I recently came to possess something of a novelty: a copy of an actual magazine.
It’s novel because so much of the reading I do is online. Fortunately, the article I am going to briefly reference here is online as well and you can read it in its entirety here.
The article, “Preservation Redefined,” is a breezy article about local developers who might be better called “preservers.” Anne Michelson, Michael Malone, Ted Schroth, and Liz Dunn have all completed projects to transform the Pike-Pine Corridor. But what looks like new development has really been preservation.
The new Elliot Bay Books location (Malone), the Winston (Michelson), the Oddfellows Building (Schroth), and Melrose Market (Dunn) are all new feeling, lively, and examples of how to create livable and walkable neighborhoods. But each of those projects didn’t flatten existing buildings and build new ones. Rather, preservation is new development in each of these cases.
I’d known about each of these folks in one way or another for years. I met with Michelson a few years ago to talk about development and preservation. I found her to be smart and truly committed to the idea of both economic development and preservation. I talked with Schroth when he was, quite unfairly, being vilified by some for buying and starting to redevelop the Oddfellows building. It’s working.
Both Dunn and Malone have been doing lots of work lately in Pike-Pine and perhaps might pick up, along with the others in the article, the idea of citywide Transfer of Development Rights for historic buildings. Expanding TDR is important, I think, because it would both preserve and develop. All of these preservationist developers have shown how to do this. Historic TDR might just open up this process more places, allowing the preservation of buildings, existing uses, and creating density.
Anyway, when you’re bored with Osama news, check out the article.