Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More
Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Link to Department of Neighborhoods Home Page Link to Department of Neighborhoods Home Page Link to Department of Neighborhoods About Us Page Link to Department of Neighborhoods Contact Us Page
Bernie Agor Matsuno, Director
EventsGet InvolvedNewsResourcesCustomer Service Bureau
Historic Preservation
Landmarks and Designation
Historic Districts
Historic Resources Survey
Meeting Schedules, Agenda/Minutes
Preservation Incentives
Application Forms
FAQs
Southeast Seattle History Project
Contact Us
Neighborhood Matching Fund
Neighborhood District Coordinators
Outreach and Engagement
P-Patch Community Gardening Program
Major Institutions and Schools
Historic Resources Survey
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a survey and inventory?

Q. How was the determination made as to which buildings were included in the survey and inventory?

Q. How was the age of buildings to be included in the survey and inventory determined?

Q. If a building is not in the survey and inventory, does it mean it is not significant?

Q. Are the properties listed in the database subject to any restrictions or eligible for any benefits?

Q. How do I search the database?

Q. What do the terms mean on the form?

Q. What neighborhoods are included in the database and how were the boundaries determined?

Q. Are City of Seattle landmarks, National Register and Washington State Heritage Register properties listed in the database?

Q. Does the database list the property owner?

Q. If I want to research a building in more detail, what resources are available?

Q. If I want copies of historic photos, how do I obtain them?

 

What is a survey and inventory?

A survey and inventory is a process by which potential historic properties are systematically identified (survey) and evaluated (inventory). The survey and inventory data can be used as a planning tool to meet local, state and federal environmental review requirements, identify and minimize conflicts between development and preservation goals, and to identify potential historic landmarks.

How was the determination made as to which buildings were included in the survey and inventory?

Buildings were evaluated based on age, physical integrity, architectural style, and known historic significance.

How was the age of buildings to be included in the survey and inventory determined?

Buildings 40 years and older were included in the survey and inventory so that a majority of those buildings would meet the 50 year criteria of the National Register of Historic Places by the time the survey and inventory process is complete.

If a building is not in the survey and inventory, does it mean it is not significant?

Buildings not included in the survey and inventory could be significant. There may be properties that are historically significant but have been altered and therefore were not included in the survey and inventory based on their current appearance. If you would like to conduct additional research on a building, there are suggestions for additional sources at the end of this question and answer section.

Are the properties listed in the database subject to any restrictions or eligible for any benefits?

There are no restrictions on properties in the database unless the properties are City of Seattle landmarks or buildings in a local or National Register historic district. If that is the case, return to the homepage for the Historic Preservation website for additional information .The only exception is a circumstance in which a property may be eligible for consideration as a landmark during a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. The City's SEPA policies at clarify when the policy is applicable.

Properties listed only in the survey and inventory are not eligible for incentives for City of Seattle landmarks or buildings in historic districts.

How do I search the database?

You can search the database by parcel number, if known; street address, year built, architectural style, neighborhood and by architect. You can use a combination of these search terms as well to narrow your search.

What do the terms mean on the form?

There is a Glossary of Terms that describes the terminology used on the database form.

What neighborhoods are included in the database and how were the boundaries determined?

To date, the following neighborhoods or classes of property are included in the database:

  • City-owned buildingsNeighborhood commercial properties throughout the cityResidential structures constructed prior to 1906 in all areas except the area that lies east of Lake Union and a line established by Fairview Avenue from Lake Washington Ship Canal South Atlantic Street.CascadeCentral AreaColumbia CityGeorgetownMount BakerNorth Beacon HillNorth RainierPioneer SquareQueen AnneSouth Park
  • University

The data for the South Lake Union and Wallingford neighborhoods will be added in early 2005. A survey and inventory for apartment buildings in the Capitol Hill, Eastlake, First Hill neighborhoods is underway as is a survey of single-family buildings in Capitol Hill to be completed in 2006. Additional neighborhoods will be added to the database as funding is available.

The boundaries for the neighborhoods are described in each of the context statements.

Are City of Seattle landmarks, National Register and Washington State Heritage Register properties listed in the database?

Some City of Seattle landmarks, National Register and Washington State Register properties are listed in the database but that is not a searchable option. Not all of the properties are listed and the best way to check that information is to go to the City landmarks site at the Department of Neighborhood Historic Preservation.

The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation has a searchable database for Washington State Heritage properties and National Register properties.

Does the database list the property owner?

The database does not list the current property owner as ownership information changes frequently. If you are interested in knowing the property owner and you know the parcel number, the King County Department of Assessments has a searchable database at  . If you do not know the parcel number, you can find that information at here.

If I want to research a building in more detail, what resources are available?

There are a variety of agencies and offices throughout the City, region and state that offer additional historical resources including the Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch; the City of Seattle Municipal Archives, and the King County Archives. For a more comprehensive list of resources, click here (MS Word Document).

If I want copies of historic photos, how do I obtain them?

The Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives has historical photos available for purchase. For more information about the Archives and the services they offer, visit their website.  The Museum of History and Industry and the Special Collections at the University of Washington both have excellent photography collections that are available for researchers.

Neighborhoods Home | About Us | Contact Us | Events | Get Involved | News
Resources | Customer Service Bureau