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Talgo Series VI Bistro Car 7304

Status: Saved!

Location: King County

Built in 1995, the Talgo bistro car was once part of an Amtrak fleet of five complete trainsets based in Seattle, operating daily between Salem, Oregon, and Vancouver, British Columbia from 1998 through 2020. While there were originally more than 70 cars in the Talgo Series VI fleet, nearly all of them have been scrapped and demolished. Bistro car 7304 is the only surviving remnant.

The interior design of the bistro car was created by award-winning industrial designer Cesar Vergara, a Mexican-born American designer who has been described as the Raymond Loewy of today. The bistro car design—with its custom Pacific Northwest interior featuring an illuminated map of the Cascades Corridor—represents the apex of Mr. Vergara’s career. Understanding the significance of the trainset, the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie began an effort to save a full set of cars. They reached out to Latinos in Heritage Conservation, which immediately threw its wholehearted support towards this preservation endeavor. Although most of the cars have now been demolished, by saving a representative bistro car, Mr. Vergara’s contribution to Latino heritage can be recognized and used to inspire a new generation of Latino students in industrial design.

In 2023, the Northwest Railway Museum, with support from Latinos in Heritage Conservation and the Museum of History and Industry, successfully negotiated a deal to save the last remaining Amtrak Talgo Series VI bistro car from demolition, transporting it from a scrapyard in Indiana to Snoqualmie. By listing the Talgo bistro car on Washington’s Most Endangered Places list, the Northwest Railway Museum worked with the Washington Trust to promote the preservation of this important piece of history. The bistro car is slated to become part of a new exhibit at the museum in the coming years.

Address

Northwest Railway Museum, 38625 SE King St, Snoqualmie

https://trainmuseum.org/

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Renton Downtown Partnership

The mission of the Renton Downtown Partnership is to cultivate a vibrant social, cultural, and economic center by bringing together the community, nonprofits ,and city center stakeholders while celebrating the unique historic character of Renton’s downtown.

Region: West

Contacts

Josh Shulkind, Executive Director

253-583-6907

Address

241 Williams Avenue S
Renton, WA 98057

https://rentondowntown.com/

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Ryan House

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2023

Location: Sumner, Pierce County

UPDATE (May 2024): A group of concerned individuals, under the banner of Save our Sumner, sought a legal injunction against the City of Sumner. On March 13, Pierce County Superior Court ruled on the Land Use Petition Action filed against the City regarding the Ryan House demolition. The Judge rescinded the demolition permit and remanded it back to the City for additional public notice and engagement through the Comprehensive Plan amendment process. The Judge determined that issuing the demolition permit for the Ryan House was in direct contradiction to the City of Sumner’s Comprehensive Plan since that made numerous mentions about the rehabilitation and use of the building. The City is now pursuing revisions to the Comprehensive Plan across multiple fronts to remove all references to rehabilitation and reuse of the Ryan House. They are instead pursuing demolition and conversion of the site to a public park.

More information on the Comprehensive Plan update process is available here: https://connects.sumnerwa.gov/planning-sumners-future

The Ryan House was built as a one-room pioneer cabin in the 1800s for the Kincaid family. George Ryan, the first mayor of Sumner, bought the property in 1872 and added on to the cabin in 1875 and 1885 with lumber from his family’s mill. His wife Lucy was the postmistress of the temporary post office she ran out of her home.

In 1926, the Ryan family donated the property to the town of Sumner for use as the Sumner Public Library. The building served as the library from 1926 to 1979 and then housed the Sumner Historical Society, which operated the house as the Ryan House Museum until 2020. The Ryan House has been individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1976.

The City of Sumner began preparing for rehabilitation of the Ryan House, applying for and securing more than $1 million in funding from a variety of resources, including the Pierce County Lodging Tax Program and the Washington State Historical Society’s Heritage Capital Projects Program. Work began with a team of specialists to develop plans for the building and conduct an exploratory structural assessment. In the summer of 2023, the assessors reported significant structural compromise in the building, which prompted the City of Sumner to question the feasibility of rehabilitation and instead look toward possible demolition.

On September 18, 2023, the Sumner City Council voted to demolish the Ryan House. Demolition was tentatively scheduled for November 3, 2023. However, demolition was postponed pending ongoing litigation (an accompanying petition with the Growth Management Hearing Board has since been dismissed).

The City of Sumner, with its community partners, had committed to the rehabilitation and continued use of this important historic site. Significant time and energy went into securing needed grant funds, with expenditures made toward scoping, studying, contracting, and beginning work on the property.

Both increased costs and structural concerns pose additional challenges, but the Washington Trust—along with many community advocates—believes the Ryan House is worth saving. By including the Ryan House in our Most Endangered Places list, we hope to encourage the city to reconsider demolition and engage with community advocates on the long-term preservation of this important resource.

For more information on the Ryan House, please see the National Register Nomination Form and the City of Sumner’s page on the House.

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Historic Downtown Snohomish Association

Year Listed: 2023

The Historic Downtown Snohomish Association is the officially recognized organization dedicated to the (re)vitalization of Downtown Snohomish. We are a volunteer-driven and volunteer-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Region: West

Contacts

Maygen Hetherington, Executive Director

360-499-3830

Address

1024 1st Street, Suite 311
Snohomish, WA 98290

https://www.historicdowntownsnohomish.org

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Seattle’s Chinatown-International District

Status: In the works!

Year Listed: 2022

Location: Seattle, King County

Located in the heart of Seattle, the Chinatown-International District (C-ID) has a long and rich history dating back to the late 1800s. Chinese immigrants first came to the region in the late 19th century to work in the booming lumber mills, fishing operations, and railroads. These immigrants established the first Chinatown in Seattle south of Pioneer Square. In 1889, this Chinatown was destroyed in the Great Seattle Fire, and the Chinese community relocated to a new Chinatown on South Washington Street. In the early 1900s, the City of Seattle underwent a major regrading project called the Jackson Regrade, which caused the Chinese community to relocate once again, this time to the current location of Chinatown-International District on King Street. Despite being completely bisected when Interstate 5 was constructed in 1969, the neighborhood has become a hub for the Asian community in Seattle, with a diverse mix of businesses, cultural institutions, and residential buildings. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of eight local historic districts established by the City of Seattle.

Today, however, the neighborhood is facing still new challenges. Sound Transit, the public transit agency serving the Seattle metropolitan area, is currently undertaking the third phase of its multi-billion-dollar regional Link light rail expansion, which will require the construction of a new tunnel under the Chinatown-International District. Sound Transit is considering two alignments for the tunnel: Fifth Avenue or Fourth Avenue. If built under Fifth Avenue, the tunnel construction will take place in the heart of the neighborhood and have a devastating impact on the Chinatown-International District’s Asian businesses and residents. The Fourth Avenue alignment, while not without impacts, would largely take place on the edge of the district, on the west side of Union Station.

A coalition of neighborhood businesses, community organizations, residents, and supporters called Transit Equity for All—alongside such partners as Historic South Downtown (HSD), Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), the Wing Luke Museum, and the Uwajimaya supermarket corporation—is urging Sound Transit to give the Fourth Avenue options a more thorough consideration and to remove the Fifth Avenue options from the table. Transit Equity for All is led by Betty Lau and Brien Chow, two longtime community leaders who are concerned about the future of the neighborhood. “This is our third and final Chinatown,” said Betty Lau. “The original Chinatown was forced from the waterfront onto Second and Washington. Then Chinatown was forced to move to the current location. If we’re forced out again, where are we going to go?”

Our decision to add the Chinatown-International District to our Most Endangered Places list highlights the importance of preserving this unique and vital neighborhood. It is crucial that any plans for development or infrastructure consider the C-ID’s cultural and historical significance and do everything possible to minimize the impact on the community. The C-ID has already endured too many disruptions and must be protected so that it can continue to thrive and serve as a vital part of Seattle’s diverse community.

Official Sound Transit Publications: https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/west-seattle-ballard-link-extensions

Contacts

Transit Equity for All [advocacy group]

Petition to Move Forward on 4th Ave [4500+ signatures]

Email Sound Transit Board [comment letter template included]

 

 

Address

4th Ave S, Yesler Way, Interstate-5 and 8th Ave S, and S Dearborn St. [The endangered place is Seattle’s Chinatown International District as it relates to Sound Transit’s Link light rail extension through 4th or 5th Avenue and the adjacent construction zones]

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Old Parkland School

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2022

Location: Tacoma, Pierce County

Constructed circa 1908, the Parkland School building at 214 121St Street S, in unincorporated Tacoma, Pierce County has retained its integrity of location, setting, design, material, workmanship, and feeling, as much of the building is intact, and the 1920 and 1937 additions have gained significance of their own. When the current owners Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) sought to delist the building from the Pierce County Register of Historic Places and ultimately apply for its demolition permit as a part of a sale agreement to developers in 2022, community members began to mobilize to show that not only does the building matter for its century-long record as an educational institution but that in its current conditions still yields major adaptive reuse potential including a community space if not retail, offices, and housing.

As the de-listing and demolition were recommended against by Pierce County Landmark and Historic Preservation Commission, PLU also recognized the community’s needs and efforts towards giving Parkland School a chance at preservation by renegotiating the sale agreement to exclude the parcel with the building and providing “up to twelve months [from August 2022] for the community to develop a viable option and purchase the east parcel, including the school building, from PLU” for a minimum purchase price of $2.85 million.

At this time, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is amplifying the efforts of the Save Parkland School community group, a committee of the Parkland Community Association, to raise funds towards acquiring a conditions assessment and preservation plan from which they can provide to potential partners in the purchase and redevelopment of the beloved Old Parkland School. Follow Save Parkland School at SaveParklandSchool.org and Facebook.

Address

214 121st Street South Tacoma, WA 98444

http://saveparklandschool.org

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Fire Bell Tower

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 1999

Location: Port Townsend, Jefferson County

Port Townsend’s Fire Bell Tower is a 75-foot wooden structure built in 1890 to hold a 1,500 pound brass bell and the city’s then-new $900 fire engine. The ringing bell rallied the community to fight fires, and provide a coded signal as to the location and severity of the blaze using a system of alarm boxes. The bell tower was also used for fog soundings for the ferry dock below until the early 1960s.

The tower was threatened in 1950s and 1970s, but in both instances funds were raised to restore the structure. The tower was threatened again by collapse in 1990s, and the Washington Trust assisted with the Most Endangered Places listing in 1999 and a 2001 Valerie Sivinski Fund grant. This led to the 2003 restoration by the Jefferson County Historical Society and City of Port Townsend.

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

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Pearl Little Site

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 1995

Location: San Juan Island, San Juan County

The Pearl Little archaeology site is well known in many Washington Slate preservation circles and was identified as an important site as early as the 1940s. The site is one of the few off-reservation sites to be continuously occupied by Native Americans until recently. The Pearl Little archaeological site was placed on the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered Places list in 1995 when then board member Nancy Larsen brought the property to the Washington Trust’s attention.

In 1996, the Lummi Tribe and local activists worked together with the San Juan County Conservancy to purchase and preserve the site, and the Washington Trust offered assistance with negotiating a settlement among all interested parties. In the following six years, the site and the land parcel were bought and sold by different investors, and eventually San Juan County put a moratorium on the creation of new subdivisions. In 2001, the Pearl little site was removed from the list as the moratorium would protect the location from development.

Since then, new owners of the property have shown good stewardship on the land parcel by working with all parties to make sure that significant elements of the landscape are preserved.

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

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Finch Building

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 1992, 1999

Location: Aberdeen, Grays Harbor County

Politician, lumber magnate, real estate developer, and philanthropist Edward C. Finch opened his eponymous building at Heron and H Streets in downtown Aberdeen on April 1, 1910, about 20 years after the town’s incorporation. The Finch Building was the first in town with an elevator and the first commercial building to make use of reinforced concrete. The building’s Renaissance Revival design by the noted Seattle architect A. Warren Gould featured terra cotta details, and six storefronts which were active into the 1970s.

The Finch Building was largely unaltered on the exterior when first listed as Most Endangered in 1992 and again in 1999, but by the latter date all the storefronts were boarded up. The interior had suffered a great deal of deterioration. Other Washington Trust efforts to save the building, led by treasurer Les Tonkin, a Seattle architect, included city council testimony and the filing of an affidavit supporting preservation. The affidavit stated that the city was not paying heed to the options for preservation stated in the 1998 Final Environmental Impact Statement. Recognized city needs, such as a library and downtown affordable housing, were among the possible uses, and developers had expressed interest. However, the city of Aberdeen declined to accept any renovation proposals.

The Finch Building was demolished on April 5, 1999 at age 89 years and five days.

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

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Sunrise Lodge

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 1992

Location: Mount Rainier National Park, Pierce County

Completed in 1931 in just six weeks, Sunrise Lodge at Mount Rainier is a stunning example of rustic architecture, often called “Parkitecture.” Despite its popularity today, the National Park Service had sought to demolish the Lodge in the past, actively planning for its removal in the late 1980s. These actions prompted the Washington Trust to include Sunrise Lodge on our Most Endangered List in 1992, the inaugural year of our Most Endangered Program. Over the next four years, the Washington Trust, working with the Washington State Historic Preservation Office, opposed demolition while supporting efforts to require state review of any proposed action.  In 1996, a letter of understanding was signed between the NPS, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the SHPO to allow “review of demolition.” This effectively prevented the NPS from carrying out its demolition plans. Sunrise Lodge still stands today.

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

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Seventh Church of Christ Scientist

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 2007

Location: Seattle, King County

In 2007, congregants of the 7th Church of Christ Scientist on Seattle’s Queen Anne hill, grappled with the reality of diminishing membership rolls coupled with increasing maintenance costs for their historic sanctuary. The congregation chose to sell to a developer with plans to construct four single-family homes, prompting inclusion in the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered List. As structures owned by religious organizations are exempt from local landmark ordinances, the developer placed responsibility on the congregation for demolishing the historic church prior to acquiring the property. But neighbors appealed the demolition permit, allowing time for the Washington Trust, through an agreement with the congregation, to seek a buyer interested in preserving the building. Fortuitously, this coincided with the Seattle Church of Christ’s search to find a permanent home for its growing congregation. The rest is history: the Seattle Church of Christ enjoys a robust congregation and is a proud steward of the historic sanctuary.

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Downtown Everett Association

Year Listed: 2007

The Downtown Everett Association is committed to advancing and growing Downtown Everett as a vibrant economic, cultural, and governmental center through leadership, advocacy, and the ongoing administration of the Downtown Improvement District. The organization’s membership is comprised of property owners who support the revitalization of Everett’s historic central core through annual fee assessments.

The Downtown Everett Association focuses on specific priorities geared toward injecting new life into Everett’s historic central core. Our priorities are proven methods for rejuvenating urban areas.

Region: West

Contacts

Liz Stenning, Executive Director
425-258-0700

Address

1511 26th St
Everett, WA 98201

https://www.downtowneverettwa.org/

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Sumner Main Street

Year Listed: 2007

The Sumner Main Street Association works to stimulate economic growth and revitalization, enhance beautification, nurture historic preservation, and ensure the vitality of downtown Sumner.

The Sumner Main Street Association (SMSA) is a nonprofit organization with the mission of revitalizing Sumner’s historic downtown district. SMSA is a Washington Main Street Community and uses the National Main Street Program’s Four-Point Approach to guide its historic downtown revitalization. The Main Street Four-Point Approach is a comprehensive community-based approach to community revitalization using each of the following four points: Design, Economic Vitality, Promotion, and Outreach. These four points guide our organizational structure and annual work plans.

Region: West

Contacts

Lori Waltier, Executive Director

253-891-4260

Address

923 Kincaid Avenue
Sumner, WA 98390

https://www.sumnermainstreet.com/

Holy Rosary

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2020

Location: Tacoma, Pierce County

Holy Rosary, built by German Catholic immigrants who wanted to hear sermons in their own language, was originally established in 1891 with the construction of a simple wooden church built by largely volunteer labor. With the growth of the congregation and rising concerns about the safety of the original church, services were shifted to the adjacent school auditorium in 1912 for almost nine years to make way for planning, fund-raising, and construction of the present church. The cornerstone was laid on May 30, 1920 with the formal dedication following the next year on November 13, 1921. Designed by C. Frank Mahon of Lundberg & Mahon of Tacoma, Holy Rosary is in the Gothic revival style and in the form of a Latin cross. Until recently, the church remained in continuous use as a worship space thanks to many renovation projects undertaken and funded by the parish.

In addition to its architectural merit, Holy Rosary’s significance is also due in part to its prominent place in the Tacoma skyline, thanks to its location at the terminus of Tacoma Avenue, a major north/south corridor in Tacoma, and its visibility from I-5. The church was also one of the earliest City of Tacoma Landmarks when it was designated in 1975.

In the fall of 2018, a chunk of plaster fell from the ceiling into the choir loft. Due to safety concerns, services were moved to the adjacent school building auditorium and the church building was shuttered and fenced off. The Seattle Archdiocese undertook an assessment of the building announcing in August of 2019 that the church would be demolished due to the high cost of rehabilitation. The Archdiocese’s assessment determined that $2.5 million was needed to reoccupy the church, an additional $7 million would address all structural issues, and another $8 million—bringing the total to about $18 million—would complete a full seismic retrofit and upgrade all building systems.

Meanwhile, earlier in 2019, community members concerned about the future of the church formed the non-profit group, Save Tacoma’s Landmark Church (STLC) to raise awareness and funds to repair and restore Holy Rosary. Since the demolition was announced, the local community in Tacoma has exploded with support for saving the church. STLC has capitalized on this energy and raised funding through awareness campaigns and a wide variety of events from a classic film series at the Blue Mouse to spaghetti dinners.

It was at the most recent event in support of Holy Rosary—a gala dinner and auction on January 18, 2020—that the Washington Trust was proud to stand with STLC and announce that the church would be listed as one of Washington’s Most Endangered Places. Tacoma has rallied and as of  that fundraiser in January, Save Tacoma’s Landmark Church has raised the first million dollars toward restoring the church.

In August 2020, the Archdiocese delegated the final decision regarding the building to the Pierce County Deanery (Pierce County subset of the Archdiocese of Seattle) who could choose to consolidate several smaller parishes into Holy Rosary Church, or have the church relegated to another use rather than be demolished.

Save Tacoma’s Landmark Church and the Washington Trust, however, remain dedicated to saving and finding a new creative use for Holy Rosary. It’s a big project but there is a strong community in Tacoma behind it, and we will be standing with them every step of the way.


Read more in the Winter 2020 issue of our quarterly magazine, This Place!

The Showbox

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2019

Location: Seattle, King County

Completed in 1917, the building now known as the Showbox was originally built as the Central Public Market, a competitor to the nearby Pike Place Public Market. In 1939, the building underwent a substantial Art Moderne remodel and opened as a performance venue, “The Show Box.” For the next 80 years, the building continued mainly as a performance venue, with brief stints as other ventures and a few periods of vacancy.

The period of Showbox history many people will remember began with new management in the late 1970s. During this time, the Showbox featured Punk Rock and New Wave-era bands, eventually becoming the premier rock venue in the city. In the 1990s, the Showbox also held comedy shows in addition to continuing to nurture Seattle’s growing rock scene. The Showbox has changed management several times in the recent past, but it continues to be a pioneering music venue and a key feature of Seattle’s identity as a music city.

When it was announced in 2018 that a developer is making plans for a 44-story tower on the site of the iconic Showbox theater, the Seattle community exploded in opposition to the project with the campaign to #SavetheShowbox garnering attention from nationally-known musicians in support of preserving this icon of Seattle’s musical culture.

Due to Seattle’s landmark ordinance and environmental review processes, the developer was compelled to nominate the Showbox for landmark status with no intention of preserving it or incorporating the building into their development. Historic Seattle, a local partner of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, commissioned and submitted a landmark nomination ahead of the developer to ensure it would be well researched and take a nuanced approach to the layered history of the building.

The Showbox was unanimously designated a landmark last year in July 2020, but the campaign to #SavetheShowbox is far from over. The best way to save a building is through a good owner, and that’s why we are hopeful that the pending joint purchase offer from Historic Seattle and Seattle Theatre Group will be accepted.

Marine Supply Block

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2019

Location: Skagit County

Location: Anacortes, Skagit County

Marine Supply & Hardware, originally founded as the Anacortes Junk Company in 1916 by Mike Demopoulos, once occupied all three buildings of the 200-block of Commercial Avenue in Anacortes. Starting in a former livery stable, the business expanded next door into the building now known as Marine Supply & Hardware in 1924. Demopoulos also purchased the next building down the block in 1937, the handsome, turn-of-the-century Olson Building. Housed in these three buildings for decades, the business was an integral part of the marine economy of Anacortes. Recently, the Olson Building’s ground floor has been retail space for local businesses, and the Marine Supply & Hardware Building, which contains a variety of marine paraphernalia and antiques, has become a de facto museum of sorts and a visitor attraction in Anacortes.

The Port of Anacortes purchased the entire Marine Supply Block in 2014. With plans to develop, the Port demolished two small houses along 3rd Street and the former Anacortes Junk Company building (livery stable) earlier this year. Responding to public comment in favor of saving the remaining buildings, the Port recently transferred the Olson Building to the Anacortes Housing Authority (AHA), which intends to rehabilitate the structure for affordable housing while maintaining ground-floor commercial use. The future is still uncertain for both buildings—rehabilitation costs will be high for the Olson Building and a long-term solution has yet to be reached for the Marine Supply Hardware Building. Advocates in Anacortes are excited about the prospect of the Washington Trust shining a statewide light on these buildings and working with the Port, AHA, and other stakeholders to preserve these icons of Anacortes.

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Downtown Aberdeen Association

Year Listed: 2019

The Downtown Aberdeen Association is working to improve the vitality of downtown as an exciting place to work, live, and play. The nonprofit organization received Washington Main Street Community designation in 2019.

Region: West

Contacts

Wil Russoul, Executive Director

360-209-7788

Address

202 S K Street
Aberdeen, WA 98520

https://downtownaberdeen.com/

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Stevenson Downtown Association

Year Listed: 2019

The Stevenson Downtown Association is a nonprofit coalition of neighbors, business owners, and community leaders passionate about downtown Stevenson. We believe a thriving downtown is crucial to the long-term health and vitality of our community. The Stevenson Downtown Association seeks to enhance our unique assets through the Four-Point Approach. We leverage the work of Design, Promotion, Organization, and Economic Vitality to make downtown Stevenson an even better place to live, work, shop, and play.

Region: West

Contacts

Kelly O’Malley-McKee, Executive Director

509-427-8911

Address

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1037
Stevenson, WA 98648

Physical Address:
167 NW Second Street
Stevenson, WA 98648

https://www.stevensonmainstreet.org/

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Camp Kilworth

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2018

Location: Federal Way, King County

In 1934, William Kilworth purchased 25 acres in the South Sound and immediately deeded the property to the Tacoma Area Council of Boy Scouts. World War I veterans, who were members of the Tacoma Rotary Club, built the centerpiece of the camp in 1935: the Rustic-style Rotary Lodge. Over the decades, several other supporting structures were built, including an outdoor amphitheater that looks out over a dramatic view of south Puget Sound. Today, the property and its shoreline are one of only two places in rapidly growing Federal Way regarded as a highly sensitive environmental area; the high bank coastal forest on the site also serves as a wildlife corridor.

The Boy Scouts owned and operated the camp for over 80 years, but due to declining membership, their operations at Camp Kilworth ceased in 2016. In accordance with a stipulation in William Kilworth’s original 1934 deed, ownership of the property reverts to the Kilworth Family Foundations if the property is not used for scouting. The buildings sit vacant, unheated, and unmaintained, raising fears of demolition by neglect.

A group of local advocates formed the nonprofit Kilworth Environmental Education Preserve, or KEEP, to continue advocating for the property, raising money, and assisting with the preservation of historic structures. Now, Forterra is now in the midst of negotiations to buy Camp Kilworth, with a plan to hold the property in perpetuity with a long-term lease to the Seattle YMCA. While we can’t call this one a “save” just yet, we are hopeful that the current negotiations will result in a reason to celebrate soon!

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East Seattle School

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2018

Location: King County

Location: Mercer Island, King County

Built in 1914, East Seattle School is the oldest public building left on Mercer Island. The school’s Mission-style architectural details remain intact, including a terra cotta roof, a curvilinear parapet, and decorative brackets. Once located at the town center, the school was the heart of the Island’s community life for nearly 70 years. Construction of the I-90 floating bridge, however, brought a population boom to the Island in the 1950s, and the commercial center of Mercer Island gradually shifted to its current location.

East Seattle School was declared a surplus building in 1982 but continued its role as a community gathering space for nearly 30 more years as the home to the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club and various childcare centers. In 2007, private interests acquired the 3-acre property. While many objected to the transaction, others supported it because proceeds from the sale were used to construct a new Boys & Girls Club. As part of the deal, the new owner agreed to make no changes to the property for ten years. Now that those ten years have passed, the owner has applied for a demolition permit, and will likely build single family housing on the site. Community members hoping to see the school preserved are working to find a solution that will satisfy the owner’s investment goals while keeping the legacy of East Seattle School alive through adaptive reuse.