife corridor.

The Boy Scouts owned and operated the camp for over 80 years, but due to declining membership, their operations at Camp Kilworth ceased in 2016. In accordance with a stipulation in William Kilworth’s original 1934 deed, ownership of the property reverts to the Kilworth Family Foundations if the property is not used for scouting. The buildings sit vacant, unheated, and unmaintained, raising fears of demolition by neglect. Local advocates also feel it is important for the property remain as open space dedicated to education, as William Kilworth originally intended. The property has provided formative experiences for many over the years and has the potential to continue as a meaningful and historic educational environment for the community if the right stewardship arrangement can be found.

East Seattle School

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2018

Location: King County

Location: Mercer Island, King County

Built in 1914, East Seattle School is the oldest public building left on Mercer Island. The school’s Mission-style architectural details remain intact, including a terra cotta roof, a curvilinear parapet, and decorative brackets. Once located at the town center, the school was the heart of the Island’s community life for nearly 70 years. Construction of the I-90 floating bridge, however, brought a population boom to the Island in the 1950s, and the commercial center of Mercer Island gradually shifted to its current location.

East Seattle School was declared a surplus building in 1982 but continued its role as a community gathering space for nearly 30 more years as the home to the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club and various childcare centers. In 2007, private interests acquired the 3-acre property. While many objected to the transaction, others supported it because proceeds from the sale were used to construct a new Boys & Girls Club. As part of the deal, the new owner agreed to make no changes to the property for ten years. Now that those ten years have passed, the owner has applied for a demolition permit, and will likely build single family housing on the site. Community members hoping to see the school preserved are working to find a solution that will satisfy the owner’s investment goals while keeping the legacy of East Seattle School alive through adaptive reuse.

Reard Freed Farmstead

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2001

Location: King County

Built in the 1890s, the Reard Freed Farmstead is the most intact example of a 19th century farm complex remaining on the Sammamish Plateau. It was in danger of demolition due to the creation of a large housing development.

William O. McKay Ford

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2005

Location: King County

Sited at the busy intersection of Westlake Avenue and Mercer Street, several buildings make up this historic car
dealership. Built in 1922, the two-story terra cotta structure at the center of the block initially housed William O. McKay’s Ford auto sales and garage business. In 1925, the more ornate, one-story, terra cotta showroom building at the corner was built for McKay’s Lincoln sales and service. The richness and detail of the terra cotta ornament found in the 1925 building make this structure one of Seattle’s finest examples of terra cotta cladding

Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company Power Plant

Status: Still Standing

Year Listed: 2005

Location: King County

With its prominent brick smokestack rising 211 feet, the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company Plant is the primary remnant of what was once an extensive mill development, which included a company town of 5,000 residents. When the mill was constructed in 1917, it was the second, all-electric mill operation in the nation and the first of its kind to employ electric powered yarding, loading, and cutting operations in the woods.

Schooner Wawona

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2005

Location: King County

Built in Fairhaven, CA, in 1897, the Schooner Wawona is one of the largest three-masted schooners ever built on the West Coast and was one of two remaining Pacific schooners out of a fleet of over 400 that engaged in the coastal commercial lumber trade and in the Alaska cod fishery until she was dismantled in 2009. After falling out of active use in 1950, civic leaders raised money and awareness to purchase the ship as a museum in 1964.

Red Brick Road (Ronald Place North)

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2005

Location: King County

Dating from 1913, Shoreline’s Red Brick Road along Ronald Place North is the last exposed section of the first paved highway through northwest King County, making it one of the most historic and significant features of Shoreline. The road’s two-fold significance lies in its association with the history of transportation in King County
and in its association with Judge James T. Ronald, a pioneer and prominent local resident.

Puget Power Building

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2005

Location: King County

When the Puget Power Building was constructed in 1956 as the headquarters for the Puget Power and Light Company, the modern structure was considered a landmark because its four-story height made it the tallest building in Bellevue.

Camp Waskowitz

Status: Still Standing

Year Listed: 2005

Location: King County

Camp Waskowitz, home of Highline School District’s nationally recognized environmental education program, is the oldest outdoor school program in the country. In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the facility to serve as its base camp for Forest Service projects in the Snoqualmie Valley area. Out of more than 4,000 “temporary” CCC camps built nationwide, it is one of the few remaining that retains its original design integrity and “rustic utilitarian” feel.

Stephenson House

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2006

Location: King County

Members of the pioneering Stephenson family constructed the farmhouse in 1889. Despite some additions, the structure retains its original ‘T-shape’ form and massing, while other elements of the original design, such as the vergeboards and decorative shingles, remain intact.

Waldo General Hospital

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2007

Location: King County

Located on over an acre and a half immediately adjacent to the reservoir in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood, the Waldo Hospital stands as a testament to the advancement and acceptance of the practice of osteopathic medicine.  Having practiced for over a decade as an osteopath in Seattle, Dr. William E. Waldo sought to establish a hospital dedicated wholly to administering and treating patients according to the tenets of osteopathy.  Designed by Seattle architect Paul Richardson and completed in 1924, the hospital was expanded in 1959 when the architectural firm of NBBJ designed an International Style wing at the northern end of the building to increase patient capacity.  Dr. Waldo, a well-known figure locally, served as the president of the American Osteopathic Association from 1920-1922, working hard in this role to raise awareness of osteopathy as a medical field.  For his efforts, in 1948 Waldo received the AOA’s Distinguished Service Certificate, the organization’s highest national honor.

Washington Hall

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2008

Location: King County

Built in 1908 by the Danish Brotherhood, Washington Hall first served as a settlement house and a fraternal hall, connecting Danish immigrants with tools for starting anew in America and keeping them linked to their social and artistic heritage.  From the 1910s, the hall also hosted other populations in Seattle’s Central District, including African American, Jewish, Filipino, Japanese, Croatian, Korean, and Ethiopian.  Since 1973, it has served as the headquarters for the Sons of Haiti, an African-American Masonic lodge.  Over the years, entertainers and artists such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, and Jimi Hendrix have appeared at Washington Hall.  The building also has architectural significance as the only known fraternal hall designed by prolific Seattle architect Victor Voorhees.

First United Methodist Church

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2003

Location: Seattle, King County

The 1907 Beaux Arts First United Methodist Church is the only historic church left standing in Seattle’s downtown commercial core. While eligible for national, state, and local landmark status, the church has successfully fought such designation at the local level.

There are times we simply fall in love with buildings and cannot help ourselves. Such was the case for Kevin Daniels and First United Methodist Church in Seattle. Looking to capitalize on valuable land prices, the congregation sought to sell their half block downtown, with the goal of constructing a new church elsewhere scaled to meet their needs. Advocates in turn sought local landmark status for the historic sanctuary to stave off demolition, but state Supreme Court rulings prevent such listing without owner consent.

Recognizing demolition as imminent, Kevin worked with local elected officials, congregation members, and advocates to return trust to the process and ultimately purchase the site. After waiting patiently through the recession, Kevin and his team re-introduced the historic house of worship at a gala event last fall. Now a dynamic events venue, The Sanctuary stands in the heart of downtown as a truly heroic success story.

Vashon Elementary Gym

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2009

Location: King County

The Vashon Island Parks District received a state grant to develop athletic fields at the location of the gymnasium.
The project required removal of the gymnasium and in October 2008 the Vashon Island School Board, which owned the site, voted to demolish the gym.

Surrey Downs

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2009

Location: King County

As Sound Transit continues to focus on an alignment for the proposed East Link transit corridor through Bellevue, options under consideration could result in potential adverse impacts to the Surrey Downs neighborhood. Collectively, the Mithun
& Neslund-designed houses have been determined eligible for listing as a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places. It now falls on Sound Transit to ensure that the final alignment selected for the East Link Corridor fully considers the potential impacts to the neighborhood.

Sand Point Naval Air Station

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2009

Location: Seattle, King County

The history of Sand Point Naval Air Station begins in 1920, in the wake of World War I. Seeking to build an airbase in Puget Sound, King County Commissioners and U.S. Navy officers broke ground on a site at Sand Point, near Lake Washington, then outside Seattle city limits.

Over the next several years, the air station grew. Bill Boeing tested his first airplanes from Sand Point. In 1924, it was chosen as the launch and end points for the first aerial circumnavigation of the world. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed The Spirit of St. Louis at Sand Point and was treated to a ticker tape parade in downtown Seattle. In the 1930s, Works Progress Administration projects to fill in Mud Lake and Pontiac Bay, as well as Civilian Conservation Corps building projects, enabled the Navy to increase the number of buildings to 17. During World War II, Sand Point served as the headquarters of the 13th Naval District which oversaw the front lines in the Pacific, and the air station’s population ballooned to 8,000 personnel.

After World War II, activity at the air station slowed considerably, and it was ultimately decommissioned in 1970. In 1975, a large portion of the air station’s land was given to the City of Seattle, which was eventually developed into Magnuson Park, named in honor of longtime U.S. Senator Warren G. Magnuson, a former naval officer from Seattle. Over the next few decades, the runways were demolished and some of the air station’s historic buildings were torn down; others fell into disrepair, their futures uncertain.

In the late 2000s, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation joined with community groups like Friends of Sand Point and Sand Point Arts & Cultural Exchange (SPACE) to advocate for the preservation of Sand Point’s historic buildings, listing Sand Point Naval Air Station on our Most Endangered Places list in 2009. Those advocacy efforts led to Sand Point’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 and to its designation as a historic district by the City of Seattle in 2011—making Sand Point Naval Air Station Landmark District Seattle’s eighth historic district, and the first one added in more than three decades.

Thanks to the Friends of Sand Point, SPACE, the City of Seattle’s Historic Preservation Program, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and many more community partners for their help in preserving these important historic sites.

P-I Globe

Status: Most Endangered Places, In the works!

Year Listed: 2009

Location: King County

Location: Seattle, King County

Built by Pacific Car and Foundry and Electrical Products Consolidated (still in business today as PACCAR), the Globe is a visual representation for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper and remains a post-war tribute to the significant role trade signs and the graphic arts hold in commercial advertising. With the P-I now only an on-line presence, the globe does double duty as a tangible reminder of the challenges currently facing the newspaper industry in a community increasingly reliant on digital media formats. With concerns swirling about how those same challenges might impact the future of the globe, local elected officials have engaged in efforts to recognize the structure as an official historic resource. While no plans indicating the globe’s removal have been publicized, office space within the P-I building is for lease and maintenance needs for the structure could play a role in coming years. These facts have sparked discussion about an appropriate site for the Globe if its relocation ever becomes imminent.

Carmack House

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2009

Location: King County

Vacant for years, the house fell into disrepair and was subject to vandalism. In addition, the property was for sale. Adjacent to an institutional medical center, existing zoning allowed for a much more intensive level of development than the existing single-family house, which made it more likely for a new owner to demolish the historic house.