Monday, September 16, 2013

Don't Miss Wednesday's Important City Meeting On Talaris Nomination For Landmarks Designation And How To Submit Comments

Talaris Campus (courtesy of Talaris website)

Wednesday at 3:30pm , the City's Landmarks Preservation Board will  consider the important nomination of the Battelle Memorial Institute Seattle Research Center/Talaris Conference Center to the Seattle Landmarks designation. 
The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700
5th Avenue, 40th Floor in Room 4060.
The nomination is posted on Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website here under the heading of “Current Nominations.”
Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board by 5pm tomorrow at the following address:
Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods
P.O. Box 94649
Seattle WA, 98124-4649
Friends of Battelle/Talaris, a group of Laurelhurst residents who have an avid interest in preserving the Battelle/Talaris site, landscape and buildings based on their unique modernist design and intact original character, submitted the nomination on March 28 and revised it on August 5 submitted also to Historic Seattle and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. 
The Friends group said in a press release:

Please show support by attending the meeting by 4:00 PM and providing public comment (generally limited to 2 minutes per person).

The Friends of Battelle/Talaris remains focused on the preservation of this architectural, historic and culturally significant neighborhood resource. We encourage responsible and sustainable efforts by ownership and fellow neighborhood groups that support this end. We invite all our friends and neighbors to support this nomination by joining us at the meeting. 

The Seattle Landmarks designation is being pursued for the Battelle/Talaris to preserve and protect the property and to seek formal recognition of the property’s historic, cultural and architectural significance. Recent development proposals may adversely affect the integrity of the site.

The landmarks designation is an opportunity for our city and its citizens to show that the Battelle/Talaris property is historically significant because the property was originally developed and constructed in two phases with two focuses in mind: 1) the site and its improvements are an easily identifiable visual feature of the Laurelhurst neighborhood because of its prominence, spatial character, and unique integration of architecture and 2) the site design and architecture of Battelle/Talaris embody the distinctive characteristics of Modernist design and the Modern Movement in Seattle.

Other reasons for landmark nomination are that the  property is an early environmentally responsive, integrated site and architectural design and is an outstanding example of the work of Richard Haag Associates (landscape architect) and NBBJ, Inc (architect), both nationally recognized for their achievements and it is the only private  research campus of its type in Seattle and is associated in a significant way with the cultural and economic heritage of the city as a center for research in science and technology and the application of physical sciences.

The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board reviews landmark nominations prepared by any person or group. Nominations are considered under a set of six designation  standards to determine a property’s architectural merit, history and significance to the City and its neighborhoods. Deliberations by members of the Board are held in public and are based on the nomination report presented and whether the property meets at least one of the six designation standards in addition to meeting the threshold criteria of age and integrity/ability to convey significance.

As a designated Seattle Landmark, the property would be protected under the design review authority of the Landmarks Preservation Board, if there is a written controls and incentives agreement between the City and owner. Proposed changes to the property are considered in public meetings and subject to public comment.

To obtain a  Certificate of Approval from the Board, proposals for changes to the property must be determined to be compatible with Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

The property owner’s have proposed two options to redevelop the site - low-impact residential or single-family (89 SF lots), the City would most likely require the developer to submit a landmark nomination for consideration by the Board as part of SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) review for the development proposals.

The property was deemed eligible for individual listing on the National Register of Historic Places by the State Architectural Historian for the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

To dowload a pdf of the nomination report from the Department of Neighborhoods website go here. To learn more about the process go here.  A copy of the nomination is available for review at the Northeast Branch Library 6801 35th Ave NE) and at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods office in the Seattle Municipal Tower. , 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700 (206-684-0228).
To contact Friends of Battelle/Talaris email or go to their Facebook page or website.
The Landmarks Preservation Board is coordinated by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program. The Historic Preservation Program handles the identification and protection of more than 400 historic structures, site, objects, and vessels, as well as eight historic districts throughout Seattle.

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