Enumclaw’s City Hall’s front steps are in desperate need of repair; some of the paver bricks, like you see here, have simply been replaced with wooden blocks. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Enumclaw’s City Hall’s front steps are in desperate need of repair; some of the paver bricks, like you see here, have simply been replaced with wooden blocks. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Enumclaw finalizing plans to restore City Hall

The project is expected to be completed before the building celebrates its 100th birthday.

As Enumclaw’s City Hall nears its 100th birthday, the city council is looking to give the building a bit of a facelift.

City staff and leaders have known for years that the structure was in need of more than just a touch-up, and initially, the undertaking was going to tackle the whole building — an estimated $500,000 undertaking.

But due to timing issues and shifting priorities, the city has settled to just restore the front for now, as “the brick paver stairs… [are] in particularly poor condition,” reads an April 6 staff report to the city council. This more focused project is expected to cost around $215,000.

Here’s a bit of history about city hall and its upcoming restoration.

Even though Enumclaw was incorporated as a city in 1913, it would be another eight years before an official City Hall was constructed, said Mayor Jan Molinaro. He added that once a bond issue was passed and the plans were finalized, it only took three months to build, “which is amazing to me.”

It was in the 1940s that City Hall was expanded, giving it a west wing. Back then, the building was far busier than it is now.

“This used to be a fire station. It used to be a police [station] and jail. And city council,” Molinaro said. “It’s pretty wild, when you look at the history.”

The space currently being used as the council chambers was upgraded again in the 1980s, but that pretty much wraps up all the major work ever done on the building.

“It needs work. TLC, big time,” Molinaro said, pointing to cracks that have appeared around the structure. “The building needs some repairs to have a great environment for the citizens and the staff that work here.”

But it’s not that easy restoring a century-old building; for example, staff pointed out that the paver bricks used at City Hall are no longer manufactured. Luckily, “limited supplied of recycled brick pavers are available in recycle yards in the region,” a staff report reads.

According to Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln, the city originally budgeted $125,000 in order to restore all of City Hall.

However, that budget failed to take into consideration any historical preservation.

“The deliberate historic restoration includes matching replaced brick and chemically matching the existing mortar to ensure that the rehabilitation will not cause more damage in the long run,” city documents read. “Additionally, the cost did not include the restoration of the aged windows, damaged wood and refinishing doors, etc.”

After seeking the advice of a masonry expert, the city learned it would cost upward of $500,000 to tackle the whole building.

“We did not believe that a $500,000 cost was advisable relative to all other priorities,” Lincoln wrote in an email. “The Public Works Committee was kept appraised of the approach, and did ask why we did not undertake the whole thing at once. Our recommendation was to restore the south face and determine what the real bid price would be.”

Timing was also an issue, since the city is planning a City Hall Centennial Anniversary in the fall, and construction must be completed by then.

“I hope to do a week [of celebration] and just have the opportunity to hopefully open City Hall to the public again,” Molinaro said.

No work schedule has been determined — a bid for the project has not yet been awarded.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

File photo
Brief history of rats in the Puget Sound region – and the problem they present

Local exterminator noticed big change in rats over the past 40 years.

Sponsor of the motion to establish guidelines for the removal of encampments, Councilmember Reagan Dunn (courtesy of King County Council)
King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments

Still unclear what the standards will be, who will enforce it, and how jurisdictions will interact.

Mt. Rainier
Input sought regarding visitor use on Mount Rainier’s south side

Public can weigh in as National Park Service ponders visitor use at Nisqually-to-Paradise corridor.

The Enumclaw Youth Center, operated by the Y Social Impact Center in Enumclaw
Donations sought for kids heading back to school

Annual effort has started to provide back-to-school supplies to kids from low-income families.

Police lights
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | July 12 – July 22 |

DUIs, after-hours golfing and a found Labrador retriever

Andrew Bruce, instructor for Green River College's upcoming drone program, demonstrates the capabilities of one of his racing drones using a smartphone app outside the Enumclaw Green River campus. Photo by Alex Bruell
Drone racing, ethical hacking and more: Green River instructors want to train “cutting edge” students

Green River College in Enumclaw will offer new drone aviation, cybersecurity programs next year

A University of Washington-themed birdhouse, complete with a husky, is one of several birdhouses available at Arts Alive’s silent auction.
Arts Alive holding silent auction for student scholarships

Bids for colorful birdhouses must be submitted by Aug. 9

The crowd at the 2018 Midsummer Festival. (Michael Grace-Dacosta photo)
At a glance | August 2021 events

Rodeo, car shows and more

Elaine Simons, former foster mother of Jesse Sarey, addresses a crowd outside the Maleng Regional Justice Center on Aug. 24, 2020, moments after Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson was formally charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the May 31, 2019, shooting death of 26-year-old Sarey in front of a north Auburn convenience store. File photo
Supreme Court rules officers can be compelled to testify about killings

In a joint lawsuit against King County, the Washington State Supreme Court… Continue reading

Most Read