Update, March 23: The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board has declined to give Spud Fish and Chips landmark status, reports the Daily Journal of Commerce—clearing a way forward for demolition of the Googie-style building.
The most recent plan for the building set to go in its place, a four-story building with 50 small efficiency dwelling units, 10 apartments, and one live-work unit, involves incorporating the Spud sign into the design “in some way.” The restaurant itself has a home waiting for it in the 1,368 square feet of ground-floor space.
Original article, January 2:
The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board is considering a landmark nomination for Spud Fish and Chips on East Green Lake Way North. The building is currently slated for demolition, with a four-story apartment building planned to take its place.
The butterfly-roofed building, constructed in 1959, was designed by Edward L. Cushman, an architect prolific in midcentury Seattle. (He also designed the Alki Spud and other commercial buildings, along with residences and religious projects.) It was picked up and moved to the adjacent lot in 1967, but other than that and some maintenance and upgrades, the building has been largely untouched.
The application was prepared by The Johnson Partnership on behalf of site owners Blueprint Capital Services. It’s not unheard of for would-be developers to apply for landmark statuses that would affect planned projects—while landmark status sometimes applies to the whole building, it can also be more limited in scope. Sometimes that status can give preferential tax status, access to grants, or eligibility for a land swap.
Landmark applications are sometimes submitted to prove something is not a landmark—but that can backfire, like it did for a proposed hotel on the site of the American Meter Building in South Lake Union back in May. GEM Real Estate Partners had submitted the application to prove that the building didn’t have historical significance; the board ended up declaring the entire interior and exterior a landmark and the project was put on hold.
If the apartment project on the Spud site moves forward, the new building will have a home on the ground floor for the Green Lake restaurant, which is owned separately from the Alki, Edmonds, and Kirkland locations. The project also includes 50 micro apartments, 10 more standard-sized apartments, and one live-work unit.
The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider the nomination on Wednesday, February 7 at 3:30 pm. at Seattle City Hall.