Seattle – Historic Washington Hall

Seattle’s image of high-tech mecca belies the fact that the City has several centuries of its own European heritage and millennia of Native American history and culture to draw upon.

Historical preservation and cultural preservation are important. One event which highlights this is the restoration of historic Washington Hall. This 3 story red-brick building, from 1908, has been saved from its endangered cultural status and is opened in a showcase this week-end after large amounts of refurbishment via the non-profit group Historic Seattle.

It’s a time to celebrate when any historic building is given a new life, and its history is not lost to the next generation. This is a building which was a legendary venue for music and politics in the African American dominated Central District of Seattle. Musicians and speakers who have appeared at Washington Hall include black-American icons: Marian Anderson, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimi Hendrix, W.E.B. du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Joe Louis, and Martin Luther King Jr.

The group and the City hope to keep the hall as a new performing arts center. So, when you are in Seattle, see if events have started and you can sit in witness of the presence of some great events.

And, if you are interested on more, then since 1970, Seattle has established seven historic districts:
___ Ballard Avenue
___ Columbia City
___ Fort Lawton
___ Harvard-Belmont
___ International District
___ Pike Place Market
___ Pioneer Square

Most guide-books rely heavily on only the areas around Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square along with a little in the International District; check these out and add the others!

The appearance and historical integrity of structures and public spaces within each district are regulated by a citizens board and/or the Landmarks Preservation Board. These operate in accordance with processes and criteria established by City ordinance, and hopefully less of historic Seattle will be demolished because of this foresight.

Portland, Oregon, about 3 hours drive south of Seattle has been saving its historical buildings in record numbers for many decades and has managed to preserve a great deal of its downtown core, as well as some neighborhood choices. It has received numerous kudos for all of this long before most cities were thinking of it or valuing it. The saved historic buildings have been brought up to current codes, and the community is enriched. Win-win.

Learn more about Seattle’s efforts:
Historic Seattle neighborhoods.

Washington Hall, Seattle Performing Arts

Seattle travel articles portal, here!

Seattle Useful Links Archive from TravelVacationReview

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

Leave a Reply