The Africatown Community has declared The Liberty Bank of Seattle an Historical and Cultural Preservation site. Liberty was chartered in 1968 and was the Pacific Northwest’s first and only black owned bank.
The property address is 2320 E Union WA 98122 located where the old Key Bank now stands. Liberty Bank was brought into a legal lawsuit in the early 1990′s.
The Seattle Historic Preservation Program.
In 1970, the Seattle City Council secured Pioneer Square’s survival with the City’s first historic preservation district, and voters approved an initiative for the Pike Place Market historic district two years later.
In 1973, the Seattle City Council adopted a Landmarks Preservation Ordinance to safeguard properties of historic and architectural significance around the city.
Historic Preservation Program.
Whether it’s a 19th century log house, an Art Deco school or a prehistoric shell midden, these places are silent witnesses to the history of King County and to its people’s lives and cultures.
The Africatown Community feels it is in the best interest of the community as a whole, for its only black owned bank to be designated a Historical and Preservation site.
To read more regarding the lawsuit that involved Liberty Bank, refer to the link below:
Liberty Bank – FDIC Certificate #:27268
940 F.2d 465: Federal Deposit Insurance corporation, As Receiverfor Liberty Bank of Seattle, Plaintiff, v. Sim Henderson, et al., Defendants.J.Thomas Wood; Barbara Wood, Husband and Wife, Defendants-counter-claimants-plaintiffs-appellants, v. Thomas Oldfield, Counter-defendant-appellee.
I am no expert on the topic, but I think Liberty Bank was not founded solely by African Americans. I believe it was a multi-cultural affair with a Jewish founder (Jack Richlen) & an American of Japanese descent – George Takuta (not sure on spelling). Let’s not re-write history!
Nowhere does it say that the bank was founded solely by African Americans. Nowhere. What an interesting accusation about re-writing history. I wonder where the motivation for your comment truly lies.
Really, it’s an interesting and ironic thing you say about re-writing history. That’s an entirely different conversation though.
Liberty bank was the only black owned bank in Seattle. That is a well documented fact. You can re-write the history however you want.
Shamwow – those founders were also shareholders.
Am I right to assume that giving the old Liberty Bank historical status would effectively kill Capitol Hill Housing’s plan to build affordable housing at this site?
Liberty bank was closed in June of 1988. With backing investment from the FDIC and major local powers (Boeing, Weyerhauser…) it was folded into Emerald City Bank, and remained the only African-American owned/operated bank in WA. The Times and PI archives have many articles on the mismanagement of Emerald City that led to its closure in 1993. Key bank operated at the site for 20 years.
I don’t understand. Is it still important if blacks did not own it?
Ryan – historic designation would mean it would cost the developer more money if they had to maintain some aspect of the original buildings integrity or character.
Would a plaque and a photo be enough? With perhaps an additional display in the office of the new building?
The building has not character.
The building is architecturally insignificant and outdated; no way its preservation would help the neighborhood move forward.
The brief history of Liberty Bank is not really something to be proud of.
Some kind of memorial at the site would be appropriate,
Here’s a link to the confrontation of the worker assigned to remove the Liberty sign placed at the Key Bank site. It was posted in the comments of an earlier CD News story about the bank, and deserves another look.
Great. The cameraman harassed some poor vendor’s service guy who was there on a maintenance call.
Real bravery. Real commitment to a cause. That’s freedom rider stuff. I’m sure the suits at Key Bank were shaking in their Pradas
I see some of the undercover racists have come out of hiding… Anytime something is on this site regarding the black community in Seattle y’all love to spew your poison… I really wish y’all would stop hiding behind the computer screens, I’d love to see how you really feel about me to my face. I’ll never understand why people in Seattle want to squash all attempts to celebrate the accomplishments of blacks in Seattle, no matter how small…
Oh please. Just about every time anything is posted on this site, we are subjected to a semi-literate, all caps screed by a supposed former English teacher who lives in a fantasy world.
The bank was formed by people. People of every race. It’s great that it helped black folks, and that they were in leadership, but stop trying to hijack everything and make it into your own personal pity party.
Tear it down and move on. That intersection has been a blight for too long.
Hey “unbelieveable” aren’t you the troll “assinine” and many other names? Same syntax gives you away everytime! get a life and quit your shallow “assinine” confrontations on this site.
Nope, eyes, I’m my own troll. And what did I say that was so trollish?
I’m all for the designation. Have at it. But why does everything have to be put to a exclusionary narrative? Why is it that anytime any questions any sort of “Africatown” approved narrative, someone screams racism?
Why can’t we acknowledge that at one time this neighborhood was the home of several groups of oppressed minorities, as well as white people, and they worked together to develop their own organizations, or adapted existing organizations to accommodate everyone? This failed bank is one of those endeavors, and probably not one of the best examples. We have a history prior to the 60’s, you know.
If you want to go after trolls, eyes, you’d better start with yourself and your tired “containment zone” nonsense. You heard that in a made-for-tv movie or something, and you never let it go.
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What happenned to Omari’s comments? Are we now censoring all racially sensitive conversation? Do we deal with race and racism with silence?
The world is not a seedless strawberry milkshake. Political correctness would have us all eating McNuggets three meals a day. Censorship = McNuggets.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, POST ON THIS SITE ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT FOR ARGUMENT. YOU CAN’T ARGUE WITH FACTS. YOU CAN ONLY SHOW YOUR EUROPEAN SETTLER COLONIAL “JUDEO-CHRISTIAN” TERRORIST MENTALITY, HISTORIC “CAVE CULTURE” IGNORANCE, AND VIOLENT WAR MONGERING TAKE OVER GREED.
JUST GO TO THE NEAREST “INDIAN RESERVATION” (COLONIAL CONCENTRATION CAMP FOR “INDIANS ONLY) OR JUST GO TO THE NEAREST JAIL / PRISON AND ASK THE DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF BLACK/AFRICAN VICTIMS HOW THEY HAVE MADE SO MUCH “PROGRESS” FROM THE “JUNGLE IN AFRICA” TO THE VERY COMFORTABLE EUROPEAN SETTLER COLONIAL “JUDEO-CHRISTIAN” PRISON/CONCENTRATION CAMPS WITH A “BIBLE” IN EVERY SOLITARY (SOLIDARITY) ISOLATION CELL??? WHAT ABOUT OUR NON “JUDEO-CHRISTIAN” MOSLEM (MUSLIM) BROTHERS (NO SISTERS EXCEPT FOR ASSATA SHAKUR AFTER 3O YEARS IN EXILE IN ANOTHER PART OF CUBA)??????
PLEASE READ HISTORY AND CLEAN OUT YOUR “HOLLYWOOD” UN-HOLY “SUPERMAN / ALICE IN WONDERLAND / GOLDILOCKS / HONEST GEORGE “SLAVE OWNING MASONIC TERRORIST” WASHINGTON MYTH FILLED MINDS. WHAT ARE THESE NEW EUROPEAN SETTLER “DRONES”? T NEW TOOLS FROM HEAVEN TO PROTECT GODS “ANGELS OF DEATH”???
SORRY GOT TA GO PIC UP DE LEAVINS IN DE HOOD. STA DA EAR TO DA LARD CAS DE HEVEN HEAR’D I COM SOON’S I GET’S DE VITLINS IN BEFO DE SNO GETS DE FALLIN AN DE CO’L SET ON DE ERTH. IS I IS AH IS I AIN’T? DAT IS UP TA DE LARD? OR AS SHAKESPEAR PUT IT, “TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION”? Omari Tahir FOUNDER, VICE PRESIDENT AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER AT THE FORME COLMAN SCHOOL SITE (23RD AND MASSACHUSETTS), CO-CHAIR BLACK ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION (1970
So, Omari, how is preserving a non-remarkable building constructed by a failed bank that had to be saved by a European/Colonialist/Geonocidale corporate bank in any way a fitting tribute to the imaginary “Africatown”?