VIDEO: ‘We Love The Junction’ campaign to seek landmark status for 2 ‘iconic’ buildings

(Mouse over the window to reveal video “play” button; click for :15 panorama including the 2 potential landmark buildings)

11:00 AM: When we covered the West Seattle Junction Historical Survey announcement back on Wednesday, the SW Seattle Historical Society promised to announce the “next step” today. And indeed, that’s what’s happening right now at the corner of California and Alaska in The Junction – SWSHS is announcing that it will nominate two buildings at this corner for city-landmark status – the Hamm Building (home to businesses including Easy Street Records):

easystreet

And the Campbell Building (home to businesses including Cupcake Royale):

cupcake

Toplines are on the SWSHS website.

11:51 AM: The announcement event is over – we’ll add video and photos after our return to headquarters. (Added – here’s the video):

The campaign to get these buildings nominated and protected as city landmarks is under the title We Love The Junction – three co-chairs, Peder Nelson, Brad Chrisman, and Crystal Dean, were introduced. SWSHS is applying for a $12,000+ grant to cover the cost of preparing the comprehensive nomination documents, but executive director Clay Eals warned that’s not a sure bet, so they’re launching other fundraisers, including the sale of We Love The Junction buttons, which just went on display at Husky Deli:

huskycounter
(Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller and WLTJ campaign co-chair Crystal Dean)

Here’s a closer look at the button:

jctbutton

You’ll find We Love The Junction on a new website, where you (added) will eventually be able to find out where and how sign a statement of support for the landmark nominations (no digital version yet); you’re also invited to a town-hall-style meeting at 6 pm Wednesday, March 16th, at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 42nd SW).

claysign
(SWSHS executive director Clay Eals with an old business sign for the builder of the prospective landmarks)

ADDED SATURDAY NIGHT: A few more notes from the announcement:

-While there’s no digital petition you can sign right now, there is something you can do until you happen onto one of SWSHS’s signature-collecting events (the first one is set for tomorrow at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market) – get on the mailing list by sending a note to contact@welovethejunction.org

-Along with Husky Deli, two other locations are selling the “We Love The Junction” buttons ($1 each, for either size) right now – Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW; WSB sponsor) and the Log House Museum (61st/Stevens, open noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays)

-These would be the fourth and fifth buildings for which SWSHS helped secure landmark status, if it happens – the other three, as Eals discussed at today’s event, are the Admiral Theater, Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, and the organization’s own Log House Museum (formerly the Fir Lodge’s carriage house). As noted in comment discussion following our coverage of Wednesday’s historical-survey unveiling, The Junction has no landmarks now – the closest is the old substation at Dakota Place Park, a short distance north. (Here’s a city list of all Seattle landmarks.)

-They don’t expect to hear back about the requested grant until May. That and other work in the landmark-nomination process mean, Eals said, that the campaign will likely stretch at least into the fall.

19 Replies to "VIDEO: 'We Love The Junction' campaign to seek landmark status for 2 'iconic' buildings"

  • Mark schletty March 5, 2016 (1:51 pm)

    I’m so happy to hear this.  If i had my way the entire junction area would have been designated as a whole before the developers got a chance to ruin it. Too late now, but preserving as much of it as possible is still worthwhile.

    • Ian Contrar March 5, 2016 (2:55 pm)

      Yeah, that Super Supplements really added a touch of class to the neighborhood!

      As long as they keep their greedy mitts off Key Bank…

      • WSB March 5, 2016 (3:23 pm)

        The Super Supplements corner did have some history back when it was a hospital, but the second floor was lopped off years ago and those kind of changes are what tend to make buildings ineligible for preservation. As for the KeyBank side, here again is the cool view we linked in the comments (and have featured in a story before) on the Wednesday story …

        http://clerk.seattle.gov/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?s1=75557.NUM.&Sect6=HITOFF&Sect5=PHOT5&Sect4=AND&d=PHO2&l=1&p=1&u=/~public/phot1.htm&r=1&f=G

        • Rick March 5, 2016 (6:35 pm)

          My old barber shop was the original entrance to the hospital,found documents in basement boiler room with my address. I had no back door as that was the elevator shaft going from the morgue up to the hospital. When I stripped the plaster to expose brick i found marks from steps going up to the landing. When we hung the display sign looking over the (2′ false front?) I could a concrete circular bench which could have been part of the waiting room.  Kinda cool.

          • eric March 7, 2016 (9:33 am)

            Rick, very cool.

            You weren’t called “Classic Barber”  for nothing.

            Since your also the “Psychic Barber”, any good ghost stories? 

  • JayDee March 5, 2016 (4:25 pm)

    The link to a survey so we can show support leads to a general website with no such survey. Buttons and signs are great, but even after clicking through to the SW historical society, no such survey appears.

  • Peder Nelson March 5, 2016 (4:37 pm)

    Thanks WSB for all the coverage and historical support! We do not currently have a digital show of support survey to sign on our website, but we will be be collecting statements of support at the Farmers Markets and other events in the The Junction throughout this campaign. More events to follow!

  • Community Member March 5, 2016 (5:43 pm)

    Are the buildings’ current owners in agreement with the preservation effort and landmark status?

    • WSB March 5, 2016 (5:48 pm)

      SWSHS is in communication with the owners of both. When they announced the Historical Survey back on Wednesday, my followup question was about these two buildings, since they were the ones identified in the survey as most likely to merit landmark status; at the time, Clay Eals said they had reached the Campbell Building’s owners and that they were supportive, but they hadn’t been able to reach the Hamm Building’s owners; that has since changed. For the exact verbiage, I have to refer to the video, which we’ll be adding shortly – TR

  • cj March 5, 2016 (10:35 pm)

    Its not what was in there for the most part but how the buildings looked IMHO.  The Junction had this air about them.  They are too tall, too bland now.

  • KC March 5, 2016 (10:49 pm)

    We need to seek landmark status on all of the old junction buildings before any more of them get destroyed.

    What happened to the east side of California Ave, south of Alaska St, is a crime. 

  • JTB March 6, 2016 (9:08 am)

    Would landmark status “protect” these buildings from the signage and color schemes that currently render them visually uninteresting?   If not, why bother? Isolated old buildings that are not in historical districts zoned to retain an architectural and esthetic impact are just old buildings I look past rather than at. 

  • John March 6, 2016 (9:44 am)

    It is sad that most of the old Junction has been destroyed or the buildings left  show little respect for their former glory.  Many of them gone were not worth saving.  The  east side of California with the old grocery building is an example.

    A twenty-plus year customer of Easy Street Records,  I view the Easy Street decor, now a legacy itself, to be inconsistent with the building.  Just look at the picture, Easy Street color and signage is a currently welcome affront to and detracts from the building’s design and presence.   What will historical designation mean?

    Also I wonder why the owners of these properties are not listed as is common with development pieces?

  • rp March 6, 2016 (9:33 pm)

    HIstorical preservation is for real historically significant buildings. It is NOT a tool to stop development becasue you like the neighborhood as it is.  I do not think any of these buildings are particularly historically significant.  If you ae so dead set on preserving things as they are, put your money where your mouth is and contribute money to buy them and put them in a trust that will preserve them. Toe essentially rob teh owners of their value becasue you don’t want change is morally wrong and an abuse of what should be a rare but special process for preserving a truly important building.  

  • Elle Nell March 6, 2016 (11:14 pm)

    Yes yes and YES!! Nice work WS!

    And JTB,  you clearly have no skin in this game.. Uhh.. ya burnt! 

    • JTB March 7, 2016 (8:54 am)

      Elle, I live in the neighborhood and see these buildings every day.  If you don’t see the building housing Easy Street as visually tacky, then I guess we simply have different aesthetics.  That was the basis for my question about covenants. 

  • John March 7, 2016 (9:08 am)

    @Elle Nell,

    Your charge against JTB is uncalled for, likely inaccurate  and fails to address the valid issue JTB raises.

     I agree with him and have “skin in the game” having patronized the Junction since the 1950s.  

    Even without “skin in the game” a  person deserves a reasoned response to viable criticism.

    Just look at the photos in this piece, they make the case for JTB.  The only way to appreciate the building’s historical presence is to look up visually cropping out Easy Street Records.

  • Matt Vaughan March 7, 2016 (11:26 am)

    Couldn’t agree more how tacky our storefront looks. Once the awning was tore down almost 3 years ago, it created a community outcry. We weren’t happy either. We of course lost the art-deco mid century awning, but we also lost Easy Street’s retro neon, signage, and exterior lighting along with it. They demo created an eyesore. There was some cursory work (patch/paint) done after the demo, but it wasn’t what we hoped for.  It’s still tough to deal with, but we are in hopes that the efforts that the SW Historical Society has made will allow us to purposefully restore this corner and recreate our storefront to match the buildings aesthetics. As it stands, we haven’t been able to do anything. As you may have heard, we had tried for a City Grant to restore the facade and bring back an overhang/awning, but we lost out to a building in the I.D. Many of you  might be asking, why wouldn’t Easy Street just repair and restore on our own and with our own dollars, it’s our corner and storefront after all,  but as many of you may know that have ever had a lease, it isn’t always that simple to make changes or improvements if you aren’t the owner of the property. The Yen family have a great building here and I’m sure there will be some nice tax breaks for them when landmark status is granted. This is a welcomed nomination and I think the Yen’s will feel that way too. Thanks all for your years of support and your desire to keep the charm and the historical value here in the Junction. Matt Vaughan-Easy Street owner

  • JTB March 7, 2016 (2:30 pm)

    Matt, thanks for the informative update.  It’s good to know there is some intent to restore the character of the building. Hopefully that will happen and Easy Street’s highly-regarded  iconic status in the neighborhood will be properly reflected by the building itself. 

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