The Northwest Railway Museum’s relocation and structural rehabilitation of Parlor Car #1799.

Seattle: Each year the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation provides grants through the Valerie Sivinski Fund to organizations across the state that work to save the places that matter. Founded in 1976, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is a private nonprofit organization with a mission to preserve Washington’s historic places through advocacy, education, collaboration, and stewardship. The Valerie Sivinski Fund grant program embodies the mission of the Washington Trust 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 who served as president in the early 1990s, the Fund was established in 1997 with the first grants awarded in 1998. In addition to cash grants, the program also connects projects to preservation professionals who are able to offer support through pro-bono services. Since its establishment, the Fund has awarded nearly $170,000 in cash grants and building assessment services to 153 projects across the state to local organizations and historic preservation advocates.

Recipients of the 2020 Valerie Sivinski Fund grant awards were publicly announced on December 3 at the Washington Trust’s annual Sivinski Holiday Benefit held at the Stimson-Green Mansion, at which all proceeds from the benefit support the grant program. The 2020 grants were awarded to the following organizations:

  • $2,000 to the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie to support the structural rehabilitation of Parlor Car #1799. The car was listed as one of the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered Places in 2017 and was successfully moved via barge to the Northwest Railway Museum in 2018. The museum is now embarking on a full restoration of the car.
  • $2,000 to the City of Hoquiam to go toward the structural stabilization of Olympic Stadium. Sivinski funds will be supporting a larger project that also includes a new fire protection system, new siding, and painting. The stadium is one of the last remaining all-wood stadiums in the country.
  • $2,000 to the Ritzville Downtown Development Association to support roofing repair for the Ritz Theater. The community has raised over $125,000 to renovate and convert the theater to digital, demonstrating its local importance.
  • $1,250 to the Olympia Historical Society for the rehabilitation of the side porch of the Bigelow House. The house is a rare surviving example of Carpenter Gothic style architecture popular in rural America during the mid-1800s.
  • $1,250 to the Thorp Mill Town Historical Preservation Society to repair and replace shiplap siding on the southwest side of the Thorp Grist Mill. Built between 1880 and 1883, the Thorp Mill is the only remaining mill in Washington State that made the transition from stone buhr to modern rollers.
  • $1,000 to the Northport Historical Society to go toward a roof replacement for the Gallo House. In addition to being the home of the Northport Historical Society and the local historical museum, the house also serves as Northport’s welcome center and an art gallery. Sivinski funds will support a larger project that includes full rehabilitation of the house and Superfund site remediation.
  • $500 to the PBY Naval Air Museum to secure the Homoja Hut in Oak Harbor against weather and deterioration for future rehabilitation. Built as temporary military housing during WWII, the hut maintains its original residential configuration. The PBY Naval Air Museum plans to construct a hangar-style museum in which the Homoja will be located for exhibition and interpretation.


The Northport Historical Society’s restoration of the Gallo House.

Ritzville Downtown Development Association’s restoration of the Ritz Theater.

For more photos of the award-winning projects, check out the Valerie Sivinski Fund webpage:


For additional information regarding the 2020 grant recipients or the Valerie Sivinski Fund, please contact Outreach Director Jennifer Mortensen by email or at 206-462-2999.