Originally built in 1907, with additions in 1914, 1930, and 1958, Lincoln High School has a significant physical and visual presence in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. The campus was unoccupied for 16 years until 1997, when Seattle Public Schools (SPS) began to operate it as a swing site for various elementary, middle, and high schools in construction. In response to the district’s need to accommodate growth, Bassetti was commissioned to restore this designated Seattle landmark to a viable, 21st century learning facility while celebrating its 20th century roots.
SPS desired a safe, comprehensive high school that honored the historic landmark while supporting multiple teaching modalities, universal access, and a connected campus. Lincoln’s exterior was revitalized to its original splendor with repointed masonry and the replacement of damaged terra cotta. The school’s entrance was restored to meet universal access and safety codes with the addition of a glass entry. The result is light and welcoming and the views beyond connect the old fabric with the new. The historic auditorium was transformed into a new, light-filled library and media center. Previously hidden by a suspended acoustical tile ceiling, the ornamental plaster beams and original coffers are now exposed and restored, offering a glimpse into Lincoln’s history. Learning spaces are organized into academic neighborhoods with classrooms, breakout spaces, labs, and teacher planning rooms. The distributed commons forms the new heart of the campus and spills into a protected courtyard beyond for socializing and learning.
The delightful stylistic nuances of Lincoln provide neighborhood identity and speaks to the cultural continuum that links us to our predecessors. Alumni and students were welcomed back to a beautiful high school that defines both the past and future of Seattle Public Schools.