Alki Homestead: This Place Matters

This Place Matters Sign / Source: National Trust for Historic Preservation

On July 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm, many people are anticipated to gather on the sidewalk and street in front of the Alki Homestead (originally Fir Lodge) in West Seattle to declare “This Place Matters.” This grassroots campaign is meant to show broad support for the preservation of the Homestead which was damaged by fire in January 2009 and has been closed since. The event’s purpose is also to highlight the historic significance of the Homestead, a City of Seattle Landmark. Sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society with support from Historic Seattle and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, the photo op is inspired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters” campaign, which is a national grassroots effort to encourage communities and individuals to recognize historic places that matter to them.

The Homestead’s “This Place Matters” photo will be uploaded to the National Trust’s website and be made widely available to local media (print and online) and through social networking. The photo event is open to the public. The Homestead is located at 2717 61st Ave. S.W., half a block from Alki Beach. The West Seattle Blog has covered the Homestead saga extensively. The Homestead was placed on the Washington Trust’s 2009 Most Endangered Historic Properties List and continues to be on its Watch List in 2010.

Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead / Photo: Historic Seattle

Here’s the press release for the event:

For more information, please contact
Southwest Seattle Historical Society/Log House Museum
(206) 938-5293 from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays,

Alternative contact: Clay Eals, 206-484-8008

Independence Day event says ‘This Place Matters’ for Alki Homestead

Southwest Seattle Historical Society plans July 4 group photo in front of Fir Lodge

The people of Seattle will have a public opportunity to stand up for a century-old West Seattle city landmark at a mid-day rally on July 4, 2010.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society has organized a mass photo event to take place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 4, in front of Fir Lodge, the 106-year-old log structure that many have known for decades as the Alki Homestead restaurant. The building was damaged by a January 2009 fire and since then has sat vacant.

A crowd of neighbors, joined by prominent political leaders, will gather on the sidewalk and street in front of the structure at 2717 61st Ave. S.W., just a half block from Alki Beach. Participants will hold signs saying, “This Place Matters,” a slogan promoted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The resulting photo will be used in a poster that will be disseminated throughout Seattle and distributed widely online.

Those attending include King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, all residents of West Seattle, and other representatives of the Seattle City Council, King County Council, and Seattle city government.

Organizations represented at the photo event will include the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, which last year placed the Homestead on its “most endangered” list, and Historic Seattle.

“Historic buildings ground us in place and history,” says Judy Bentley, president of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. “This is a tangible way for those who support preservation and restoration of key buildings in our city to take a stand and educate others about why it is important to save this unique structure. The brief, fun event will capture an image that will inspire countless others. Come ready to hold a sign or just smile.”

The event takes place after the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s annual membership picnic, which begins at noon at the Homestead’s original carriage house, now the Log House Museum. The public is invited to join the society and come to the picnic.

Fir Lodge was built of Douglas fir logs in 1904 for a local soap maker, William J. Bernard, his wife Gladys and daughter Marie. The building served as the early home of the Seattle Auto Club and in 1950 became the Alki Homestead restaurant. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society secured Seattle city landmark status for the building in 1996.

For more information on the event, call the Log House Museum of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society at 206-938-5293 or visit

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