Wednesday, September 29, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Kirkland Takes Stock Of Historic Landmarks -- Planning Board Will Study Inventory For Preservation

Seattle Times Eastside Bureau


Planning commissioners tomorrow night will take a look at ways to encourage historic preservation in Kirkland, one of the Eastside's oldest cities.

An inventory of 239 buildings developed largely through the efforts of the Kirkland Heritage Society will be discussed at a Planning Commission study session beginning at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The inventory has identified two objects considered important to Kirkland's historic character: a bell now atop Kirkland Congregational Church that was brought around Cape Horn and marked the founding of Houghton, and a clock on Kirkland Avenue that once timed ferry arrivals.

The inventory has generated concerns among some landowners that a historic designation could prevent them from selling or redeveloping their properties. Other property owners seeking inclusion on the list have spent thousands of dollars to preserve the historic character of their homes.

The inventory ranges from such well-known properties as the Peter Kirk Building at Seventh Avenue and Market Street to small bungalows, often 800 square feet or less, built around World War I. The land where many of the properties is situated has become valuable, but the smaller structures often have been considered of negligible economic value.

The inventory list divides properties into four categories: most significant, significant, notable and potential.

About 90 buildings are included in the most-significant category, with the structures considered largely architecturally intact. About 78 buildings are considered significant, 71 notable and 35 potential, meaning they've been altered so much their original character has been lost, according to an inventory summary prepared by Bob Burke, Heritage Society president.

Incentives are being considered to help preserve historic structures, including loans, grants, transfers of development rights and tax breaks. None of the proposals has been adopted, but all are being considered for the city's comprehensive plan.

Besides the historic inventory, the society has been instrumental in placing plaques throughout the city marking historic sites and is beginning a program to restore street names used at Kirkland's founding in 1889 in conjunction with present numbered streets.

Peyton Whitely's phone message number is 206-464-2259. His e-mail address is ------------------------------- Historic Kirkland

Information about Kirkland's historic inventory is available at City Hall, 123 Fifth Ave. Information about the Kirkland Heritage Society is available by writing to it at 304 Eighth Ave. W., Kirkland, WA 98033, or telephoning 425-827-7194.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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