Yakima Valley Transportation Lines

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 1992

Location: Yakima Valley, Yakima County

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, people were lured to Washington’s Yakima Valley to grow apples on 5-10 acre orchards which promised to produce wealthy independence in “the home of the prize red apple.· Private and public irrigation projects created hundreds of thousands of acres of fruit and by 1929 Yakima County had the largest number of bearing apple trees in all of Washington’s 39 counties and had become the statewide leader in apple production. Yakima County has ranked first in national apple production since 1930.

In order to get all of those apples to market, the Yakima Valley Transportation Company (YVT) built a 48-mile-long electric interurban railroad between 1907-1913. The line, started by local Yakima County people, stretched far west of Yakima and north to Selah. In 1908 it was bought out by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company (today the Union Pacific). Over its lifetime there were 16 streetcars, six interurban passenger/express cars, three electric locomotives and Line Car A used to repair the wires. Passenger service lasted until 1947 and was brought back as a limited tourist operation in 1974. Electric freight operations continued non-stop until 1985 when Union Pacific decided to abandon the YVT.

By that time, it was the last authentic turn-of-the-century interurban electric railroad in the United States still operating. I remember the yellow electric locomotives hauling refrigerator cars of apples to market. The abandonment by the Union Pacific saw a donation of some of the YVT to the city of Yakima, but the following years saw removal of the YVT rail lines and involvement of the Washington Trust to sound the clarion call for its preservation before it was all gone. In 1989, the YVT was listed on the Washington Trust’s “10 Most Wanted” list, a precursor to our Most Endangered Places list. Thankfully, it has been saved, and in 1992 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1994, the late Les Tonkin, an architect and former president of the Washington Trust, devised a total restoration plan for the YVT.

Today the historic belt-operated shop/carbarn, powerhouse substation, and live of the original 48 miles of track remain connecting the cities of Yakima and Selah. Now more than a century old, the YVT is being operated by the non-profit passionate volunteer group Yakima Valley Trolleys and is passing on the love of the trolley to younger generations.

Tsagaglalal “She Who Watches” Petroglyph

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 1993

Location: Horsethief Lake State Park, Klickitat County

In the Spring of 1993, vandalism at one of the world’s most famous rock art sites motivated the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation to take action in Klickitat County. The petroglyph and pictograph known as Tsagiglalal, or “She Who Watches” had been damaged and the Trust placed it on Most Endangered Properties list. Not long after this event the US Army Corps of Engineers and Washington State Parks stepped in to protect the site.

Later in 1993, the rock art was removed from the Most Endangered Places list and is now protected with restricted access through guided State Park Ranger tours. Tsagiglalal, as the Wishram Native American community refers to this rock art, is in nearly every book on the subject around the world. Edward Curtis photographed it and published it as part of his 1910 volume on Native American lifeways. The oral history about this particular rock art panel is rich and clearly ties the local Native American communities to the land. Historic resources like this one are considered sacred by Native Americans, and their vandalism is taken very seriously by those communities and the preservation-minded public as well.

To many, these are not just ancient sites but also have meaning in today’s world and can teach all of us valuable lessons about respecting the land and its resources, including the historic resources. This particular stretch of the Columbia River was noted time and again by early explorers like Lewis and Clark and David Thompson, and even Edward Curtis later, as a very important location where many Native Americans would gather to trade and interact socially. In fact, archaeological evidence throughout this region shows proof of trading that dates back millennia.

For tour information, please go to the Columbia Hills State Park website.

Indow

Year Listed: 1993

Indow is a cleantech company in Portland, Oregon dedicated to making the built environment more energy efficient while preserving historic windows. It makes custom interior window inserts for residential and commercial spaces that help original old-growth wood windows perform like new double-panes without altering the exterior of the buildings. This is one reason preservationists turn to them: they do not interfere with historic district requirements that windows retain their original appearance and character.

Historic properties across the United States have them from a 1756 house in New Hampshire with all its original windows to Case Study House #26 in the Bay Area, an iconic American home commissioned by Art & Architecture magazine, to a county government building in Arlington, Virginia that was converted into a homeless shelter.

When buildings settle, the windows settle with them, making them out of square. Indow acrylic window inserts are handmade for each window opening using precise laser measurements. Each insert is edged in silicone compression tube and simply presses into place without a damaging track or magnetic system. The inserts not only make buildings more energy efficient, they reduce the number of irreplaceable old growth wood windows thrown into landfills during window replacement.

Categories: Energy Efficiency, Suppliers – Windows & Doors

Region: Statewide, West, Central, East, Oregon, Idaho, Montana

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.

B Reactor, Hanford Site

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2004

Location: Manhattan Project National Historical Park, Benton County

B Reactor is the world’s first full-scale plutonium production nuclear reactor. It was constructed in only 13 months, from October 1943 to September 1944, and became operational under the supervision of pioneer physicist Enrico Fermi. B Reactor is widely recognized as the building that gave birth to the Atomic Age and one of the most stunning technological advancements of the 20th century. Located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hanford Site, B Reactor was the first of nine reactors built on the reservation as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Plutonium extracted from B Reactor was used in the Trinity Test—the world’s first nuclear explosion, in Alamogordo, New Mexico—as well as the “Fat Man” bomb the United States used against Japan in World War II.

The story of Hanford’s B Reactor was once one of the most secure secrets imaginable, but today it is a well-known historic site. Yet, as clean-up efforts at Hanford began in 1989, B Reactor’s future was uncertain. Questions persisted over which structures, if any, should be saved given the high levels of contamination. Some debated the value of saving any buildings the vast majority of the public might never see. The Washington Trust sought answers to these questions by including the B Reactor on the 2004 Most Endangered List. The listing coincided with a federal study to consider the addition of Manhattan Project sites to the National Park System. The Washington Trust advocated for this, along with the B Reactor Museum Association, Department of Energy decision-makers, Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and then-Representative Doc Hastings. Completed in 2008, the study recommended including the property in a new Manhattan Project National Historical Park, allowing B Reactor to be removed from the Most Endangered List. In December 2014, legislation sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell was passed to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Park planning remains underway, but the public can already tour the B Reactor and see its intact control room and exhibits.

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

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.

LaFramboise Farmstead

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2006

Location: Yakima County

Located on land originally owned by the Moxee Land Company, the farmstead consists of four buildings: an 1885 church; a 1902 farmhouse and a c. 1902 barn; and a c. 1910 storage shed. By 1897 the church had been converted into a blacksmith shop. Antoine LaFramboise, a French-Canadian immigrant, began working in the shop that year and later purchased it, eventually constructing the additional buildings on the site. The National Register listed LaFramboise farmstead remains in the family today.

Teapot Dome Gas Station

Status: SAVED!

Year Listed: 2007

Location: Yakima County

In 1922, illegal oil leases in Wyoming and Elk Hills, California resulted in the indictment of the Secretary of the Interior and left President Warren Harding’s administration tarnished by scandal.  The scandal in turn prompted a Yakima County man, Jack Ainsworth, to handcraft a piece of roadside political commentary that remains standing today along Interstate 82 near Zillah.  Fashioned after a teapot, the shingled kettle features a sheet metal handle and spout and served as a gas station for many decades since opening in 1922

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.

Bureau of Reclamation Headquarters

Status: Still Standing

Year Listed: 2012

Location: Yakima County

In 1908, the United States Reclamation Service (USRS) constructed the Sunnyside Headquarters Building to serve the Sunnyside Division of the Yakima Irrigation Project. Presently, the building stands as the most intact remaining structure associated with early twentieth century efforts to irrigate the Yakima Valley. The Sunnyside Canal irrigation system was purchased by the USRS in 1906, and the Sunnyside Division became the first division of the nearly 500,000 acre Yakima Project. Currently owned by the Sunnyside Community Hospital, the building faced demolition in order to clear the way for construction of a new student health center. Responding to community concerns over the proposed demolition, the hospital, working with the school district, identified a new site for the health center. The reprieve may only be temporary, as other proposals for the site may soon be considered. The Sunnyside Historical Museum is currently working with the hospital on plans to relocate the Reclamation Building to a nearby site in the downtown area.

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.

Enloe Dam Powerhouse

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2016

Location: Oroville, Okanogan County

The gold rush spurred early pioneer settlement of the Okanogan River Basin, but after 1914 the area increasingly turned to agriculture given the railroad’s ability to provide efficient and reliable transportation of goods. The Enloe Powerhouse and Dam were built in 1922 to meet the electricity demands of the local mining industry and an increasing population. With the improved infrastructure, the new dam greatly contributed to the extensive growth of the Okanogan Valley. The dam and powerhouse operated until 1958, at which point the Bonneville Power Administration transmission lines reached the area, providing electricity from the Columbia River.

In 2016, the Okanogan County Public Utility District released a solicitation seeking a party interested in taking over ownership of the Enloe Dam Powerhouse. Qualified applicants need to “demonstrate capacity and capability to adapt and utilize the facility for recreational, historical, and/or community use,” with an emphasis on “historical” given the powerhouse’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places. While the powerhouse is remote and in disrepair, it does afford the opportunity to tap into tourism and recreational activities for which the Okanogan Valley is known including fishing, hiking, wine tasting, and visitation to other historic sites nearby.

The property poses an adaptive use challenge—to say the least—but the potential payoff for a creative solution is enormous!

Beverly Railroad Bridge

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2017

Location: Grant County

Location: Columbia River between Grant and Kittitas Counties

The Columbia River is a defining feature of Washington State, but it also serves as a challenging barrier for cross-state travel. The construction of the Beverly Railroad Bridge, completed in 1909, was part of the westward expansion of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad and a major engineering feat of its day.

By 1980 the route was closed, but due to its significance, the Beverly Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Today, the Milwaukee Railroad route has been converted to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail – part of an effort by conservation, recreation, and preservation advocates to create a statewide greenway trail system. The Beverly Bridge is the pivotal missing piece that would connect east and west. Advocates would like to see the bridge transferred from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to Washington State Parks and rehabilitated to complete the cross-state recreational trail.

The Washington Trust is part of a broad alliance of statewide conservation, recreation, and preservation organizations who have been advocating for the rehabilitation of the Beverly Bridge across the Columbia River in Central Washington. Completed in 1909, the bridge was part of the westward expansion of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad and a major engineering feat of its day. By 1980, the route was closed, but much of the old Milwaukee Railroad route was converted to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail—recently renamed the Palouse to Cascades Trail. The Beverly Bridge currently sits as the pivotal missing piece connecting the eastern and western halves of the 285-mile-long trail, and rehabilitation of the bridge would be a critical investment in Washington State tourism along the trail while serving to enrich the recreational lives of Washingtonians.

The Washington Trust joined efforts when the Palouse to Cascades Trail Coalition nominated the Beverly Bridge to our list of Most Endangered Places in 2017. We played a key role in advancing the campaign to rehabilitate the bridge by managing the process of a conditions assessment of the bridge that would give advocates a realistic cost to work toward. Equipped with this information, the Washington Trust and our many partners were able to effectively advocate for state funding this past budget cycle to make that rehabilitation a reality. At the end of April this year, we were thrilled that the Washington State Legislature and Governor Inslee allocated $5.1 million to go toward the Beverly Bridge rehabilitation and conversion into recreational trail use. With an additional $429,000 in anticipated local funds, the total amount dedicated to rehabilitating the bridge and converting it to recreational use is $5.5 million. While there is still much to be done, the state’s investment in this historic bridge is a transformative accomplishment in the campaign to bring the Beverly Bridge back to life.

Downtown Association of Yakima

Year Listed: 2017

DAY is a private, nonprofit organization committed to the preservation, development, marketing, and promotion of Downtown Yakima through focused efforts to build and maintain public and private partnerships that will foster financial and creative investments in our future while embracing and celebrating our history.

Region: Central

Contacts

Andrew Holt, Executive Director

509-576-6772

Address

P.O. Box 1549
Yakima, WA 98907

https://downtownyakima.com/

Wenatchee Downtown Association

Year Listed: 2017

The Mission of the Wenatchee Downtown Association is to strengthen and enrich the downtown experience.

We are cheerleaders for local small businesses, defenders of our historic downtown, promoters of local culture and ringleaders of those who will help us!

We are a non-profit organization that believes implicitly in the value of each individual’s contribution, whether it be financial contributions, great ideas or hours spent volunteering.

We are proud members of the Washington State Main Street Program and we are nationally-recognized as the 2003 National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Great American Main Street Award Winner. (Not too shabby considering there are over 1600 communities vying for this award across the country each year!)

Region: Central

Contacts

Linda Haglund, Executive Director

509-662-0059

Address

103 Palouse Street, Suite 35
Wenatchee, WA 98801

http://www.wendowntown.org/

Selah Downtown Association

Year Listed: 2017

Selah Downtown Association (SDA) is a non-profit, community organization, working to revitalize downtown Selah, Washington, and promote the downtown business district as the community’s social, cultural and economic center. SDA advances this mission by utilizing the Four-Point Main Street Approach developed by the National Main Street Center, emphasizing community organization, promotion, design and economic vitality. By applying this approach, SDA is leading community-focused and grassroots efforts to re-imagine, redevelop and transform the city of Selah beginning at its core.

Region: Central

Contacts

Whitney Stohr, Executive Director

509-844-1185

 

Address

115 W. Naches Ave.
Selah, WA 98942

http://selahdowntown.org/

Roslyn Downtown Association

Year Listed: 2017

The Roslyn Downtown Association is a volunteer community-based association of business and community leaders. Our mission is to develop our local economy, honor our cultural heritage, and market our unique community assets.

Region: Central

Contacts

Cheri Marusa, Executive Director

509-649-3650

Address

101 E. Pennsylvania Avenue

Roslyn, WA 98941

https://www.roslyndowntown.org/

Ellensburg Downtown Association

Year Listed: 2017

We are a grassroots local non-profit working to preserve and revitalize Ellensburg’s historic downtown using the National Main Street Center’s 4-Point Main Street approach.

The Ellensburg Downtown Association formed in 2004 and is a Washington State designated, nationally accredited Main Street program.

Region: Central

Contacts

Molly Jones-Kerschner, Executive Director

509-962-6246

Address

119 W 5th Ave, Suite 102
Ellensburg, WA 98926

https://ellensburgdowntown.org/

Cle Elum Downtown Association

Year Listed: 2017

Cle Elum means “swift water” and its origins come from the Kittitas tribe, whose members resided here and relied on the nearby Yakima River. The city was incorporated in February 1902 and was built with a prosperous coal mining industry and the railroad infrastructures were created to support it. The city also had a thriving lumber industry and at one point had the largest sawmill in the eastern half of the state.

Now, the city has a population of almost 2,000. Outdoor attractions may be the main draw to Cle Elum but there are still many opportunities available to explore shops, restaurants, taverns and other attractions in the town such as the Carpenter House Museum.

Region: Central

Contacts

Debbie Bogart, Executive Director

(509) 433-7330

Address

312 West First Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922

http://www.cleelumdowntown.com/