The University of Washington's plans to build a new Computer Science and Engineering building on the current site of More Hall Annex (a.k.a. the Nuclear Reactor Building) were dashed when it was nominated to Seattle's Landmark Preservation Ordinance to receive protection under landmark status. In turn, UW is suing the city of Seattle to determine whether or not their Board of Regents actually has final say over a building on their campus and what to do with it.
The building, actually once home to a nuclear reactor, is considered a great example of Brutalist architecture and has already been added to the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington Heritage Register. Still, the university feels as though since it is their building on their campus it's their decision whether or not it needs to remain standing for the sake of preservation.
Clearly the answer is that it does not, according to UW. They have designated the site for a $104 million expansion of the nearby computer-science center.
While the university fights to maintain control over the decision, preservationists say that because it's a public university it is part of the surrounding Seattle community and subject to the same laws and protections.
The suit will go before King County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Parisien on Friday and UW hopes to convince her that their board has power over buildings on the campus. The city is fighting to maintain that UW must adhere to city codes and processes, otherwise it could theorhetically build whatever it wanted without any kind of check or balance.
· UW suing Seattle over control of historic campus buildings [ST]
· Brutalism & The Future Of The UW Nuclear Reactor Building [CS]