Seattle Courant Archive

Sneak peek at Washington's 'most endangered' landmarks

Sneak peek at Washington's 'most endangered' landmarks

By Knute Berger
May 25, 2008

Washington Hall, Seattle: A Central District fraternal hall and music venue that once hosted performers including Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, and Jimi Hendrix. It's for sale on property targeted for dense urban development. Spider Kedelsky sounded the alarm on Crosscut last spring.

The UW Nuclear Reactor Building, Seattle: 1960s structure that housed a working "teaching" reactor, considered an excellent example of modern design by a group of noted local architects, Wendell Lovett, Gene Zema, and Daniel Streissguth. The UW plans to demolish it this summer, but a student group is fighting that and working to get it listed on the National Register.

Murray Morgan (formerly 11th Street) Bridge, Tacoma: A 1913 National Register span linking downtown Tacoma with its industrial waterfront. The bridge has serious structural issues and was closed by the Washington State Department of Transportation last fall in the wake of the Minnesota bridge collapse. The historic bridge — named for the region's best local popular historian — is an expensive restoration project with an estimated $80 million tab. But determined Tacomans are rallying to the cause.

Other structures in the region, including ones in Olympia, Bellingham, Edmonds, and Gig Harbor, will also be listed. The Trust will hold a press conference to announce the full list on Tuesday, May 27th, at 11 a.m. at the Murray Morgan Bridge.

The list gives a boost to important heritage projects that are under threat from around the state. The 2007 list can be found here, and an ongoing "watch list" of previously listed endangered structures is available here.