Board votes to save Belltown's 125-year-old apartment building

by: Gary Horcher Updated:

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SEATTLE - A grassroots movement to save a historical and cultural part of Belltown faced a critical step Wednesday night, when the group appealed to the city to preserve a building as a historic landmark.

On Wednesday night, the decision came down; Seattle's Landmark Preservation Board voted to save Belltown's 125-year-old Wayne Apartment building.

Supporters cheered when they learned that the building would be saved. 

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The Wayne Apartment building, which spans from 2214 to 2224 Second Avenue and also houses several popular bars and restaurants, was slated to be demolished and replaced with a high-rise condo building.

But a rapidly-growing Belltown neighborhood group organized an effort to preserve the 125-year-old building as a landmark.

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The Wayne apartments--which is now called the Funky Studios-- is the last of the old wooden row houses that once lined the streets of Seattle.

Preservationists say it was built when 2nd Avenue was still a dirt road.

It even survived the Denny regrade, which changed the landscape of Seattle between 1897 and 1911.

The support group, which claims to include hundreds of people, vows to fill Seattle's Landmark Preservation board meeting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Seattle City Hall. 

According to a letter sent to the board, The building represents "cultural and historic significance" because of its age, and the way it has aged.

"This block of second Avenue is critical to the valued character of Belltown," reads a letter from one supporter. 

Steve Hall, one of the leaders in the preservation push says it's important to keep the building's current "funky" appearance.

"This might be the most important chapter in the building's history," Hall said. "125 years later, the community is getting together to save the building and actually working toward the larger picture of preserving the entire Belltown community."

The meeting was held in the Bertha Knight Landis room of City Hall.

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