The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board made short work of declining a landmark nomination for the Bonney-Watson Funeral Home in Capitol Hill on Wednesday, which will make way for its eventual demolition and redevelopment by Miller Creek Residential.

Board member Deb Barker didn’t mince words when it came to expressing her opinion about the Broadway funeral home’s 1960s modern design.

“I guess I’m really glad I’m alive and didn’t have a service there,” she said.

The Bonney-Watson Company, which has a 150-year history in Seattle, had requested the decision from the landmarks board in order to determine what effect that could have on Modera Broadway.

Mill Creek Residential is under contract to purchase the Bonney-Watson Funeral Home site and adjacent surface parking lot on Broadway, where it plans to construct two buildings with a combined 8,000 square feet of Broadway retail frontage, 224 residential units and 137 below-grade parking stalls.

Located at 1742 Broadway, the Bonney-Watson Funeral Home was built in 1961-62, and it currently provides embalming, cremations and other preparations for all Bonney-Watson locations.

Landmarks board members cited the fact that the funeral home was the seventh location for the Bonney-Watson Company, and not even the original Capitol Hill building, as part of the reason for their decision not to accept the building’s landmark nomination.

The Bonney-Watson Mortuary in Capitol Hill was constructed in 1912 and used for 50 years, but a need to expand led to the construction of the current funeral home. Board member Russell Coney said he was lucky enough to have been able to have walked through that structure. It would have had a better shot at a landmark designation than the current structure during the Dec. 6 board meeting, but it was demolished in 1970.

“To me, it’s a very disappointing building, it’s a very underwhelming building,” said David Peterson, who composed the landmarks report.

Landmarks board member and Capitol Hill historian Rob Ketcherside said the building isn’t very prominent in the neighborhood, nor does it really fit in with the surrounding buildings.

Bonney-Watson Company president Cameron Smock, who got his start at the Capitol Hill funeral home and had lived in the caretaker’s apartment during his bachelor days, told the Capitol Hill Times there were no hard feelings at the end of the day.

Bonney-Watson took down its sign as part of its contract agreement with Miller Creek. The sign was the last remnant of an old clock tower that used to be in a parking lot across the street, which was later moved to the corner of Broadway and East Howell through a land swap with Seattle Central College. Smock said he’s still seeking a variance with the city of Seatac to relocate the sign to the funeral home there.

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