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October 6, 2019

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Ronnei-Raum House, 1940

The King County Landmarks Commission, at its regular monthly meeting on September 26, voted unanimously to designate the Ronnei-Raum House a King County Landmark. Sarah J. Martin compiled and presented the nomination on behalf of Historic Seattle, which purchased the Fall City property in May 2019 as part of the new King County real estate program Preservation Action Fund.

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Ronnei-Raum House, 2019

Fall City is an unincorporated town situated along the banks of the Snoqualmie River where it converges with the Raging River. The town was platted in 1887 and took shape as a mill town and agricultural center that was served by steamboats, the railroad, and a network of roadways. The Ronnei-Raum House, built ca. 1904, developed out of this early settlement period. It is named for former owners Andrew and Karen Ronnei and their nephew and subsequent owner Christ Raum. All three were part of an extended family of Norwegian immigrants who lived and worked in eastern King County. The small cottage is a vernacular gable-front house that exhibits modest elements of the Queen Anne style.

Historic Seattle plans to rehabilitate the house and sell it. This landmark designation and a preservation easement will ensure its protection for years to come.

October 2, 2019

At its regular meeting on Septembe

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Auto Freight Co. Building, 2019

r 26, the Issaquah-King County Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to designate the Issaquah Auto Freight Co. Building an Issaquah landmark. Historic preservation consultants Sarah J. Martin and Flo Lentz compiled and presented the landmark application on behalf of the Issaquah History Museums, which owns the property.

The building is located at 92 SE Bush Street at the south edge of Downtown Issaquah, Washington. It was built in 1939 by Italian immigrant Remo Castagno and his brother Frank, and it served as a garage and storage space for their freight-hauling business. The Castagno brothers had been in business since the early 1920s and transported all sorts of goods, freight, and food products throughout the greater Seattle area. The Castagnos were well-known in Issaquah. Remo was active in local public service, including serving as fire chief, a school board member, a city councilman, and as mayor. Frank was active in industry circles and served as president of the Washington Motor Transport Association and was recognized by the American Truck Historical Society for his contributions to the industry. By 1960 the business had relocated to Renton, but the building remained in the Castagno family until they sold it to the Issaquah Historical Society in 1989. Society volunteers renovated the building in 1991 for use as exhibit workshop space and storage.

It was nominated for its reflection of area transportation history and for its significant associations with a locally prominent business that began in the early automobile era, survived the Great Depression, and thrived throughout the twentieth century.

July 26, 2019

On the eve of the 48th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Apollo 15 – the first Apollo mission to use a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) – the City of Kent Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to designate the three Kent-made LRVs as community landmarks.Apollo15_NASAPhoto_as15-88-11901_forweb The honorary designation recognizes the Moon-based vehicles built by the Boeing Company for their contributions to local and national history and for their significant design and construction. Sarah J. Martin is proud to have produced the landmark application on behalf of the Kent Downtown Partnership and the City of Kent

The LRV is history’s first and only human surface vehicle designed to operate on the Moon. Just three rovers were built, and only six men have driven them. Never had so much imagination, research, and public investment gone into the production of a wheeled vehicle. The rover made possible the greatest human explorations of the Moon in 1971-72, and it came from Kent, Washington.

Nearly 75 supporters and Boeing’s rover program alumni gathered at the Kent Landmarks Commission hearing to witness the vote. The designation joins just two other similar designations. In 2010, the states of California and New Mexico included in their respective state registers various objects on the Moon associated with the historic Apollo 11 landing site.

Here’s a sampling of news coverage: Kent Reporter, King 5 News, Kiro 7, Geek Wire,

July 20, 2019

SJM Cultural Resource Services is proud to be partnered with the Kent Downtown Partnership and the City of Kent in their trailblazing effort to landmark the three Lunar Roving Vehicles that are sitting on the Moon. Commonly known as the lunar rover or Moon buggy, the vehicle is history’s first and only human surface transportation system designed to operate on the Moon. At its Kent, Washington-based Space Center, the Boeing Company designed, tested, and built the four-wheeled vehicle for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to use in its Apollo J-class missions of 1971-72.

This project is part of the City’s broader effort to recognize, document, and honor Kent’s role in the history and future of the aerospace industry. Several news organizations have covered this process, including Crosscut, My Northwest, the Kent Reporter, and Geek Wire. 

April 12, 2019

In the video clip below, Sarah J. Martin recalls her time as a graduate student at MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation, from 2002 to 2004.

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April 2, 2019

The State of Washington’s Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) has certified SJM Cultural Resource Services as a Women’s Business Enterprise. Government agencies and some private companies look to certified firms when hiring and purchasing to meet their diversity goals.

SJM Cultural Resource Services is listed in the State’s directory of certified firms.

September 28, 2018

WA_KingCounty_Kenmore_SaintEdwardSeminary_48Daniels Real Estate has taken another important step in its effort to save and reuse Kenmore’s former Saint Edward Seminary building – it has won local landmark status for the property. With a long-term lease agreement in place with the Washington State Parks Commission that owns the building, Daniels is rehabilitating the impressive Romanesque Revival-style building to be its Lodge at Saint Edward. The lodge will feature guest rooms, a conference center, meeting rooms, a wellness spa, and a restaurant.

The Kenmore-King County Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to designate the Saint Edward Seminary building a Kenmore landmark. Historic preservation consultants Sarah J. Martin and Flo Lentz compiled and presented the application on behalf of City of Kenmore and Daniels Real Estate.

Designed by Seattle architect John Graham, Sr. and built in 1931, Saint Edward Seminary was the state’s first Catholic seminary and a lifetime achievement of Bishop Edward John O’Dea, a leading regional figure in the Catholic Church during the early 20th century. The last seminary class graduated in 1976 and the State of Washington acquired the property that is now Saint Edward State Park.

The application is available HERE in its entirety. The Bothel-Kenmore Reporter recently announced the landmark designation.

July 30, 2018

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Gilman Town Hall

The Issaquah-King County Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to designate the City-owned Gilman Town Hall & Jail an Issaquah landmark. Historic preservation consultants Sarah J. Martin and Flo Lentz compiled and presented the application on behalf of the City of Issaquah and the Issaquah History Museums.

Built in 1888 as a community hall, the Gilman Town Hall is among the oldest extant buildings in Issaquah. It was the center of town government for 30 years, beginning in 1898, when the Town of Gilman purchased the property for official town meetings. In 1914, the Town built a two-cell concrete jail in the rear yard and a bell tower at the rear of the hall, for use by the new volunteer fire department. Issaquah’s first female council member – Stella Alexander – served part of her term in the Gilman Town Hall. The building functioned as a private residence from 1930 to 1972, when the City of Issaquah purchased it on behalf of the newly formed Issaquah Historical Society, for use as a community museum. A group of museum volunteers renovated the building facade in 1983. Today, the the Gilman Town Hall & Jail is occupied by the Issaquah History Museums.

The application is available HERE in its entirety.

May 25, 2018

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Buchanan House

At its meeting on Thursday, May 24, 2018, the Kirkland-King County Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to designate the privately-owned Buchanan House a Kirkland landmark. Historic preservation consultant Sarah J. Martin compiled and presented the application on behalf of the City of Kirkland.

Built in 1890, the house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as the Dr. Barclay Trueblood House. Newly discovered sources revealed the house had a much deeper and significant connection with Dr. William Buchanan, an early doctor who lived and worked in the residence. The building was threatened with demolition in 2016 and, after a long effort to find new owners, the residence was moved to its new and permanent location just a block away. It was under renovation at the time of designation.

The application is available HERE in its entirety.

March 23, 2018

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Boeing Airplane Co. Bldg.

On behalf of the Museum of Flight, historic preservation consultant Sarah J. Martin presented a landmark application for the museum’s Boeing Airplane Company Building to the Tukwila-King County Landmarks Commission at its meeting on Thursday, March 22, 2018. The commission voted unanimously to designate the building a Tukwila landmark.

Built in 1909 along the Duwamish River, the former shipyard building became Boeing’s first manufacturing plant in 1916. The heyday of its use was over by the mid-1930s. The years-long effort to save the building was one of the earliest, most visible historic preservation projects in King County. It was moved in 1975 to Boeing Field to serve as the home of the Museum of Fight, which opened in 1983.

The application, co-authored by Flo Lentz, is available in its entirety at this link.

March 9, 2018
At its regular monthly business meeting on February 9, 2018, the Historic Wallingford Board of Trustees elected Sarah J. Martin to serve among their ranks as a trustee.

Established in 2017, Historic Wallingford is a Seattle neighborhood advocacy group with the mission of promoting the appreciation and understanding of the cultural and architectural heritage of Wallingford. Through engaging programs, gatherings, and online collaboration, the not-for-profit aims to spread awareness of the streetcar neighborhood’s early 20th century roots and development.

“Wallingford has a rich architectural heritage that deserves greater attention. I’m thrilled to be a part of this group, and I can’t wait to get to know my neighbors!”

The Board meets monthly for business meetings. Information about upcoming events is posted here.

November 7, 2017
The Eureka Foundation re-published on its website a piece written by Sarah J. Martin and entitled “Utopia College.” Originally published by Atlas Obscura, the article tells the story of Utopia College, founded by Massachusetts economist and philanthropist Roger Babson in Eureka, Kansas, in 1947 as part of his effort to prepare for a coming Third World War.

September 20, 2017
Historic Seattle held its annual preservation awards benefit on September 19, 2017. Among the honorees was Southwest Seattle Historical Society for its “We Love the Junction” Campaign, a grassroots community landmark campaign for West Seattle’s main business district – The Junction. Sarah J. Martin, of SJM Cultural Resource Services, was recognized as a Supporting Partner for her role in preparing landmark applications for the Campbell and Crescent-Hamm buildings. To learn more, click here.

April 6, 2017
West Seattle Blog: West Seattle Junction’s Campbell Building becomes a city landmark, with board’s unanimous vote

February 15, 2017
West Seattle Blog: One new landmark for The Junction