Landmark-nomination hearing set for Avalon Substation building

(WSB photo from October 2016)

The former Avalon Substation building at 3243 SW Genesee has been proposed for landmark status and will go before the city Landmark Preservation Board in July. Here’s the official public notice of the hearing; here’s the official nomination document submitted to the city, including photos of its interior and exterior. In this case, it’s not necessarily that the 1954-built building is believed to merit that status, but meets criteria requiring considerations while the ex-substation is reviewed for proposed demolition. (We first told you back in October about City Light’s plan to tear it down and clean up mercury contamination.) In case you’re wondering, the landmark nomination does not include the building next door that houses Pecos Pit (WSB sponsor), which is using the ex-substation’s parking lot. Public comments are welcomed at and before the hearing, which is set for 3:30 pm Wednesday, July 5th, at City Hall downtown.

JUNE 13TH CORRECTION: Story has been amended above after City Light pointed out that it owns the land that holds the Pecos Pit restaurant but not the building.

15 Replies to "Landmark-nomination hearing set for Avalon Substation building"

  • old timer May 17, 2017 (5:30 pm)

    Well, they have written a lot of words, but the building remains, IMO, butt ugly.

    What does the neighborhood want?

    Maybe a parklet?

    Maybe parking?

  • Jim Clark May 17, 2017 (5:55 pm)

    Seriously? Why waste their time on that building!

    • chemist May 17, 2017 (8:29 pm)

      Seattle has a process to consider these things.  It’s easy enough to listen to someone say the post-war construction of the substation focused on reduced cost is Seattle’s own homage to Khrushchyovka design and then tear it down.

      • WSB May 17, 2017 (8:37 pm)

        The process explanation is linked in the story above.

  • CR May 17, 2017 (7:48 pm)

    Unbelievable.  Tear it down and move on.  Spend the time, money and energy on the best future use for the space and neighborhood and/or best value for the taxpayers such as a sale. But leave the parking for Pecos!

  • Trickycoolj May 17, 2017 (8:25 pm)

    Hahahaha wow. Sunset Bowl and Ballard Dennys weren’t worthy, but let’s just double check this cement box might be. SMH

    • Swede. May 17, 2017 (9:27 pm)

      Totally agree! 

      Some strange priorities in this city nowadays…

    • Joe B May 17, 2017 (9:46 pm)

      Excellent point!

  • Peter May 17, 2017 (9:46 pm)

    Is this a joke?

  • dsa May 17, 2017 (10:43 pm)

    I read it, interesting enough story, but there was no real argument why the building should be saved.  It’s not even old.  I was expecting that something significant would be presented since it is so young and not special to look at at.

    • WSB May 18, 2017 (8:39 am)

      For everyone who doesn’t get this – I provided the link above but if that still doesn’t help: This is because of a city law. Some buildings slated for demolition get landmark reviews. It’s a longstanding city law too, as codified in the Seattle Municipal Code (25.05.675, section H). This isn’t the first such review we’ve reported on – for example, the old Arbor Heights Elementary had a similar review. It’s routine and required but it also requires public notice and that’s why we are mentioning it … landmark designations sometimes have more to do with a building’s significance than its looks; it’s not just a cosmetic process. This hearing is for the Landmarks Board to consider the nomination. If they don’t agree that it should get further review, that hearing will be the end of it. – TR

      • dsa May 18, 2017 (10:36 am)

        Thanks, that makes sense.  Otherwise we loose our treasured landmarks.  I bet this won’t qualify.

  • wetone May 18, 2017 (9:15 am)

    Curious if owners of Pecos Pit plays into this at all. If substation gets historical status do they keep parking ? or if substation gets torn down and ground cleaned up would Pecos lose parking or get first right at buying property if sold.  Either way people wonder why cost to live in this city keeps going up, this is just another example why….. Job security for some I guess;)

  • Mr. B May 18, 2017 (10:15 am)

    Let me get this straight….Before they demolish the building, it has to be nominated for historical preservation?  Perfect example of how the bureaucracy takes over and creates needless waste.  And we wonder why there is no money for road repairs.  

    Insane Seattle Process.  

  • Mark May 18, 2017 (10:36 pm)

    Is it April first!

Sorry, comment time is over.