What’s Happening at Washington Hall

Screen shot from Vets Restore website

Veterans in front of Washington Hall / Source: Screen shot from Vets Restore website

There’s been a lot of activity this summer at Washington Hall, Historic Seattle’s current rehabilitation project. Historic Seattle just completed an intensive two-month, hands-on training program in the restoration trades at the Hall.

In collaboration with 4Culture, King County Veterans Program, and the Wood Technology Center at Seattle Central Community College, twenty-three students worked at the Hall, continuing the rehabilitation efforts of Historic Seattle Council, staff, volunteers, contractors, and our Washington Hall Partners to complete a variety of projects. Four of these students were in the Vets Restore program, which offers training, mentoring, and job placement guidance for newly returning veterans in preservation carpentry.  Vets Restore participants learn how to bring new life to America’s vintage houses, schools, depots, churches, and halls with a mission to save historic places.

Be sure to check out this cool video from 4Culture and Vets Restore. Vets were interviewed on site at Washington Hall and King Street Station.

The work performed at Washington Hall included restoring main entry doors and replicating and installing new code-compliant hardware; repairing damaged sheetrock and plaster; restoring original built-in furnishings and building and installing custom cabinetry and display cases; rebuilding a deteriorated basement staircase; and repairing and restoring original windows on the south side of the building.

The work force consisted of a combination of students enrolled in a new 18-credit course in remodeling and preservation at Seattle Central Community College’s new state-of-the-art Wood Technology Center and students from the Vets Restore program initiated by 4Culture and supported by the King County Veterans Program.

Thanks to the extraordinary effort and support of Rick Sever (Historic Seattle Council), Flo Lentz and Heather Dwyer (4Culture), Candice Corey (King County Veterans Program), Frank Mestemacher (Seattle Central Community College) and Kevin Palo (Ten Mile Restoration), the initiative fulfilled multiple goals: training the next generation of restoration focused trades people; connecting returning Veterans to meaningful, team-oriented work, and continuing to enhance the community-based, social justice-driven mission and goals core to the Washington Hall project.

Big thanks and congratulations to all the students who completed the course! They celebrated their success today in a gathering and BBQ at the Wood Technology Center. Some of the students will continue with a one-month internship at Washington Hall.