Nov 25, 2007

Odd Fellows Hall

You might be interested in this Capitol Hill neighborhood generated website, which is gathering support for an effort to save the Oddfellows Hall. They have a long list of newspaper articles about the project.

Ann Donovan writes:
Help us compile a list of the top reasons for saving the Odd Fellows Hall (OFH). Here are some to start with:

  • 1. OFH draws thousands of patrons to the Capitol Hill Community each month for classes and performances.
  • 2. It is home to several of Seattle's performing arts incubators including Freehold Theatre and Velocity Dance Center.
  • 3. Is a cultural institution/center for Seattle and for the greater Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Others in the neighborhood have suggested working with the developer:
With regard to Odd Fellows, one thought might be to work with the developer to see that the Century Ballroom is preserved and that rents are kept low enough for this space to ensure the current uses can continue.

I believe in preserving historic buildings and maintaining important/historic uses but I think the best way to get there is to fight irresppnsible development but to support and work with responsible development.

As far as a buyer for Odd Fellows is concerrned, we could not have done much better than Ted Schroth as he is commited to Capitol Hill and committed to preserving historic buildings. If we fight the responsible developers, we will scare them off.

Again, I would encourage concerned citizens to meet with him and voice your concerns. I bet there is a good chance that there is a win win solution here.

And Ann's reply:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It seems though that you aren't very familiar with the history or current uses of the building beyond the ballroom.

Also, I'm sure you are aware that with a offer made on the space, based upon plans to convert it to market rate offices, in itself negates its ability to retain its non-profit tenants -- including the Century Ballroom. While Schroth may be well intentioned in preserving the facade of the building, its value to the community is in its present use as a performing arts center, he might as well tear it down if that's all he cares about. The loss of the space if this deal goes through is one that cannot be recovered from -- plus driving out the non-profit tenants may well do them in entirely.

I think you need to learn a little more about this building.

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