Each year, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation provides grants through the Valerie Sivinski Fund to organizations across the state. The Valerie Sivinski Fund grant program embodies our mission by supporting preservation projects where they really happen: at the local level.

Named in memory of Valerie Sivinski, a beloved former board member of the Washington Trust, the Fund was established in 1997 with the first grants awarded in 1998. Since its establishment, the Fund has awarded over $190,000 in cash grants and building assessment services to 168 projects across the state to local organizations and historic preservation advocates.

Recipients of the 2021 Valerie Sivinski Fund grant awards were publicly announced December 15 at the Washington Trust’s annual Sivinski Holiday Benefit, held virtually and broadcast from the Stimson-Green Mansion. All proceeds from the benefit go to support the grant program. The 2021 grants were awarded to the following organizations:

$2,000 to the Stella Historical Society to repair siding on the front of the blacksmith shop. The Stella Historical Society uses the shop for historical demonstrations of blacksmithing with the public as well as a training site for the Clatsop Community College Historic Preservation Program.

$1,000 to the Friends of Magnuson Park to support a mini pop-up exhibit on Sand Point Naval Air Station’s all-black jazz band, the “Jive Bombers.” The exhibit will honor the Navy’s black musicians in World War II while also exploring segregation in the U.S. military and how black bands were formed as a way of elevating Navy men of color, when they were otherwise relegated to serving as cooks or attendants.

$1,500 to the Town of Waterville to support a downtown brick repointing and repair workshop at the Cooper Block. The goal is to help educate downtown building owners in proper preservation techniques—a good repointing can last a building many years, and poor repointing can irreparably damage historic bricks.

$1,250 to Historic Whidbey to fund seismic engineering plans for the Haller-Brunn House chimney in Coupeville. The chimney was carefully deconstructed in order to safely lift the house for foundation work, and the chimney will be carefully reconstructed with original bricks where possible as part of Phase II of the multi-year total rehabilitation.

$2,000 to the Community Advocates for Tolliver Temple to support a City of Seattle Landmark nomination which will provide permanent protections for the building. Historically built as Sephardic Bikur Holim Synagogue, it served the Jewish community until it was sold to the Tolliver Temple Church of God in Christ in 1963 and became a spiritual center of the black community in the Central District.

$2,000 to LaCrosse Community Pride to go toward engineering drawings for the Rock House Service Station which is being renovated into the Ice Age Floods Visitor Center and Heritage Museum. The museum in the service station is part of a larger project to rehabilitate all six historic rock buildings, built by local farmers during the impoverished years of the Great Depression, and to attract visitors and highlight the history of LaCrosse.

$1,500 to the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor to support the rehabilitation of Thunderbird #1, a sailboat designed out of plywood as a versatile vessel that the average handy person could build in their garage. This first-generation Thunderbird has been damaged from being on display in an open-air gallery, and after restoration, she will have a home in the Harbor History Museum’s new, enclosed maritime gallery.

For more images of the award-winning projects, please visit:

Valerie Sivinski Fund