How to Make an Effective Landmark Comment

EMAIL comments to by Tuesday, January 17th at 3:00 pm


The key to an effective comment – either via email or in person at the meeting — is to focus on the six designation standards (also called criteria) listed in 25.12.350 – Standards for designation.

Specifically, describe why you feel the building meets the standards.

Here’s a template/example:

Dear Ms. Sodt

I support the nomination of the Mama’s Mexican Kitchen building.  I am (DESCRIBE YOUR CONNECTION TO BELLTOWN, SUCH AS RESIDENT, BUSINESS PATRON, WORKER, VISITOR, ETC).

I believe the building meets criteria C, D and F.

I believe it meets criteria C because…

I believe it meets criteria D because…

I believe it meets criteria F because…

Closing statement (e.g., thanks for protecting this key historic building in the heart of Belltown).

Note that you don’t have to hit every one of the standards/criteria.  Perhaps just note the ones that resonate most with you (see criteria details below).

You can also just say something as simple as:

I love this building. It is distinctive and is important to me as part of the neighborhood character. It is the signature building on the block of 2nd Ave.


The key is to focus on the building.

For in-person comments at the meeting, you will only have one minute — so you must be very brief!!!

Of course — feel free say anything you want — but the board tends to get turned off by “off-topic” comments (e.g., “Amazon is ruining Belltown” or “I loved Mama’s burritos and cheap tequila shots“).

Therefore, please focus on the building and the criteria! Thanks!!!

For details about the building, please look directly at a PDF of the nomination here  or a summary description here.



We believe the building meets Standard C (association with local culture), D (distinctive architectual style of a 20’s-era auto garage) and F (importance of place — in the HEART of Belltown).

Below are the definitions of standars (also called criteria) C, D and F and details about why we feel the building meets criteria C, D and F.

Remember that each comment doesn’t need to contain all of this info (and probably shouldn’t)!!! Focus in on what is most important to you about this building….based on Criteria C, D or F.  


mama2Is the building associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political, or economic heritage of the community?

KEY to CRITERIA C: Explain why you feel the building reflects Belltown’s cultural and economic heritage

The Mama’s building is significantly associated with auto-oriented businesses, a significant aspect of the social/economic heritage of early Belltown and Downtown Seattle.

As stated in the“Belltown Historic Context Statement and Survey Report” by Sheridan (2007), Belltown has two types of buildings built during the 1920’s were “particularly notable:” the film industry and automobile garages. We have several film industry buildings landmarked, but no auto garages. We need this!!!

According to the 2006 Historic Resources Survey, “the storefront on Bell Street is one of downtown’s most intact examples of an auto repair garage.”

While the owners may argue that the building is “nothing special,” it is this exact simple and utilitarian nature of this building that makes it qualify for landmark status under Criteria C. This IS Belltown’s history!

Criteria D. architectural style

alleyDoes the Mama’s building embody the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style, or period, or of a method of construction?

KEY to CRITERIA D: Explain why you feel the building embodies the distinctive visible characteristic of a 1920’s-era auto garage

The Mama’s building’s intact wood sash windows along the alleyway and Bell Street present the distinctive visible characteristics of a classic 1920’s automobile garage. It is the best remaining example of an auto garage remaining in Belltown and perhaps the best remaining example in all of downtown Seattle.



Is the Mama’s building an easily identifiable visual feature of its neighborhood or the City and does it contribute to the distinctive quality or identity of the Belltown neighborhood or the City due to prominence of spatial location, contrasts of siting, age, or scale?


KEY to Criteria F: Explain why you feel the building’s visibility and location make it worthy of designation under Criteria F

posterThe building’s prominent corner location makes it an easily identifiable future that contributes to the distinctive architectural character of this portion of 2nd Avenue.

The building’s bright and decorative brick facade is distinct and very visible.

The building is known and loved due to its long-time association with Mama’s

The building is located next to an existing historic landmark: the Wayne Apartments!wayne

The building’s location is prominent, with three sides exposed to the public — TWO OF WHICH ARE ADJACENT TO PUBLIC PARKS.


centralThe Mama’s Mexican Kitchen builidng is a significant building in a significant location