The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, whose bid to sell its old downtown Seattle building to developers was stymied two years ago by historic-preservation advocates, is turning it over to the GSA for sale or other use.

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The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, whose bid to sell its old downtown Seattle building to developers was stymied two years ago by historic-preservation advocates, has decided to transfer the property to another federal agency for disposal.

But the transfer to the General Services Administration, the government’s real-estate arm, doesn’t necessarily mean the empty, 62-year-old building will be preserved.

“It continues to leave the door open” for demolition, said Art Skolnik, a former state historic preservation officer who heads a committee that has fought to save the building on Second Avenue between Madison and Springs streets.

GSA spokeswoman Stephanie Kenitzer agreed: “At this point there are no restrictions on disposal of the property,” she said.

The building could be sold if no government agency wants it, according to GSA rules.

The Federal Reserve, which moved its regional office to Renton in 2008, agreed to sell the building to a developer after city officials decided it didn’t qualify as a historic landmark.

But Skolnik’s committee challenged the sale in court and in 2010 a federal judge blocked it, ruling the Fed had violated procedural requirements of environmental and historic-preservation laws.

The building has since been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places by the state Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com