A Googie-era Denny's Restaurant in the Seattle area is at the center of a debate about how buildings get designated as landmarks. Yesterday, the Preservation Board relented on economic considerations, and the building is slated for demolition.
"Three months after declaring the defunct Ballard Denny's building a landmark -- which, for some, put into question the very meaning of the word -- Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board unanimously said the owner may tear it down.
The change of tune Wednesday night came after the Benaroya Companies, which purchased the property in 2006 intending for condominiums to be built, convinced the board that it could not achieve a reasonable rate of return on its $12.5 million investment if the Denny's were left standing.
The landmark designation for the Denny's, which Benaroya shut down last year, sparked passions because it touched on property rights, historic preservation, growth and the continued evolution of once-quaint Seattle neighborhoods. Hundreds of Ballard residents banded together to try to save it."