What is a landmark?

Wherever people live -- in cities or in rural communities there are landmarks, things that have been around long enough to be common reference points. They are sighted just over the hill or around the bend. When you see one, whether it be a building or a bridge, a smokestack, or a rock formation, you immediately know where you are and where you are going. They are part of a communities collective memory and provide a sense of stability and place. Landmark Designation Application (PDF)

Snohomish County does not officially designate landmarks to the National Register, but wishes to recognize these buildings and monuments so they can be recorded. A Snohomish County Landmark designation is purely honorary. The landmark is not connected in any way with the Snohomish County Register of Historic Places, nor with any existing county, state, or national regulations. Changes proposed for a landmark do not need historical commission review as do Register properties. A designated landmark can be demolished without consent of the commission. However, the commission would strongly encourage, as a courtesy, a landmark owner to notify the commission of proposed changes to a designated landmark. If a landmark is changed to the extent that it no longer fits the landmark criteria, it will be taken off the list of recognized landmarks by the commission.

Geographic Areas Eligible

Honorary landmark designations will be considered part of the historic preservation commission's public education program. Each community that has a landmark designated will be given a copy of the application material justifying the designation as well as references to any written, audio, or graphic history that is currently available concerning the landmark.

An Educational Opportunity

Landmarks can be designated in unincorporated Snohomish County or in any of the county’s cities, with the permission of that city's government and the permission of the owner of the landmark.

Criteria for Designation

The landmark must meet one or more of the following criteria

  • Easily recognized from a distance
  • Recognized as a landmark by a large sector of the community
  • Serves as traditional meeting place
  • Prominent visual feature that serves as a point of reference and orientation
  • Man-made (a structure or object) or a natural land feature
  • Would be missed by most people in the community if it were destroyed
  • Contributes to community awareness and a sense of pride
  • Serves a public education role