Fort Lawton

Fort Lawton originally occupied much of Seattle's Magnolia Bluff, which offers a commanding view of the entrance to Elliott Bay and Puget Sound.

Fort Lawton originally occupied much of Seattle's Magnolia Bluff, which offers a commanding view of the entrance to Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. The bluff itself was named by Lt. George Davidson in 1857 during a U.S. Coastal Survey on the mistaken identification of its red-barked madrona trees as magnolias.

In 1896, the Secretary of War selected the site for construction of an artillery battery intended to defend Seattle and the south Sound from naval attack. The following year, local citizens and governments donated 703 acres land to the United States Army for the installation.

The Army officially named Fort Lawton in 1900 to honor Major General Henry Ware Lawton, a veteran of Civil War, Indian, and Spanish-American campaigns who had died in the Philippines the previous year. The base was converted to infantry use in 1902, and landscape architect John C. Olmsted prepared a new master plan in 1910 for housing officers and enlisted men.

The fort saw active duty as a staging center and prisoner of war camp during World War II, and was equipped with anti-aircraft missiles and radar in the 1950s. After rejecting the site for a proposed anti-ballistic missile defense system in 1968, the Army decided to surplus most of the base and offered 534 acres to the City of Seattle for park use under a new law sponsored by U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson.

Native American tribes asserted treaty rights to the original land but settled with the city for a portion as the site for Daybreak Star Center (completed in 1977). In 1973, Senator Jackson dedicated the tract as Discovery Park in honor of the British sloop HMS Discovery commanded by Captain George Vancouver during the first European exploration of Puget Sound in 1792.

The city decided to preserve most of the park as open space and nature reserves in 1974, and the appropriate intensity of public use remains a subject of debate. The best preserved collection of early Fort Lawton buildings was declared a landmark district in 1988.

Rules an Regulations

2016 Landmarks Preservation Board Agendas and Minutes

2016 Meeting Schedule | 2016 ARC Schedule

January 6, 2016 Agenda | January 6, 2016 Minutes

January 15, 2016 Agenda | January 15, 2016 Architectural Review Committee

January 20, 2016 Agenda | January 20, 2016 Minutes

January 29, 2016 Agenda | January 29, 2016 Architectural Review Committee

February 3, 2016 Agenda | February 3, 2016 Minutes

February 12, 2016 Agenda | February 12, 2016 Architectural Review Committee

February 17, 2016 Agenda |February 17, 2016 Minutes

February 26, 2016 Agenda | February 26, 2016 Architectural Review Committee

March 2, 2016 Agenda | March 2, 2016 Minutes

March 11, 2016 Agenda | March 11, 2016 Architectural Review Committee  NOTE LOCATION CHANGE

March 16, 2016 Agenda | March 16, 2016 Minutes

March 25, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee |

April 6, 2016 Agenda | April 6, 2016 Minutes

April 15, 2016 Agenda ] April 15, 2016 Architectural Review Committee

April 20, 2016 Agenda | April 20, 2016 Minutes

May 4, 2016 Agenda | May 4, 2016 Minutes

May 13, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee

May 18, 2016 Agenda | May 18, 2016 Minutes

May 27, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee

June 1, 2016 Agenda | June 1, 2016 Minutes

June 10, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee

June 15, 2016 Agenda |

June 24, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee NOTE LOCATION

July 6, 2016 Agenda | July 6, 2016 Minutes

July 20, 2016 Agenda | July 20, 2016 Minutes

July 29, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee

August 3, 2016 Agenda | August 3, 2016 Minutes

August 12, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee

August 17, 2016 Agenda |

September 2, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee

September 7, 2016 Agenda REVISED |

September 16, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee - Revised

September 21, 2016 Agenda |

September 30, 2016 Agenda Architectural Review Committee NOTE LOCATION

October 5, 2016 Agenda |

2015 Landmarks Preservation Board Agendas and Minutes

January 7, 2015 Agenda | January 7, 2015 Minutes

January 21, 2015 Agenda | January 21, 2015 Minutes

February 5, 2015 Agenda | February 5, 2015 Minutes

 February 18, 2015 Agenda | February 18, 2015 Minutes

 March 4, 2015 Agenda | March 4, 2015 Minutes

March 18, 2015 Agenda | March 18, 2015 Minutes

April 1, 2015 Agenda | April 1, 2015 Minutes

April 10, 2015 Agenda - Architectural Review Committee

April 15, 2015 Agenda | April 15, 2015 Minutes

May 1, 2015 Agenda - Architectural Review Committee

May 6, 2015 Agenda | May 6, 2015 Minutes

May 20, 2015 Agenda | May 20, 2015 Minutes

May 29, 2015 Agenda - Architectural Review Committee

June 3, 2015 Agenda | June 3, 2015 Minutes

June 12, 2015 Agenda - Architectural Review Committee

June 17, 2015 Agenda | June 17, 2015 Minutes

June 26, 2015 Agenda - Architectural Review Committee

July 1, 2015 Agenda | July 1, 2015 Minutes

July 15, 2015 Agenda | July 15, 2015 Minutes

July 31, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

August 5, 2015 Agenda | August 5, 2015 Minutes

August 14, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

August 19, 2015 Agenda | August 19, 2015 Minutes

August 28, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

September 2, 2015 Agenda | September 2, 2015 Minutes

September 11, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

September 16, 2015 Agenda | September 16, 2015 Minutes

October 2, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

October 7, 2015 Agenda | October 7, 2015 Minutes

October 16, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

October 21, 2015 Agenda | October 21, 2015 Minutes

October 30, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

November 4, 2015 Agenda | November 4, 2015 Minutes

November 13, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

November 18, 2015 Agenda | November 18, 2015 Minutes

December 2, 2015 Agenda |

December 11, 2015 Agenda | Architectural Review Committee

December 16, 2015 Agenda |


2014 Landmark Preservation Board Agendas and Minutes

November 5, 2014 Agenda | November 5, 2014 Minutes

November 19, 2014 Agenda | November 19, 2014 Minutes

December 3, 2014 Agenda | December 3, 2014 Minutes

» Archived Landmarks Preservation Board Agendas and Minutes


Fort Lawton Landmark District

Making Changes to a Building or landscape in the Fort Lawton Landmark District

What must be reviewed and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Board?

The following changes require that the Board issue a Certificate of Approval before the City will issue any permits:

  • Any change to the outside of any building or structure.
  • Any changes to the landscape.
  • Any change to an interior that affects the exterior.
  • New addition, construction, and/or remodel.
  • Any change in a public right-of-way or other public space.
  • Demolition of any building or structure.
  • Exterior painting

The Board must determine that the alterations are consistent with Seattle Municipal Code for Fort Lawton, District Guidelines and the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation in order to issue the Certificate of Approval. 

To apply for a Certificate of Approval, please follow the instructions on this form: