Historic Preservation Vs. Height and Density

The Seattle City Council is considering allowing buildings of up to 150 ft. in parts of the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood. Some say the scale is out of character; others say, not high enough!
March 16, 2011, 7am PDT | Tim Halbur
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The Downtown Seattle Association is pushing for greater heights, aiming for 180 ft., saying that the area needs a serious injection of population to boost its economic engine.

Meanwhile, preservationists fear that the density will cause neglect to the historic buildings in the neighborhood. Developers point to Portland's Pearl District as an example of a community that added density without destroying the historic character of the area:

"Preservationists agree that Pioneer Square needs more housing to bolster the struggling business district. One of its biggest draws, The Elliott Bay Book Company, departed last year for the trendier, and busier, Pike-Pine corridor.

But those charged with protecting the historic legacy worry that 18-story buildings would be out of scale with the 19th-century Romanesque facades that make up the historic district."

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Published on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 in The Seattle Times
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