Endangered Property: P-I Globe

EDITOR’S NOTE: On May 26, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation announced its annual list of Washington State’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The list dates back to 1992, and aims to raise awareness of historic properties that face demolition by redevelopment or neglect. Over the past 17 years, according to the Trust, more than 100 have been nominated by concerned citizens and organizations across the state. The organization also assists historic preservation advocates in developing strategies aimed at removing these threats.

This year’s list includes Curran House (University Place); Alki Homestead Restaurant (Seattle); BF Tabbott House (Bainbridge Island); Bush House (Index); George Carmack House (Seattle); Day Block (Dayton); Old Ellensburg Hospital (Ellensburg); Libbey House (Coupeville); Post-Intelligencer Globe (Seattle); Sand Point Naval Station (Seattle); St. Edward’s Catholic Church (Shelton); Surrey Downs (Bellevue); Vashon Elementary Gymnasium (Vashon Island).

Last month, the Index began publishing a profile of each endangered property, as compiled by the Trust. Here is what the Trust has to say about the P-I Globe in Seattle.

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Emblazoned with the motto “It’s in the P-I,” the Globe sitting atop the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Building along Elliot Avenue continues to spin even though the presses ceased turning out newspapers over two months ago.

Long a visual icon of Seattle’s cityscape, the Globe first began revolving on Nov. 9, 1948, at its original location on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Wall Street. It landed at its current home in 1986 when the P-I moved its staff to the Elliot Avenue office building — it has remained there ever since. At 30 feet in diameter and over 18 tons, the Globe has consistently turned heads and is a cherished symbol of Seattle’s long and proud journalistic heritage.

Built by Pacific Car and Foundry and Electrical Products Consolidated (still in business today as PACCAR), the Globe as logo is a visual representation for the newspaper and remains a post-war tribute to the significant role trade signs and the graphic arts hold in commercial advertising.

While no plans indicating the Globe’s removal have been publicized, office space within the P-I building is for lease and maintenance needs for the structure could play a role in coming years. These facts have sparked discussion about an appropriate site for the Globe if its relocation ever becomes imminent.

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For more information on the Trust, visit http://www.wa-trust.org .

For earlier Index coverage of the Trust, click on the following links:

1. In an old hilltop mansion, a strong voice for preservation (04/14/09) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1528102&more=0 or http://www.wahmee.com/tdi_wa_trust.pdf .

2. Long list of concerns for Washington State preservationists (05/29/08) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1228444&more=0 or http://www.wahmee.com/tdi_jennifer_meisner_qa.pdf .

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The Index has a blog. Visit us at http://i.feedtacoma.com/TDI-Reporters-Notebook/