Seattle board votes to nominate Showbox Theater for landmark status

SEATTLE -- Seattle's Landmark Preservation Board voted Wednesday in favor of nominating the Showbox Theater for Landmark status.

Developers have been wanting to use the property for a high-rise apartment building, but fans of the longtime music venue have been fighting to save it.

Wednesday's vote doesn't keep the Showbox but from the wrecking ball, but it's a step toward protecting it.

Fans say they're glad to have time to try to save it.

The building's owner, Roger Forbes, is seeking $40 million in damages and claims the city failed to follow proper protocol when it made the temporary historical designation in July.

That lawsuit is still pending, and a recent statement from the building's owner shows the sentiment has not changed.

"The ordinance adopted by the City Council in August 2018 is clearly in violation of State law," said 1426 First Avenue ownership spokesperson Aaron Pickus. "The City has had many opportunities over the past several decades to apply landmark protections to 1426 First Avenue, but following extensive expert analysis has consistently decided against doing so until the sudden political action by the City Council in August 2018."

The Showbox has played host to countless big name acts since it opened in 1939, including Duke Ellington, the Ramones, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Prince and Lady Gaga.