Seattle’s Roy Vue Apartments, a reasonably priced complex, contains 31 apartments in Seattle’s desirable Capitol Hill neighborhood. Recently awarded Landmark status by three Seattle preservation boards, the building was constructed in 1924 by my father, early 20th century builder, Hans Pederson, a Danish immigrant.
Actually, the city’s vigilant Landmarks Preservation Board pointed out that landmark status saved only the exterior of the Roy Vue and its charming courtyard. The building’s current owner had planned to reconfigure the entire property by turning the 31 existing apartments and its grounds into 147 expensive micro-units.
Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is a microcosm of the dizzying pace of change taking place in growing cities today as density increases and open space is filled. Where to park the cars? Well, Capitol Hill has recently started charging for evening as well as street side daytime parking.
Our world is so filled with problems that choosing a focus for 2019 is not easy. As the new year begins, saving homes and neighborhoods may not be at the top of your list. It reached the top of mine in 1960 when passenger train service ended in my home town of Portland Maine. All of us had taken Union Station for granted. Built in the style of a French chateau in 1888, the building was a city treasure. Well, developers razed the station in 1961 to make way for a gaudy garish strip mall that still festers like an open wound. Portland’s historical restoration movement roared into action like a bullet train after they destroyed Union Station .
So pay attention folks, if old homes and landmarks are part of your legacy.
Once they’re gone, they’re gone.