Daily Diigo Public Link 03/27/2008

by Yule Heibel on March 26, 2008

Seattle’s historic contradictions – Crosscut Seattle – Annotated

tags: architecture, crosscut, heritage, historic_preservation, knute_berger, seattle

Sparked in part by the designation of a “googie” (a Denny’s diner) as a heritage landmark structure (a designation that the deep-pocketed owner, the Benaroya company, is going to fight in court), Berger reports on subsequent repercussions and discussions among “representatives from the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Historic Seattle, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, and others.” The comments thread is pretty interesting, too, and there are parallels to what Victoria is facing in its considerations around “landmarking” modern buildings.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robert Randall March 26, 2008 at 11:07 pm

This could be an issue in Victoria, especially as the time frame for ‘heritage’ creeps forward to our time in ever increasing circles. For example, at tonight’s modernism presentation, Steve Barber mentioned one of his first jobs was inventorying Moderne architecture (which was considered somewhat presumptuous in the ’80s. Before long art deco was re-evaluated and now we’re looking at modernism.

There was even discussion about late Erickson works like the Evergreen building (early ’80s) being tagged as heritage.

Are we moving too fast? Do we need a period of several decades to act as a ‘palate cleanser’ before evaluating past architecture?

Would we benefit from allowing a building to fall terribly out of fashion (50 years, in my estimation) in order to separate the wheat from the chaff?

Otherwise, future generations might find we’ve given heritage designation to some real duds (and squandered valuable real estate in the process).

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