Washington Trust Announces a Call for Nominations to the 2016 Most Endangered Historic Properties List
The following press release was issued December 17, 2015, by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. Contact Jennifer Mortensen at 206-624-9449 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Washingtonians enjoy a diverse collection of historic and cultural resources found throughout the state. Historic buildings and sites significantly contribute to the heritage and vitality of Washington while enhancing the quality of life in small towns, large cities, and across rural areas. Yet each day, these resources face a variety of challenges, including lack of funding, deferred maintenance, neglect, incompatible development, and demolition. Inclusion in the Most Endangered List is an important initial step in highlighting these threats and bringing attention to those historic resources most in need.
Historic properties selected for the Most Endangered list receive advocacy support and assistance from the Washington Trust. While the focus is to remove the immediate threat facing historic properties, raising awareness of preservation issues in general remains a programmatic goal. Through proactive partnering with local organizations and concerned citizens, the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered List program has resulted in many high profile success stories across Washington since its establishment in 1992.
Past case studies demonstrate the effectiveness of inclusion in our Most Endangered List. The Old City Hall in Tacoma was listed in 2011 after development plans fell through due to the economic recession. In 2010, the building was determined to be “derelict” by a city inspector, with a leaking roof being chief among the concerns for its survival. With incredible foresight, the City of Tacoma declared it an irreplaceable piece of Tacoma’s history and stepped in to purchase the building earlier this year. The City recently issued a Request for Proposals for the building’s redevelopment, and have selected a project partner to rehabilitate both Old City Hall along with the nearby Elks Lodge (also a Most Endangered Property, listed in 2003). Due in large part to supporters of preservation in Tacoma and the good work of the City, these two historic heavyweights in the north end of downtown Tacoma are set to revitalize the area.
Another Most Endangered listing that has recently made the news is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Globe. Originally installed at Sixth Avenue and Wall Street in downtown Seattle in 1948, the 30-foot diameter P-I Globe served as a Seattle icon for decades. When the P-I became an online-only news outlet in 2009 and moved out of their Elliott Avenue West building (to which the globe had also been relocated), concerned supporters nominated it to the Most Endangered List. With support from the Washington Trust, other preservation organizations, and interested stakeholders, the Globe was designated a City of Seattle Landmark in 2012, with the official ordinance being signed by the Seattle mayor this week. The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is presently engaged in a fundraising effort to relocate and restore the Globe, ensuring it will remain an icon of mid-century Seattle for many years to come!
Communities are encouraged to take action when the historic fabric of their neighborhoods, main streets, rural landscapes, and beloved parks are threatened. Through our Most Endangered List, the Washington Trust offers support with preservation efforts aimed at resolving these preservation challenges.
Nominations to the Trust’s 2016 Most Endangered Historic Properties List are due on Monday, January 18, 2016 by 5pm. The 2016 List will be announced at the annual RevitalizeWA Preservation and Main Street Conference to be held in April.
Those interested in nominating a resource are strongly encouraged to contact Jennifer Mortensen, Preservation Services Coordinator for the Washington Trust, prior to submitting a nomination. For more information on the Most Endangered Historic Properties List, including a nomination form, please visit the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation website at www.preservewa.org/Nomination-Process.aspx.