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Ugly Building Gets the Axe…

Just because a building is remarkably old, should it be saved for the sake of memory? What if the “historic” building was the equivalant of a modern day parking garage, except for horses? Well, it looks like the answer is a reasonable no. The Bon Marche livery stables are heading to a probable meeting with the wrecking ball.

From the PostGlobe

Known as the Bon Marche stables, the 101-year-old, three-story, wood-frame building was recently declared a landmark, but after a recent city hearing examiner decision, the owners will be allowed to tear it down, anyway.

Seattle City Council members approved the change to the livery landmark status this week, but with a clear disappointment and a plea to the property owner to try to preserve the building if at all possible.

Take a good look at the photo before a decision to launch into a preservation induced riot. Is this a place you’d like to live? How about work? It looks like a ripe box of kindling if you ask me. With the recent Bell St. Park proposal , this plot of land might be a great new open space made available for an anchor development, or, gasp…park! What would it say about society, if one of the few buildings we actually preserved was really just a parking lot? Away with this beast of yore!

Photo by Jim Gupta-Carlson


5 Comments on "Ugly Building Gets the Axe…"

  1. JoshMahar | June 5, 2009 at 10:52 am |

    I’m sorry But I couldn’t agree less. The fact that the Bon Marche had a place to hold horses is amazing in itself. In my humble opinion, Belltown tends to lack a clear sense of its history and this building, if preserved, could help with that. Getting creative the developer could throw some beautiful lofts on top, open up the building a little, while maintaining the odd stable space inside, keeping the old wood facade (very unique in Seattle) and they could have a great destination spot on their hands. They could even call it the Livery, or The Stables and play up the horse connection. Now it will probably just be another giant tower that blocks other people’s views.

  2. JoshMahar | June 5, 2009 at 12:08 pm |

    Also wanted to add that if we get some community support and input behind this, the developer might keep at least some of the history in place. Please send your support to Allegra Properties:

  3. I’m glad you raised these points Josh. If other people agree, I would recommend them e-mailing the address that Josh has listed. I am in total agreement that preservation is of a high importance. However, I believe the fights have to be picked carefully. This old fella isn’t one of them in my book.

  4. In my opinion a park would be nice there. So few spaces in Belltown for green space that aren’t ugly modernist condos.

    A lot of history in the building . I know Phil’s Custom Bindery was in there for a generation before they moved to South Park a couple years ago. Art Chantry had a studio in there for many years.

  5. Lauren Ruth | June 6, 2009 at 10:17 pm |

    Should we be mindful of the history of the buildings in our neighborhood? Yes. Do we need to keep every last one of them? No. The fact is that a lot of great historical buildings in the Belltown area have been kept around, so letting go of a few, particularly if their replacement will add to the overall community, is perfectly acceptable in my book.

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