The La Quinta Apartments is now a designated Seattle Landmark!
At its March 17, 2021 meeting, the Landmarks Preservation Board (LPB) voted unanimously to designate the La Quinta Apartments. Historic Seattle’s landmark nomination application was presented by Northwest Vernacular who did an outstanding job researching and writing the nomination. La Quinta residents (past and present), Capitol Hill community members, the Capitol Hill Historical Society, and many others have been advocating for the preservation of the La Quinta since Summer of 2020. Collectively known as ¡Viva La Quinta!, preservation advocates were proactive is saving this historic community place.
The LPB recognized the importance of designer and developer Frederick Anhalt, his courtyard designs, and the architectural significance of the La Quinta’s Spanish Eclectic style. The LPB designated the entire site and exterior of the 1927 building. The site includes the courtyard, north side yard, landscape, and hardscape.
The La Quinta was designated under the following standards:
B) association in a significant way with the life of a person important in the history of Seattle—as a builder and designer, Frederick Anhalt was an important contributor to the growth and development of Seattle, establishing the courtyard apartment as an important property type;
D) embodiment of the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style (Spanish Eclectic and courtyard apartment form); and
E) an outstanding work of builder/designer Frederick Anhalt (La Quinta was his first courtyard apartment building design and compares well in relation to his body of work).
¡Viva La Quinta! thanks everyone who contributed to the success of this landmarking effort! Special thanks to Donald Van Dyke for his strong support of landmarking at the designation hearing on March 17. His father, Kenneth Van Dyke passed away in February 2020. Mr. Van Dyke was a well-beloved landlord, long-time owner, and steward of the La Quinta who had a soft spot for the property and valued its historic character. And big thanks to Lawrence Norman, son of Richard and Mildred Norman, who owned the property in the 1960s and 1970s. Lawrence grew up at the La Quinta and shared wonderful stories of his family (read about it in the nomination report and in Historic Seattle’s blog.)
What’s next after landmark designation? The next step in the process is the City and owner negotiate controls and incentives. Controls protect the character-defining features of the landmark, in exchange for incentives for the property owner, which can include access to grants, special tax valuation, and building and zone code relief.
It’s our understanding that the beneficiaries of the La Quinta plan to sell the property this year. We hope they are successful in finding a preservation-friendly buyer who will preserve the property and be the next steward of this wonderful place.
Learn more about the nomination and designation process through the City of Seattle Historic Preservation Program’s website.
Questions about landmarking and advocacy efforts for the La Quinta? Please contact Eugenia Woo, Director of Preservation Services at Historic Seattle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Preservation advocacy is often most effective through collaboration. The effort to nominate the La Quinta Apartments as a Seattle Landmark is a great example of Historic Seattle working closely with the community to preserve this special historic place. We've been impressed by the passion and hard work of residents and neighbors rallying to save the La Quinta."
Eugenia Woo, Director of Preservation Services, Historic Seattle