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Architecture & Engineering

Emma Hinchliffeh
Emma Hinchliffe

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September 29, 2021

Talking History: Can Seattle meet the need for more housing but still maintain its history?

A/E Editor

Ask anyone involved in the preservation of Seattle's historic properties and they will tell you that historic buildings and architecture provide a sense of place and belonging that necessitates their importance and preservation. Seattle is however growing and the need for more housing density growing with it. An unmistakable consequence of this reality has been the destruction of older buildings, and many would say some historically and culturally important ones, to make place for newer, bigger, and oftentimes more structurally sound, properties.

In recent years, historical groups have even formed in direct opposition to this, such as Friends of Historic Belltown, which formed in 2015 with the purpose of advocating against the proposed redevelopment of Belltown's “main street,” the east section of 2nd Avenue between Bell and Blanchard streets. Other, older historical societies, like the Queen Anne Historical Society, which was formed in 1971 and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, have also made preservation a priority, in addition to the historically focused events and education initiatives that is a goal of most historical groups and societies.

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