Operation YHP is a single-day historic preservation field school based on the Washington Trust's highly successful youth program, Discover Washington: Youth Heritage Project. The inaugural 2015 program will convene a group of up to 10 high school students and one teacher from King County to engage in the often complex issue of historic preservation advocacy through the Skykomish Hotel.

The “Sky Hotel," one of few remaining pioneer hotels along the US Route 2, has been vacant and neglected for well over a decade. The building recently came under the ownership of the Town of Skykomish, which is looking to revitalize the structure as a viable, revenue-generating property to spark economic development. The hotel is an anchor in the town’s historic district and an important reminder of the community’s heritage as a center for logging and as a stop along the railroad. Students will be introduced to the history of the hotel, assess its physical condition, consider possible advocacy campaigns, and critique proposed reuse scenarios.

Operation YHP will have the same primary objectives as the longer program: to connect youth to historic places and landscapes; engage students in historic preservation and conservation activities, and excite the next generation of advocates and stewards of our natural and historic resources. The project will require students to engage with the built environment and foster a more thorough understanding of preservation advocacy. Following the project, students will be encouraged to apply what they have learned to a historic resource within their own communities, providing an evaluation regarding whether or not the resource would be an appropriate subject for an advocacy campaign.

For high school students, the Sky Hotel offers an opportunity to witness the impact a preservation campaign can have on a community. As efforts to rehabilitate the building remain very much ongoing, students can pro-actively engage in creating a vision for future use, while learning how to temper that vision given the realities and constraints of market forces. High school students in general have relatively little opportunity to directly engage with and understand historic resources at the grassroots level. Using the Sky Hotel as a case study, Operation YHP will enable students to experience firsthand the the tactile appreciation that can only be gained from visiting, in person, and engaging with historically significant sites.

A special thanks goes to 4Culture for providing grant funding
that allows us to offer this program FREE of cost to all participants!

Questions? Problems with the application? Please contact Jennifer Mortensen by calling 206-624-9449 or via email.

More photos of the Skykomish Hotel: