Battelle/Talaris Campus

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2013

Location: Seattle, King County

Developed in the late 1960s, the Battelle/Talaris property is architecturally significant to the region as an example of Pacific Northwest modern architecture that represents the move toward environmentally responsive design. David Hoedemaker of NBBJ was the project architect. He attributes the influence of Eero Saarinen with whom he previously worked, as well as Paul Kirk and Al Bumgardner on his own work. Richard Haag, the award-winning designer of Gas Works Park, designed the landscape. By 2001, Battelle Research outgrew the location, which subsequently served as home to the Talaris Institute, an organization dedicated to early childhood development.

Concerned with losing the site’s delicate balance of the built and natural environment to development, a group of  neighbors formed Friends of Battelle/Talaris. The Friends, who have closely partnered with Historic Seattle, successfully nominated the property as a City of Seattle Landmark in 2013. Various redevelopment plans have been proposed to the Landmarks Preservation Board, but none have moved forward.

Update: Submit your comments!

A land use application for the property has triggered an environmental review and the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) is seeking comments on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This is an opportunity for the public to comment on what the EIS should cover.

The proposal calls for the subdivision of the site into 67 parcels with the construction of 62 houses, changes in the use of five existing landmark structures, demolition of 2 landmarked structures and a shed, and alteration of landscaping features.

Submit your comments to convey to SDCI is that the buildings, landscape, and entire site are significant. The proposed land use action will destroy the character of the site by removing much of the landscape and demolishing two buildings. The EIS must include at least one meaningful preservation alternative or option that would have significantly less adverse impact on the site.

You may submit comments to Your comment must include the record number (3030811-LU) and project address (4000 NE 41st Street). The deadline to submit comments is Thursday, September 17.

SDCI will also be holding a virtual public meeting for the EIS scoping on Tuesday, September 15, at 4:00 pm.

Webex Meeting Link:
Meeting Access Code: 146 162 3634
Listen Line: 206-207-1700

Thank you to our partners at Historic Seattle for this update! If you have questions about this important advocacy issue, please email Eugenia Woo, Director of Preservation Services at Historic Seattle.