City Landmarks

Since 1973, Seattle has designated more than 400 individual sites, buildings, vehicles, vessels, and street clocks as landmarks subject to protection by city ordinance. 

Want to know more about how this process works? Check out our short video below:

In the sections below you will find a step-by-step guide to Seattle's landmark process; answers to frequently asked questions; Landmark Preservation Board minutes, schedules, and agendas; staff contacts; and instructions and a printable PDF form to apply for a "Certificate of Approval" to modify a designated landmark.

Seattle Landmark Designation Brochure (pdf)

Landmarks Preservation Board - Rules and Regulations (PDF)

Submit Public Comment to the Landmarks Preservation Board

2024 Full Board Meeting Schedule  |  2024 ARC Meeting Schedule

July 17, 2024 Agenda

July 12, 2024 ARC Cancelled

June 28, 2024 ARC Agenda

June 26, 2024 Agenda

June 14, 2024 ARC Agenda

June 5, 2024 Agenda

May 31, 2024 ARC Agenda

May 15, 2024 Agenda

May 10, 2024 ARC Agenda

May 1, 2024 Agenda

April 26, 2024 ARC Agenda

April 17, 2024 Agenda | April 17, 2024 Minutes

April 12, 2024 ARC Cancelled

April 3, 2024 Agenda | April 3, 2024 Minutes

March 29, 2024 ARC Agenda

March 20, 2024 Agenda | March 20, 2024 Minutes

March 15, 2024 ARC Agenda

March 6, 2024 Agenda | March 6, 2024 Minutes

March 1, 2024 ARC Cancelled

February 21, 2024 Agenda | February 21, 2024 Minutes

February 16, 2024 ARC Agenda

February 7, 2024 Agenda | February 7, 2024 Minutes

February 2, 2024 ARC Agenda

January 17, 2024 Agenda | January 17, 2024 Minutes

January 12, 2024 ARC Cancelled

January 3, 2024 Agenda | January 3, 2024 Minutes

2023  Meeting Schedule

2023 ARC Meeting Schedule 

Meeting Agendas, Materials and Minutes

December 20, 2023 Agenda | December 20, 2023 Minutes

December 15, 2023 ARC Cancelled

December 6, 2023 Agenda | December 6, 2023 Minutes

December 1, 2023 ARC Agenda

November 15, 2023 Agenda | November 15, 2023 Minutes

November 10, 2023 ARC No meeting scheduled. Department of Neighborhoods will be closed for Veteran's Day.

November 1, 2023 Cancelled

October 27, 2023 ARC Agenda

October 18, 2023 Agenda | October 18, 2023 Minutes

October 13, 2023 ARC Cancelled

October 4, 2023 Agenda | October 4, 2023 Minutes

  • Controls and Incentives Extension Requests:
    • Bullitt House
    • E. C. Hughes ElementarySchool
    • Daniel Webster Elementary School
    • Lincoln High School

September 29, 2023 ARC Agenda

September 20, 2023 Agenda | September 20, 2023 Minutes

September 15, 2023 ARC Agenda

September 6, 2023 - Due to the holiday, no regularly scheduled meeting

August 25, 2023 ARC Agenda

August 16, 2023 Agenda | August 16, 2023 Minutes

August 11, 2023 ARC Agenda

August 2, 2023 Agenda | August 2, 2023 Minutes

July 28, 2023 ARC Meeting Cancelled

July 19, 2023 Agenda | July 19, 2023 Minutes

July 14, 2023 ARC Meeting Cancelled

July 5, 2023 Due to adjacent holiday, no regularly scheduled meeting

June 30, 2023 ARC Meeting Cancelled

June 21, 2023 Agenda | June 21, 2023 Minutes

June 16, 2023 ARC Agenda

June 7, 2023 Agenda | Minutes

June 2, 2023 ARC Meeting Cancelled

May 17, 2023 Agenda | Minutes

May 12, 2023 ARC Meeting Cancelled

May 3, 2023 Agenda | Minutes

April 28, 2023 ARC Agenda

April 19, 2023 Agenda | Minutes

April 14, 2023 ARC Agenda

April 5, 2023 Agenda | Minutes

March 31, 2023 ARC Agenda

March 15, 2023 Agenda | Minutes

March 10, 2023 ARC Agenda  

March 1, 2023 Agenda  / Minutes

February 24, 2023 ARC Agenda

February 15, 2023 Agenda  / Minutes

February 10, 2023 ARC Agenda

February 1, 2023 Agenda  / Minutes

January 27, 2023 ARC Agenda

January 18, 2023 Agenda / Minutes

January 4, 2023 Agenda / Minutes

Meeting Materials Archives

There are four steps to the landmarks designation process: nomination, designation, controls and incentives, and a designating ordinance:

1. Nomination

Download Nomination Application

A nomination for City of Seattle landmark status may be submitted by any person or group. A standard nomination application, available from the Historic Preservation Program, must be completed and reviewed by the City Historic Preservation Officer for adequacy. A nomination form and information packet may be obtained by requesting one from the Historic Preservation Office. Once the submitted nomination application has been determined to be adequate, the nomination will be scheduled for consideration by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board at a public meeting. At the public meeting, the Board may approve the nomination in whole or in part.

Another public meeting is scheduled for designation 30 to 60 days from the date of approval of the nomination. Once a building is nominated, any alterations to the features that were approved for nomination require a Certificate of Approval. If the Board does not approve a nomination, the proceedings terminate and the property cannot be considered for nomination for five years, except at the request of the owner.

2. Designation Standards

In order to be designated, the building, object, or site must be at least 25 years old and must meet at least one of the six criteria for designation outlined in the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance (SMC 25.12.350):

a) It is the location of, or is associated in a significant way with, a historic event with a significant effect upon the community, City, state, or nation; or

b) It is associated in a significant way with the life of a person important in the history of the City, state, or nation; or

c) It is associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political, or economic heritage of the community, City, state or nation; or

d) It embodies the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style, or period, or a method of construction; or

e) It is an outstanding work of a designer or builder; or

f) Because of its prominence of spatial location, contrasts of siting, age, or scale, it is an easily identifiable visual feature of its neighborhood or the city and contributes to the distinctive quality or identity of such neighborhood or the City.

In addition to meeting at least one of the above standards, the object, site, or improvement must also possess integrity or the ability to convey its significance. At the public meeting on designation, the Board will receive evidence and hear arguments as to whether the site, building or object meets the standards for designation. If the Board does not designate the property, the proceedings terminate and the property cannot be considered for designation for five years, except at the request of the owner.

3. Controls and Incentives Agreements

If the Board designates a property, a Controls and Incentives Agreement for the landmark is negotiated by the Board staff with the property owner. Once an agreement is reached and signed, it is forwarded to the Landmarks Preservation Board for approval at a public meeting. Controls define those features of the landmark to be preserved and outline the Certificate of Approval process for changes to those features. Incentives may include, but are not limited to, zoning variances, building code exceptions, and financial incentives.

4. Designating Ordinance

When an agreement on the Controls and Incentives has been reached with the property owner and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Board, a designating ordinance is forwarded to the Seattle City Council for approval. The property owner can appeal the Board's recommendation on Controls and Incentives to the Hearing Examiner. The City's Hearing Examiner may modify the Board's recommendation and forward a decision to the City Council for consideration. Either party may appeal the Hearing Examiner's recommendation to the City Council. The nomination, designation, and Controls and Incentives process and appeal procedures are described in detail in the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance (SMC 25.12).

Certificate of Approval must be issued before changes can be made to individually designated City Landmarks or to properties within the City's eight historic districts
Refer to the District Guidelines and other relevant resources for information regarding design standards and other considerations.

Please consult the Guide to Acing the Certificate of Approval Process before starting the online application process.

The following changes require a Certificate of Approval before work can begin, even if no permit from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) is required:

  • Any change to the exterior of any building or structure 
  • Installation of any new sign or changes to existing signs 
  • A change in the color the building or structure is painted Any change in a public right-of-way or other public space, including parks and sidewalks - this may include sidewalk displays, street lights and so forth 
  • New construction 
  • Demolition of any building or structure
  • Changes to the interior that show from the street, changes to individual business spaces in the Pike Place Market, and changes to the interior of some landmark buildings
  • Site alterations in some cases
  • A proposed new business or service or an expansion of current use in some cases.



Jenifer Chao, Director
Address: 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA, 98124-4649
Phone: (206) 684-0464
Fax: (206) 233-5142

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