The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is seeking nominations to its 2014 Most Endangered Historic Properties List. Nomination forms may be obtained through the Trust’s website at www.preservewa.org.
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 Battelle/Talaris Campus in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood represents such an example. Redevelopment plans called for demolition of campus buildings and the associated historic landscape. Working with concerned neighbors and other advocacy groups, the campus and surrounding grounds recently received designation as a City of Seattle Landmark. The property owner, in turn, is interested in working with stakeholders on a preservation-minded redevelopment scenario. The Haller House, located in downtown Coupeville on Whidbey Island, provides another example. With the house on the market, concerned advocates feared a new owner would remove significant interior features from the 1866 house – a structure with direct ties to Civil War officer Colonel Granville Haller. The Washington Trust supported local efforts to contact the sellers, who in turn agreed to provide local advocates an opportunity to raise funds for acquisition of the site. The group, now acting officially under the auspices of Historic Whidbey, continues to work toward this goal.
Communities are encouraged to take action when the historic fabric of their neighborhoods, main streets and rural landscapes 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 2014 Most Endangered Historic Properties List are due on Monday, January 13, 2014. The 2014 List will be announced at the annual RevitalizeWA Preservation and Main Street Conference held in May as part of the Washington Trust’s Preservation Month programming.
Those interested in nominating a resource are strongly encouraged to contact Cathy Wickwire, Operations Manager with 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.