Sound has no immediate plans for its 17th Avenue property where the historic Galbraith House is in the process of being salvaged and then demolished, its demise determined necessary due to safety concerns.

Originally constructed for James and Rose Galbraith in 1903 as a single-family residence and in the neoclassical domestic style, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board approved the Galbraith House’s landmarks designation on June 15, 2005, but just for the exterior. John Fox had made the nomination then.

Seattle Mental Health purchased the Galbraith House, 1729 17th Ave., in 1977. The nonprofit long operated as Sound Mental Health, and recently rebranded as Sound, acknowledging its work in behavioral health as well.

Sound operated the building as Emerald House, a day center where people could come for food, a place to relax, to take an art class, or receive computer training, among other services.

“It was really no longer very safe for both staff and our clients,” said Steve McLean, director of marketing and public relations.

The day center is now on Sound’s existing Capitol Hill North campus.

According to a controls and incentives agreement signed by Sound CEO Patrick Evans and city historic preservations officer Sarah Sodt in December, all controls were removed from the Galbraith House, making way for its demolition.

A memo attached to the agreement states controls and incentives were put in place after the designation, and Sound came back to the landmarks board in 2009 to ask for controls to be removed, “stating that demolition was necessary to generate a reasonable economic return on the property.”

Sound briefed the Architectural Review Committee in January 2010, showing five options for redevelopment that included another parcel it owns to the south.

“Sound Mental Health’s preferred scheme proposed moving the Galbraith House to the northeast corner of the combined site, and building new structures to the west and south to serve its internal operations,” the memo states. Sound provided ARC with another briefing in April 2010, but the board did not hear from Sound again until four years later.

Sound reported in June 2015 that it was no longer interested in preserving the Galbraith House because it did not believe there would be a reasonable economic return, the memo states.

Sound engaged CBRE to conduct an analysis.

“The outcome showed that a scenario to preserve the Galbraith House was close to achieving a reasonable rate of return,” the memo states. “Taking into consideration the current upward volatility of the local real estate and construction markets that is changing rapidly over the course of a few months, it was difficult to conclude the Galbraith property could generate a rate of return necessary to attract capital for investment.”

A fence went up around the property in August, and currently there is some asbestos abatement being done, McLean said.

Earthwise Architectural Salvage will be reclaiming portions of the house for reuse, including iconic columns and corbels on the exterior, and cornices, crown molding, several doors, sconces and windows from the interior, according to an itemized list attached to the demolition application.

Sound has 14 locations across the region with a focus on addressing mental and behavioral health and affecting positive outcomes for its clients, McLean said.

“While nothing is definitive yet, I do know what we are doing with this (property) is with that mission in mind,” he said.