When a fire badly burned the Washington State National Guard Armory in 1962, the city was under pressure to act. The could either rebuild it, or turn the land over to developers who were chomping at the bit to build high rises and office buildings.
Victor Steinbrueck, an architect and faculty member at the University of Washington, felt strongly that the armory should be rebuilt. “Buildings like this (and there are very few) offer an irreplaceable tie with the past as well as adding variety and interest to new surroundings,” he wrote at the time. “Restoration is not at all impossible or difficult for sympathetic designers.”
The city tore it down anyway. But they didn’t turn it over to developers either – they turned it into a park. And then, in 1985, after Steinbrueck’s death, they named the park after him. The guy who wanted it to be an armory.
EPACC will meet at Victor Steinbrueck Park on Friday, February 15th at 8:00 AM. Here’s a map.