This morning the National Trust for Historic Preservation (a CDNews sponsor) announced that three Central District properties are among the 25 that are competing for $1 million in preservation funding from American Express. After a public vote that runs through May 12th, the winning site will be guaranteed funding, and an advisory board will determine which other projects will receive partial funding.
The buildings here in our neighborhood are:
- Washington Hall at 14th & Fir, built in 1908, and home of arts programs and performances for many years. As we reported last year, Washington Hall is now owned by Historic Seattle, which plans to rehab the building and keep it available for arts uses.
- The Urban League building at 14th & Yesler, which was built in 1910 as a residential hotel, requires seismic upgrades and suffers from 100 years of wear and tear.
- The Japanese Cultural and Community Center at 14th & Weller has been the home of the longest continually operating Japanese language school in the continental U.S since 1902. Preservationists hope to restore the front facade of the building to its original appearance and insure the center can continue to serve future generations.
You can vote for these projects and others among the 25 on the preservationnation.org website.
Like Chicago, as a friend points out.
The results to date seem to show that one of our neighborhood buildings, Washington Performance Hall, has some chance of finishing high in the “voting” results. Yesterday it was among the top six or seven. Today it seems to have slipped some.
I’ve been told that many people received a slick mailing promoting Town Hall. Washington Performance Hall doesn’t have that budget. It has been an important place for so many people in the community over the last 100 years — from the Scandinavians who built the building to African, Filipino, and Korean Americans and others. Historic Seattle currently owns the building, having purchased it from the Sons of Haiti. Until recently it hosted the Korean Senior Center. Some people remember it as the home of On the Boards for many years.
Historic Seattle has plans to bring the building back to the point where it can once again be a vital part of neighborhood activity. Those who have seen the deteriorated condition of the building know how urgent the need is.
All of the sites on the Preservation Funds list are worthy. Washington Performance Hall might be the one location in the Central District that has a chance of finishing high on the vote-getting list.