May 22, 2022

Seattle Times Editorial: “Seattle’s National Archives Branch Means More Than Its Real-Estate Value”

From the Seattle Times Editorial Board:

The wrongheaded decision to shutter and sell Seattle’s National Archives facility loomed ominously throughout 2020. Recently, the obscure federal agency that made this bad call worsened it by declaring it would move the transaction expected in mid-2021 to within weeks.


Instead, the little-noticed Public Buildings Reform Board, based in Washington, D.C., quietly cooked up the sale proposal that shocked historians back in January. Now the five-member board has hastened the deal, originally planned for mid-2021. A broker contract is expected this month to bundle the Sand Point site with 11 other federal properties across the country — including 129 acres of Auburn warehouses — for purchase in spring 2021 or before.

This outrage must not stand. Northwestern history must not be spirited away so mega-developers can grab a nationwide “high-value asset portfolio,” as described by board member D. Talmage Hocker, a Kentucky real estate developer, in the PBRB’s October meeting. Seattle’s National Archives brings value to this region’s history and culture far more significant than dollar figures can show.

Read the Complete Editorial

See Also: “Sale of Seattle National Archives Property is Being Speeded Up. Attorney General Bob Ferguson Says He Will Sue” (December 5, 2020)

See Also: National Archives (NARA) Seattle Facility Approved For Closure (Jan. and Feb. 2020)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.