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Program Director, Larry Kreisman

Program Director, Larry Kreisman / Photo: Marissa Natkin

From Larry Kreisman, Program Director

Historic Seattle offers a wide range of educational programs each year to our members and the general public. We open up private homes to members; offer free to the public glimpses of both public and private significant properties at our quarterly members meetings; present outstanding lectures, in-city and out-of-town tours, “how to” demonstrations; and special events. We are able to carry out our ambitious programming with the help of a wonderful and supportive group of volunteers from our membership.

Our Audience

Historic Seattle draws city and county residents with interests in architecture, interior design and applied arts, travel, neighborhoods, history, preservation, advocacy, and repair and renovation of older homes. Some programs attract visitors from around the country and Canada. Through our website, Historic Seattle has expanded its audience and encouraged heritage tourism to Seattle. On average, approximately 1,500 members and general public attend our events each year.

Our Partners

Historic Seattle has in the past and continues to partner with local and regional organizations, some of which are Seattle Architecture Foundation, Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks, Seattle Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, DocomomoWEWA, Town Hall Seattle, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle Public Library, and architecture and heritage organizations in the U.S. and Canada.


Historic Seattle programming varies from year to year, but events generally fall into the following categories:

Learning from Historic Sites and members meetings: Historic Seattle quarterly meetings are planned specifically to reach out to the geographic boundaries of city and county to broaden member’ understanding of neighborhoods and buildings which they may not know well and the challenges and successes of restoration, seismic repairs, adaptive reuse, and grass roots preservation efforts.

Preserving Your Old House: Historic Seattle is committed to teaching homeowners the value of good stewardship and appropriate restoration, renovation, and upgrade techniques for older buildings. We offer workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and on-site visits with professionals in the field. Our website Preservation Pages provides access to appropriate experts in construction and the restoration trades.

Preserving Utility: It’s easy to identify the most significant architectural landmarks in a city. It’s more challenging to look beyond the grit and muscle of the city’s infrastructure to see the landmarks that helped build and support the city and are there everyday doing the work. This series explores important aspects of resource preservation with on-site tours and presentations.

Design Arts: Lectures by respected national and regional scholars and authors delve into every aspect of architectural form and styles, design and decorative arts, building materials, repair and stewardship. Since 1997, Historic Seattle has hosted over 100 important lectures alone and in partnership with other organizations.

Out-of-Town Tours: Historic Seattle conducts highly successful (and often sold out) out-of-town tours that explore American cities and towns by partnering with local resource talent in architecture and preservation communities.

Open to View: Opens historic private homes to members. These events provide architectural information in self-guided tours and through enthusiastic docents, and include refreshments.

Special Events: Along with our regular offerings, Historic Seattle hosts an Annual Historic Preservation Awards ceremony to acknowledge recent successes in the field locally. We welcome business and community to join us for the celebratory evening of good food, drink, conversation, presentations, and award winning projects. Occasionally, we have opportunities for exclusive openings and site visits for our members only.


Why Support Education?

Educational events are Historic Seattle’s most visible outreach to the community. They draw potential members and contributors to the organization. Historic Seattle relies on its leased properties, memberships and contributions, and ticket sales to continue its mission. Events are our key development opportunities. They are the places where valuable interaction and promotion can take place and where we are best able to build organization support and cultivate advocates in our efforts to save important built heritage. They also bring the organization donors, contributors, and energetic governing Council and Foundation members.

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