Two University of Washington (UW) buildings, the Faculty Club and Wallace Hall/Academic Computing Center (ACC), will be considered for landmark designation at a public hearing on December 15, 2021. Voice your support to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board (LPB) by December 13!

The Board nominated both buildings at its November 3 meeting. The unanimous nomination of the iconic Faculty Club was an easy decision for the Board. Built in 1960 and designed by Paul Kirk & Associates and Victor Steinbrueck, with landscape architecture design by Garrett Eckbo, the Faculty Club was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. It is one of the great examples of Pacific Northwest regional modernism in the city and is one of the most loved buildings on campus. The Board nominated the site, exterior, and interior (plus associated courtyards), recognizing the property’s significance and high level of integrity.

The second UW building considered at the meeting, the Academic Computing Center (now Wallace Hall), was built in 1976 and designed by Ibsen Nelsen as the “first dedicated computer building on the campus and ushered in a new era of computer access to all UW students,” according to a Seattle Times article from June 27, 1976. It was nominated 6-1 by the LPB but support was not strong among some members. The Board felt it needed more information about the historic context—whether there are other examples of purpose-built buildings for computers on other campuses and whether famous people in technology were associated with the building in its earlier years. The ACC was recently determined eligible for listing in the National Register by the State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. This determination was requested by Historic Seattle and shared with the Board to help demonstrate its worthiness for local landmark nomination and designation. The ACC/Wallace Hall building’s future may be threatened with demolition. The 2019 Campus Master Plan shows it demolished and replaced by open space.

Docomomo US/WEWA and Historic Seattle strongly supported nomination of both the Faculty Club and the ACC/Wallace Hall through written comments and verbal testimony at the Board meeting. We support designation of both buildings and encourage you to do so at the upcoming designation hearing on December 15.

Please submit written comments to Landmarks Preservation Board Coordinator Erin Doherty ([email protected]) by December 13, and/or provide verbal comments at the hearing. The meeting agenda will be available about one week before the meeting. Learn more about each building through the nomination reports prepared by BOLA Architecture + Planning.

Images: (above) Faculty Club; (below) Wallace Hall / Academic Computing Center (by Eugenia Woo)

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