Ellensburg Depot

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 2004

Location: Kittitas County

In 1910, the Northern Pacific Railroad built this handsome brick and sandstone depot for passengers, freight, and mail coming through and into the town of Ellensburg. For 71 years it served as a primary point of entry into the Kittitas Valley until 1981, when the last passenger train pulled away. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the grand depot played an integral role in the history of Kittitas County and in the lives of the men and women who built Ellensburg.

Roslyn Old City Hall and Library

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 2005

Location: Kittitas County

The Northwest Improvement Company originally constructed the Roslyn Old City Hall & Library as a recreation and social hall in 1902, when it was known as the Roslyn Athletic Club. The company’s coal miners and their families enjoyed the bowling alley, swimming pool, ball courts, and community gathering area contained within the modest wood frame structure. In 1918, the City of Roslyn acquired the property, and it has been the seat of local government since then.

Old Ellensburg Hospital

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2009

Location: Kittitas County

Over the years there were attempts to revive the building, but there were a variety of complications including an underlying “public reserve” zoning. The property changed hands several times and the hospital was unfortunately demolished in early 2013. The lot currently still sits vacant.

Roslyn National Historic District

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 2010

Location: Roslyn, Kittitas County

The City of Roslyn is a National, State and Local Historic District consisting of approximately 900 property lots and 600 residential, commercial and community structures. Many structures suffered from deferred maintenance and neglect, in some cases resulting in demolition, and new construction was often incompatible with the historic character of the town. Furthermore, the Historic District was endangered by the continuing loss of forest lands on the town’s perimeter.

The Northwest Improvement Company (NWIC) Building is the largest, most visible and historically significant commercial structure in the city and the last remaining structure associated with the Roslyn Coal Field. The company store, built in 1889, supplied most of the food, clothing, furniture and hardware needs of the coal miners and their families as well as the explosives used in the mining operations. After the last of the working mines closed in 1963, Roslyn’s population declined and the NWIC building became vacant and eventually faced demolition.

The Washington Trust included Roslyn’s National Historic District as Most Endangered Place in 2010 when the Roslyn Downtown Association (RDA), a nonprofit Washington Main Street Community organization initiated an ambitious plan to revitalize Roslyn. Transformation of the NWIC Building was the cornerstone of the Roslyn Downtown Association’s plan, and working with students and faculty from the University of Washington’s Storefront Studio, the RDA conducted community visioning workshops to identify potential projects.

The RDA acquired the building in 2013 and completed the first phase of the renovation ADA and life-safety improvements, interior renovation and repairs the following year. Today the building is home to a visitor’s center, several locally-owned shops, galleries, and a micro-distillery. Recently completed masonry repairs, structural reinforcement, new electrical and mechanical systems and building insulation will help preserve Roslyn’s past to secure its future.

Read more from our “40 for 40” featured story from the Washington Trust’s 40th anniversary in 2016.

Morgan Middle School

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 2012

Location: Ellensburg, Kittitas County

Completed in 1929 with all the trappings of a modern educational facility, today, deferred maintenance and incompatible additions raised questions about Morgan Middle School’s architectural integrity. Moreover, citing structural deficiencies and other shortcomings, the Ellensburg School District proposed construction of a new middle school on the outskirts of town. But residents of Ellensburg were not quite ready to concede the existing middle school – a handsome brick structure designed in 1929 by Floyd Naramore. After a lengthy public process, in 2015 voters approved a bond to rehabilitate the historic central core of Morgan while sensitively adding new wings for needed educational programming. The rehabilitated school opened in fall of 2018.

Efforts to rehabilitate the school were championed by local advocates organized as Modernize Our Morgan (MOM). With private funding, MOM commissioned a feasibility study which found the costs associated with rehabilitation to be comparable to new construction. These findings helped establish rehabilitation as the preferred option for the community. MOM member Robert Walker was instrumental in this effort. Sadly, Robert passed away a few years ago, but we acknowledge him here for his commitment to Morgan Middle School.