Guest Post by Alexa Munoz, President of Nokomis Club
The few who consider themselves entitled to exceed the law can prevail.
In the case of the Nokomis Building consider:
City Hall says: The Nokomis Building is damaged and has lost the integrity to be on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fact: The building’s condition has not changed significantly from its condition when it was inventoried by historic preservation specialists hired by the City in 1998 and 2005. These specialists indicated there had been moderate changes to the building, but it was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Further Landmarking did not take place because the owner of the building since 1972—the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce—did not want to participate in the Historic Preservation program that began in the year 2000.
All of the historic preservation specialists in the state disagree with City Hall: Gregory Griffith, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer; J. Todd Scott, Preservation Architect, King County Historic Preservation Program; and Cathy Wickwire, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation—all advocate preservation.
Joe Townsend, President of the Redmond Historical Society, stated in the Public Hearing on July 9, 2015, [The Nokomis building is]. . . “overall a sound, whole, and complete unbroken, unimpaired building, the very definition of architectural integrity.”
City Hall says: A temporary document to purchase title insurance gives title because it says the vested owner is “OneRedmond, successor by merger to the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce”.
Fact: Documents obtained from the Secretary of State indicate their office has no documents on record of a merger or consolidation by the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce with OneRedmond.
City Hall says: The Technical Committee (Director of Planning and Director of Public Works) say the zoning code was obeyed in allowing the 162TEN project; the Design Review Board considered the zoning code in their deliberations; and both groups knew all about the Nokomis Building.
Fact: The Technical Committee does not keep any minutes of their deliberations—it only issues a report. Therefore, there is no documentation at all about their considerations while developing their report.
The Design Review Board minutes indicate that other than a few considerations concerning specific building plans there was no acknowledgment of the Nokomis Building on the proposed 162TEN site. In addition there were no comments on the zoning issues of scale, gradual transition between uses, neighborhood compatibility, or health and safety issues including deprivation of light and air circulation as well as reduction of personal privacy to the housing on the east.
Other than the information found in the book, The Nokomis Club: A Century of Community Service 1909 to 2009, there is little or no information elsewhere about the construction and operation of the Nokomis Building.
All Redmond residents should ask themselves just when their building will be targeted to disappear next.