Montlake Elementary School had its nomination hearing Wednesday with the Landmarks Preservation Board. By a unanimous vote, the board approved the nomination, advancing the school to the next step — the all important designation hearing to be held in June.
During discussion, board members expressed appreciation for the school’s architectural details, architect Floyd Narramore’s substantial contribution to Seattle schools and the building’s stately prominence in the neighborhood. However, a few board members expressed only tepid support, signaling that while they approved of the nomination, they may not support designation.
It is significant that this nomination is community driven. The nomination report was submitted and presented by BOLA Architecture and Planning, funded by the Montlake Community Club. A representative from Seattle Schools testified to the board that the District had no formal position on the building’s landmark status. In this case, at least the property owner doesn’t oppose designation (as is often the case).
Given Seattle’s long history of neighborhood character, identity and naming being tied to its public elementary schools, Montlake’s 1924 school building stands a good chance with the Board, even with a few hints of less than full support. A simple majority vote is needed for landmark designation.