Front Porch Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

Seattle City Council approves ordinance of the Broad Street Substation historic landmark

Seattle City Council recently approved the landmark designation ordinance for the Broad Street Substation located in the Cascade neighborhood. This facility joins the more than 400 landmarks in the city that contribute to the cultural and architectural heritage of Seattle’s neighborhoods.

The City’s Landmarks Preservation Board approved the nomination, designation, and controls and incentives for this landmark, and staff drafted the ordinance to the Seattle City Council. The final step in the process was approval by City Council which occurred on Monday.

As designated City landmarks, this facility is not only recognized for its historic and cultural significance, but it is also eligible for code relief that helps to contribute to the continued preservation of the landmark.

About the Broad Street Substation

These Art Moderne buildings were designed by architect Ivan Palmaw, who emigrated from Russia in 1926 during the Revolution. He earned an architectural degree from the University of Washington in 1929 and continued working in the region for 40 years. Of his many projects, he designed two other Seattle landmarks: St. Spiridon Orthodox Cathedral and St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

The Broad Street Substation came online in 1951 during a period of rapid growth for Seattle City Light (SCL). The facility was linked to the old north substation and another new facility in Bothell that were receiving electricity from the Skagit River Dam, along with the Ross Dam that was then under construction. The substation continues to be fully operational.