The Landmarks Preservation Board (LPB) designated the Bleitz Funeral Home at 316 Florentia St. a city of Seattle landmark earlier this year. During the preparation of the nomination, the developers supported the nomination of the 1921 portion of the building, hoping the LPB would not stand in the way of demolishing the 1989 west side addition. They succeeded there. Now they are faced with convincing the LPB of the need to replace most of the original windows.
The Queen Anne Historical Society’s Landmark Preservation Committee toured the building inside and out on Wednesday, November 22, 2017. The interiors have been completed gutted, with the building stripped out on all floors to the concrete walls. Only the wooden floors and a north-south row of studs on the first and second floors remain. As is often the case in buildings whose interiors haven’t been landmarked, the views are the interior’s most interesting features. To the north, the building hovers over the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ship Canal Trail that ends just below it at the Fremont Bridge. The view to the north includes the passing ships on the canal and the dramatic (soon-to-be-illuminated) opening and closing of the bridge. The view across the canal to historic (and modern) Fremont is also quite nice. To the east, the vista takes in the George Washington Memorial Bridge (Aurora Bridge) and sweeps across Lake Union, Capitol Hill and the University District. Jacob J. Bleitz (1867-1939) showed prescience in siting his funeral home. He understood the value of a great location — even in the business of dying. …Continue reading “Bleitz Funeral Home: Inside and Out”