Arlington High School

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2018

Location: Arlington, Snohomish County

Built in 1936, the old Arlington High School has been loved by generations of students. With its grand front entrances, streamlined architectural details, balconied auditorium, and original iron and glass skylights, it is a beautifully intact example of Art Deco architecture. In addition to its clear architectural value, the building features two murals from Washington artist Richard Correll, funded by the Works Progress Administration in 1940.

Until the completion of a new high school in 2007, this building was the hub of the Arlington community. Over the past decade, the school housed community organizations, but now sits mostly vacant. There is an active need for a community center in Arlington. With the school’s proximity to downtown and public transit, local advocates see the school as a perfect candidate for just such an adaptive use. Still in its historic configuration, the former school could easily accommodate Arlington’s non-profit and arts communities with studio and makers spaces, meeting and office spaces, educational and training spaces, and even a large performance venue.

Snohomish County Courthouse

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2002

Location: Snohomish County

“The Mission Building would retain most, if not all, of its current uses and be retained in its present condition” was the conclusion of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Snohomish County campus redevelopment project. However, seismic concerns are also noted, and rehabilitation is viewed as a necessary step for keeping the building in long-term, active use. Without a firm commitment by the County to address these concerns, this property is still endangered.

Collins Building

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2004

Location: Snohomish County

Tthe Collins Building was a remarkable three-story, old growth timber, post and beam structure. North Coast Casket (later the Collins Casket Company) erected this substantial 60,000- square-foot frame factory on the wharf in 1925. Broad windowed expanses maximize natural light to the interior, which originally saw assembly activity on the first floor, trim work on the second, and storage on the third. Inside and out, the Collins Building evoked an era of industrial activity that has been virtually erased from Everett’s bay front. Before the Port of Everett Commissioners voted for its demolition in 2010, it was the only surviving example of the wooden bay front mills that were the industrial backbone of “The City of Smokestacks.”

Donovan District

Status: Still Standing

Year Listed: 2006, 2005

Location: Snohomish County

This local historic district of over 80 Cottage and Tudor style homes was built between 1925 and 1931 by Edward W. Donovan, a prominent local real estate entrepreneur. These modest but well-built structures answered the need for affordable single-family housing when Everett was growing in the 1920s, and they continue to serve this function today.

Howard S. Wright House

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2006

Location: Everett, Snohomish County

Located in Everett’s Grand District, the Howard S. Wright House has been described as a fine example of the Classic Box. Howard S. Wright, founder of the Howard Wright construction company noted in the Puget Sound region and beyond as the main builder for the Seattle World’s Fair buildings, including the Space Needle, built the house in 1905.

By 1961, the house had been divided into eight apartments. A fire destroyed the roof in 2002, and fighting the fire caused water damage throughout. It was nominated in 2006 and the next year, Bill Belshaw, a local resident and board member with Historic Everett, purchased the house and rolled up his sleeves. Belshaw completely restored and updated the house, turning it into five condominiums. The house was listed on the Everett Register of Historic Places in November of 2012.

Once neglected, historic Everett house shines again” – HeraldNet, Novemebr 20, 2012

Bettinger House

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2008

Location: Snohomish County

William & Ina Bettinger built this Queen Anne-style house in 1917.  As one of the older houses in the downtown core of Edmonds, the structure is identifiable for typical Queen Anne details such as multiple gables, a wraparound porch, fish-scale shingles, and decorative woodwork.  The house is considered eligible for the local register.

Bush House

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2009

Location: Snohomish County

Several years ago, Snohomish County revoked the hotel’s Certificate of Occupancy due to structural and public safety concerns. Since this time, the building has been subjected to vandalism and squatters. The structure’s shingle roof is rotting and could collapse, given the heavy snowfall that commonly occurs in the area. The property is for sale, but despite receiving several purchase offers, the owner has opted not to sell. The hope is that an agreement can be reached with a buyer interested in rehabilitating the Bush House. Of the five pioneer-era hotels that once served Index, the Bush House, listed in the Washington State Heritage Register, stands as the last remaining.

Trafton Elementary

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2010

Location: Snohomish County

One of the oldest continually operating public schools in the state, the current school building was constructed in 1912 after the original structure succumbed to fire. Located in a unique rural country setting, the building retains its original architecture, accented with its bronze school bell in an open cupola on the roof, and is listed in the state and national registers. Facing district-wide underenrollment, budget deficits, and needed repairs, the Arlington School District Board will vote on June 14 whether or not to keep Trafton’s doors open. The hope is that Trafton will remain open and continue to serve the community as it has for over 120 years.

Green Mountain Lookout

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 1999, 2011

Location: Mount Baker–Snoqualmie National Forest, Snohomish County

Constructed in 1933, the Green Mountain Fire Lookout in the Glacier Peak National Wilderness Area is a rare example of a fire lookout remaining in its original location. The lookout remained staffed into the 1980s, but the gradual increase of aerial methods of fire detection rendered its original use less relevant. Given the severity of winters in the North Cascades, and a 6,500 foot high site, the building was difficult and expensive to maintain, and threatened with removal when closed to the public in 1994 due to structural deterioration. Additionally, preservation of the building seemed at odds with its setting in a designated wilderness, despite being very popular with hikers.

Trust actions, such as including the lookout on the Most Endangered Places list in 1999, and the awarding of a Valerie Sivinski Fund grant that same year to assist in the rehabilitation, helped create a path to preservation. A federal award of $50,000 from the Save America’s Treasures program in 1999, cooperative planning from the U.S. Forest Service, and the volunteer efforts of the Darrington Historical Society and labor of Passport in Time participants, would have seemed to have sealed the deal.

However, challenges remained, and initial rehab efforts in 2000 did not adequately account for the detrimental effects of snow load. The lookout was systematically disassembled and removed by helicopter tor work off-site. Hundreds of volunteer hours were logged between 2003 and 2008 towards rehabilitation and a grant of $50,000 from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office made possible foundation repair by National Park Service crews in 2009. That same year, the disassembled pieces were flown back and reassembled, and the structure seemed saved.

However, the lookout was once again listed in the Trust’s Most Endangered Place program in 2011 when Montana-based Wilderness Watch sued the US Forest Service and called for the structure’s removal, claiming rehabilitation efforts had violated the Wilderness Act. Preservation advocates, including the Washington Trust, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Darrington Historical Society, filed an Amicus Brief in support of the lookout, but the preservation battle continued when a federal judge ordered removal of the structure in 2012. Ultimately, passage of the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act in 2014 permanently blocked removal. The legislation was sponsored by Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, along with Representatives Suzan DelBene and Rick Larsen. The Green Mountain Fire Lookout received the National Trust tor Historic Preservation’s John H. Chatee Trustees’ Award tor Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy in 2014. Special recognition is due to Scott Morris of the Darrington Historical Society for the countless hours he spent advocating for the preservation of the lookout.

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

Longfellow School

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2015

Location: Everett, Snohomish County

Built in 1911, the Longfellow School has a one hundred year legacy serving as both a school and as administrative offices for the Everett School District. Following construction of a new Community Resource Center in 2013, the District effectively retired Longfellow School, leaving it to serve a non-essential storage function. The District issued a request for letters of interest for the property and indicated a preference that the exterior of the building be preserved. The district has received several proposals that have included rehabilitation of the former school building, but they have all been considered not viable. Adding to the concern is the fact that the entire site is adjacent to the district-owned Memorial Stadium, which is used for a variety of school and community events. Advocates fear the perceived need for parking could trump a plan for rehabilitating the building. The Longfellow School site is large enough to accommodate new construction, an important element as the cost to rehabilitate the historic school may require a degree of new development to make the economics feasible.

A December 2016 Herald article about the impending demise of Longfellow prompted a miraculous donation of $3 Million to the Everett Museum of History to purchase the school for use as a museum. However, after several months of negotiations the deal fell through and the museum purchased a different property. In 2017 the Everett School District called for bids to demolish the Longfellow School and construct a parking lot. In July of 2018 the bids were put to vote by the school board. The lowest bid came in at $2.1 Million, about three times what they had estimated. This caused some hesitation, but in the end two directors voted in favor of accepting the bid and two voted against. A fifth director who supported the demolition had stepped down the previous week for health reasons. Only because of this the motion failed and the school received a stay of execution.

UPDATE!

In early February of 2019, Historic Everett learned of plans by the Everett School District to bring a contractor in to the Longfellow school to salvage lights, doors, handrails, cupboards, etc. for surplus. They were concerned this move would make the building less attractive to a future buyer and saw it as an attempt at a piecemeal demolition. They decided to raise awareness of the issue by staging a “heart bombing” on Friday March 1st. A heart bombing is a public display of affection for a historic place, where balloons, flowers, and large hearts with personal love notes are attached to a building. The event garnered the attention of the press in advance of the school board’s vote on the issue, including a story in the Sunday Herald by popular writer Julie Muhlstein. In addition, Historic Everett ran a full-color half-page ad calling on people to write to the board or attend the meeting.

On Tuesday, March 5th, a large number of people showed up at the school board meeting to support Longfellow, including eight who spoke in its defense. Some of the community members promoted the idea of forming a committee of district people and citizens to study the problem of how to use the building. During the meeting two board directors made dramatic statements coming out as supporters of preserving the school, disavowing themselves of their previous votes to accept bids for demolition. When the issue finally came up three hours into the meeting, a long and tense debate was had between board members. Two directors who were on the fence were eventually persuaded that the salvage did not urgently need to be performed right away. When the vote was taken, only one director voted in favor of approving the salvage contractor, and the motion failed. Community support played a major role in defeating the school district’s plan.

In the news:

July 10, 2019 – “Everett’s old Longfellow building beats wrecking ball for now

June 15, 2018 – “Everett School District prepares to demolish 1911 Longfellow building

March 20, 2019 – “Longfellow spared gut job by school board

March 8, 2019 – “Why not use Longfellow building as a school?

March 7, 2019 – “Editorial: Longfellow decision may only put off inevitable

March 6, 2019 – “Group hoping to save doomed Longfellow Building

March 3, 2019 – “A heartfelt plea to save Longfellow School

July 5, 2018 – “Everett’s Longfellow building gets stay of execution

February 7, 2018 – “Everett School District has had offers for Longfellow School

November 1, 2017 – “Museum drops bid for historic Longfellow

October 27, 2017 – “Everett History Museum ends bid for the Longfellow building

June 29, 2017 – “Allow history museum to buy, save Longfellow School

April 19th, 2017 – “Longfellow Building may be saved by offer

March 29, 2017 – “Everett Longfellow offer helps Everett Museum

March 24, 2017 – “Donor pledges $3M for history museum to buy Longfellow building

December 28, 2016 – Editorial: Loss of landmark Longfellow School sad but inevitable

December 14, 2016 – Longfellow Elementary School destined to become parking lot

November 29, 2016 – Everett School’s Longfellow building slated for demolition

April 19, 2015 – No luck selling Everett School District’s historic Longfellow building

December 10, 2014 –
Everett District trying to sell lease century-old Longfellow building