Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, features some of Seattle’s most iconic mid-century buildings and structures, including the Monorail, Pacific Science Center, Key Arena, and the Space Needle. Previous studies and nominations landmarked the Space Needle, the Seattle Center House (Armory), Pacific Science Center, Seattle Monorail, Kobe Bell, and the Horiuchi Mural, but numerous other sites related to the World’s Fair still exist on the 72-acre site. The City of Seattle’s Seattle Center Redevelopment Department commissioned Artifacts to conduct a Historic Landmark Study of the site, assessing the landmark eligibility of various buildings and structures as the majority of properties reached 50 years of age.
This project afforded Artifacts the opportunity to work with HistoryLink – the online encyclopedia of Washington state and local history. HistoryLink historians Paula Becker and Alan J. Stein had recently produced a comprehensive history of the site in their The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy and their knowledge of the World’s Fair and its construction proved invaluable.
Through this study, Artifacts conducted an extensive exterior survey of the site’s properties and accessed selected building interiors. We digitally photographed the resources and compiled lists of alterations and character-defining features and spaces. As part of this study Artifacts also set up a GIS database for the study area to record building, tree, circulation network, and landscape data recorded during the survey and archival research.