Questions/Responses Browne’s Addition Project – Spokane


Question #1:

Task 2: What is the expected content of the requested Design Guidelines. Does the City have previous neighborhood design guidelines that would serve as an example of a final deliverable? Will the City provide the final formatting and layout?


The Historic Preservation Office is interested in seeing what the consulting community proposes for district standards – in general, we are looking for a document that gives direction to home owners, developers and commercial property owners as well as our Landmarks Commission and City Staff guidance for what we imagine will be a much increased design review workload. The City does have one example of design guidelines that were created for a residential neighborhood, Corbin Park, in 1993 – I would NOT say that this is an example of what we are looking for in Browne’s which is a much more complicated neighborhood with development pressures, different zoning (multi-family, HDR) and also includes a small commercial area. 

General content for the standards was included in the RFP:

  • Introduction: Include principles, intent, and detailed text which clearly communicates appropriate/inappropriate treatment approaches for building and site features
  • Common styles, basic house treatments
  • Design Standards:
    • Develop Standards for the review of historic structures in Browne’s Addition Historic District.
    • Strategies for existing non-contributing structures within an historic district
    • New construction: Important design considerations for new buildings that include height, massing, scale, form, texture, lot coverage, setbacks, spacing of buildings, orientation, and alignment.
  • Excellent visual examples which illustrate appropriate/inappropriate treatment approaches for building and site features
  • All content must conform to the “Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties”, as well as Technical Preservation Services Preservation Briefs published by the National Park Service.

The City will not be providing final format and layout – that would be considered a deliverable. In looking through some examples on the National Alliance of Preservation Commission’s website, I could see a document such as this one from New Jersey’s West End Guidelines. We would not be looking at vegetation, signage and some of the other topics covered, but in general, I like the idea of how these guidelines have been created and laid out. A more general treatment may be something like the City of Boulder’s citywide design guidelines.

Question #2:

Task 3: What is meant by “Marketing the benefits of historic districts?” What does the city expect that deliverable to be and who is the audience?


This is in the Public Outreach Task – in general, we are just looking for a positive, productive approach to public engagement using a variety of platforms – this can be through our Facebook page, web page or as a component of public meetings. The audience is the general public, specifically those within Browne’s Addition, but our outreach efforts will also go beyond just the narrow confines of the neighborhood. At the end of the process, City Council will be creating a Historic District Overlay and we want to make sure that there is a good understanding of the benefits of the creation of a local historic district. We are not necessarily looking for a brochure detailing the benefits of historic districts – but that might be something that could be included as Task 4.

Question #3:

Task 4: Please explain or provide examples of what is meant/desired by this Task. Are Task 4 additional services funded by the city beyond the identified budget? On past proposals, what did the consultant provide that was interpreted as “creative and complimentary?”


As is stated in the RFP – this is an optional task, but does not include additional money. For an example, we completed a Mid-century Modern Survey, Inventory and Context in 2017; the consultants selected for that project responded to Task #5 (as it was in the RFP) with this:

Our suggested “creative and complementary proposal for additional deliverables” is to help the HPO turn the survey findings into web content, to use Facebook and other social media channels to drive traffic to the HPO website, and to develop marketing and media strategies that help the general public understand the importance of the survey – and, ultimately, of the resources and the movement they represent. And to create a more robust and ongoing social media stream, we suggest using Facebook and Twitter to showcase a new resource every week, starting in January, for approximately one year. By offering a weekly social media news feed to mid-century enthusiasts (and even those who might not be – yet), you provide a way for them to connect and keep in touch for an entire year while exposing them to other HPO news and activities. Both the web project summaries and social media posts would include a link to the full survey in PDF form. Like the web pages, we would develop the look, feel, and content of the first post; others would be the responsibility of HPO staff. This news feed would be promoted at the public meeting, on the HPO website, and through your ongoing social media channels.

You can see the finished project here and on our Facebook page for the weekly posts.

We specifically leave this up to the responder to give us their ideas – each consultant brings different skills and creativity to the project. We don’t have anything in particular that we are looking for…or else it probably would have been included in the RFP as a task! We’re really interested in ideas that propel the project forward in ways we haven’t thought of. 

Question #4:

The RFP says that the City photographed approximately 350 properties in the neighborhood last summer, and also that part of the nomination involves writing architectural descriptions for the properties. Does Wisaard need to be updated to flesh out the photo survey and document the local district?


I don’t think that we are necessarily looking for updated inventory forms in the WISAARD system. As mentioned, we did photograph all of the properties within the district and added them to existing WISAARD inventory records – it may be a good tool for the selected consultant to use as a starting point for the architectural descriptions that we would like to have in the nomination form itself. The last inventory of the neighborhood was done in 2001/2, so some properties may have changed quite a bit since then, but others may have fairly good architectural descriptions already complete. We will provide the digital photos to the consultant who is awarded the project.

Question #5:

I am assuming that the city would want the emphasis of this project to be on the design guidelines, outreach, and identifying the contributing/non-contributing properties. The RFP states that the period of significance may need to be expanded to capture more recent properties. Accordingly, is a new context anticipated that discusses more recent properties? Can portions of the existing NR statement of significance be “re-used” in the local register listing where appropriate? Or is an extensive re-write anticipated?


That is exactly correct! While most of the time, one would expect that the nomination activities might be the most involved, for this project, that is probably not the case. We would appreciate a look at expanding the period of significance for the neighborhood and would expect that will be recommended and that the context would be added to as a result, but we are not looking at a complete re-write of the existing history of the neighborhood. We do expect the bulk of the work to deal with the design standards and public outreach activities. 

Question #6:

The RFP states that a web page might be a central information source that assists with outreach. I see that the city has put together a webpage for the project. Could part of outreach be providing content for this page, like project updates?


Yes! The Historic Preservation Office is happy to use our existing web page and social media (Facebook) for any content/information that the consultant thinks would be helpful as the project progresses.