The Landmarks Preservation Board last week voted unanimously to approve designation for Montlake Elementary School. Congratulations Montlake, you are now officially historic.
The nomination was championed by Montlake resident and preservation activist Jon Decker, with funding support from the Montlake Community Club. Consultants BOLA Architecture + Planning prepared the nomination report earlier this year, and guided it through the landmarks process.
The building will next be reviewed for “controls and incentives” by the Landmarks Board which will identify specific regulations for future modifications to the building. From the Landmarks website:
If the Board designates a property, a Controls and Incentives Agreement for the landmark is negotiated by the Board staff with the property owner. Once an agreement is reached and signed, it is forwarded to the Landmarks Preservation Board for approval at a public meeting. Controls define those features of the landmark to be preserved and outline the Certificate of Approval process for changes to those features. Incentives may include, but are not limited to, zoning variances, building code exceptions, and financial incentives.
The designation was supported by the PTA after determining that historic designation status would guide, but not hinder, future efforts to remodel the building. It is standard practice for the School District to retain a determination on historic status before beginning major renovation projects on older buildings. School parents have lobbied long and hard to keep Montlake Elementary viable after efforts to close the school due to low enrollment. With strong community support, the school has recently received high marks for achievement and is well-regarded for its urban farming and healthy food programs.