The Showbox wins Historic Landmark designation!!

The Showbox is officially an historic city landmark!!!

(But it’s not saved yet!)
The Landmarks Board unanimously designated the interior and exterior of the Showbox under Criteria C and D, cultural significance and embodying architectural characteristics of a style or period. 

One board member even wrote a haiku for the occasion: 
Showbox forever
Music, booze, dancing, sweat, love
Historic today

Now what? First, we celebrate! Enjoy this moment. We worked tirelessly for a year for this!
Next, the City negotiates controls with the owner. AND, we push for Historic Seattle to buy the building so the Showbox continues to host music for generations to come! (Landmark does not control use of a space.)

Endless gratitude for everyone who showed up, gave testimony, and emailed in comments. This would not have happened without overwhelming community support....people power!
Shout out to Historic Seattle, Friends of Historic Belltown, Vanishing Seattle, Friends of the Market, Friends of the Showbox, Rise Up Belltown, and the Showbox employees. Without everyone's continued advocacy and engagement, we would not be here today. (Nick Fillhart, Earnie Ashwood, and Shannon Welles pictured here on the steps of City Hall after the 3+ hour hearing, and a Showbox employee victory hug with Jonna McCurry, Amanda Morgan, Shannon Welles, and Nick Fillhart) ❤️

Landmark Hearing July 17 at City Hall

We only get one shot! Let's make it count. Showbox landmark vote is this Wednesday, July 17, Bertha Knight Landes room, City Hall. We're last on the agenda. Showbox presentation will likely start around 4:30 or 5pm. Public comment follows the presentation. Come early to sign up to speak. Comments are limited to 1 minute for individuals and should speak to the landmark criteria to be effective. (5th Ave doors are open if the 4th Ave doors are locked!)
Let's do this!
Thank you to STG Presents and The Triple Door for the marquee support!!

Temporary ordinance voided and Landmark hearing July 17

On June 21, King County Judge Oishi voided the temporary ordinance that placed the Showbox in the Pike Place Market Historic District. Read about that here and here. As we wait to see how the city proceeds and whether the owner will consider Historic Seattle as a buyer, we turn our focus to the final vote on Landmark designation.

We need a big show of support from the community on this. Join us on July 17 at City Hall for the Landmark hearing. The meeting starts at 3:30pm, and we will update the exact time when the meeting agenda is posted.

Public comment should focus on Landmark Criteria C: It is associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political, or economic heritage of the community, City, state or nation.

Can’t make it? Email your comments to the Landmarks Board via by July 12.

Read more about the Landmark process here.

Graphics by Barbara Longo.

showbox poster 3 5x7.jpg

Unanimous vote to nominate the Showbox as a historic landmark and a Showbox documentary!

On June 5th, the Landmarks Preservation Board voted unanimously to nominate the Showbox as a historic landmark. This means we go to a designation hearing on July 17 for the final decision on whether the venue will get landmark designation. Mark your calendars for the hearing. We need a big crowd for this!!

Also! Ethan Steinman made a fantastic documentary about the Showbox through the eyes of the employees. Check it out on our home page!


June 4th and 5th- Upcoming Hearings

Next week is our big week! We need a big showing of people for these public meetings!

June 4, 5:30pm, City Hall. City Council considers an extension to the Pike Place Market Historic District ordinance. Our inclusion in this district is set to expire on July 23, and the City has not completed their analysis of this matter. Effective comments should consider the Showbox's connection to the Market and urge the council to extend the date to complete their analysis. Personal stories are great if they speak to the issue. Can't be there in person? Email your comments to by June 3, 5pm.

June 5, 3:30pm, City Hall. Landmark Nomination hearing. Public comment follows the presentation. Join us after work if you can't make it at 3:30pm! We need a huge crowd for this!! Plan on having 1 minute each to speak. Craft your comments to fit the landmark criteria in order to be effective. We're focusing heavily on Criteria C: Cultural Significance to a community or city. Can't make it? Send in comments to by May 30. Visit this site for more info on landmark designation criteria.

Poster by Barbara Longo.

showbox poster - email.jpg

Ordinance Extension and Landmark Nomination Hearing Date Announced

Things are shaking in the Showbox world! The city is negotiating a possible standstill agreement with the owner, Roger Forbes. A standstill would pause the lawsuit and landmark proceedings (if agreement is entered into before the first landmark meeting on June 5, 2019). The standstill would give the city time to find an alternate buyer of the property- a buyer who wants to keep the venue in place and active.

City Council has also asked for a 6-month extension of the temporary Pike Place Market Historic District inclusion. If granted, this would put a final decision into the next City Council. Educate your district candidates on the importance of saving the Showbox!

The Landmarks Preservation Board will be meeting on June 5th at 3:30pm to consider the landmark nomination for the Showbox.

We need you to show up! The events below are public, and it is important to show continued public support for saving the venue.

Important dates to know:

May 22, 2019, 5pm, The Showbox: Public advocacy event hosted by Historic Seattle and Friends of the Showbox to educate and coach the public on effective comments and testimony for upcoming hearings.

June 4, 2019, 5:30pm, City Hall chambers: City Council public meeting to consider 6-month expansion

June 5, 2019, 3:30pm, City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room: Landmark Nomination hearing

June 10, 2019, 2pm, City Hall chambers: Full council vote on 6-month expansion of temporary ordinance

For the June 4th hearing: For those unable to attend the public hearing, written comments may be sent by email to: Councilmember Lisa Herbold, by 5:00 p.m. on June 3.

Guidelines for the Landmark nomination comments will be posted soon.

The Showbox in the News: Advocacy Update

Historic Seattle held their quarterly meeting at the Showbox on January 30th to give an update on their preservation efforts to save the Showbox. The most important thing to note is that the landmark nomination hearing will likely be happening this spring. There is not a lot happening behind the scenes in city government currently. Over the next several weeks, Friends of the Showbox will be making plans to re-engage the public and city officials. In the meantime, read Lester Black’s latest report in the Stranger Slog.

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 7.27.27 PM.png

Recent News

City Council approved funding for the Department of Neighborhoods to review the historical significance of the Showbox and its relationship with the Pike Place Market Historic District. The Council also funded the Department of Construction and Inspections to conduct an environmental (SEPA) review of a permanent boundary move.

We are waiting for a Landmark Preservation hearing date to be announced regarding the Showbox Landmark nomination. That will be our next opportunity to engage with city government in person.

News from October 2018: A judge dismissed part of Forbes’s lawsuit against the City of Seattle. Read more here.