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Bernie Agor Matsuno, Director
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Harvard Belmont Landmark District
Harvard-Belmont FAQ

1. What is the Harvard-Belmont Landmark District?

Designation as a landmark district helps ensure the preservation of this special mix of urban cultural and commercial institutions within a framework of tree-lined streets, well-maintained grounds, and distinctive natural features. More than half of the buildings within district boundaries date from the first decade of the century. The lively eclecticism and high quality of its houses, mostly constructed between 1905 and 1910, give the district an architectural integrity and visual continuity, while the history of the commercially venturesome and socially prominent families who settled there imparts a sense of Seattle's most dynamic period of growth. A second surge of building activity in the 1920s brought distinctive apartment groups and important institutional buildings to the southern edge of the district, which nonetheless retained its essentially residential character. The area today remains a prestigious neighborhood of well-maintained homes, carefully tended gardens, tree-shaded streets, open vistas, and picturesque natural features.

2. What kinds of changes require approval?

A Certificate of Approval issued by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board is required prior to the issuance of any building, demolition, street use, or other permits for proposed work within the district that is visible from a public right-of-way. This includes exterior alterations or additions to any structure, new construction, and the addition or removal of major landscape and site elements such as retaining walls, gateways, trees or driveways. If you plan to make any change to a site, structure or the exterior of a building in the District contact the Historic Preservation Program as early as possible so we can recommend next steps. Standards for the District are set forth in the District Ordinance (SMC 25.22), the Harvard-Belmont Landmark District Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Contact Historic Preservation Program at (206) 684-0380 for a paper copy of any of these documents.

Historic Districts

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