Historic Preservation

My name is John Bennett. I have been a resident of West Seattle for 32 years and my family has been here since 1906. My grandfather was president of West Side Federal Savings Bank and King County treasurer.

I have been very involved in the community. I was instrumental in getting the Birthplace of Seattle Log House Museum open and running.


A row of banners lines the main hallway at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

When you visit the center you will probably stop to get a closer look-to gaze across the decades into the faces of generations of local school children. Silk-screened on each banner is a class photograph from a different decade, all bearing witness to the building's earlier incarnation as Cooper Elementary School (it was first called Youngstown School, after the original name of the neighborhood around the steel mill).


After stirring worry in Alki and the Admiral District with their purchase of the Alki Homestead restaurant and Hainsworth House, along with announcing plans for various commercial ventures in Alki, business partners Tom Lin and Patrick Henley backed off.

They announced plans in the spring to refurbish Hainsworth House, one of West Seattle's oldest homes, into an event center for weddings and large parties. But many people living in the surrounding Belvidere area objected.


MINOR CHANGES FOR HOMESTEAD. The log structure that contains Alki Homestead was built in 1903 as a summer home for William and Gladys Bernard. They called it Fir Lodge. The building and its interior have city landmark status, meaning they cannot be changed without approval of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. The new owners plan to keep the restaurant much as it has always been, adding some new menu items. It now has a liquor license. Photo by Patrick Robinson

The hum of electrical power at the old California Avenue Substation will soon be replaced by the buzz of public meetings and recreational activities.

Until they get a better place to play, parents as well as children living in the surrounding neighborhood gather to play in an empty church parking lot at the corner of Dakota Street and 44th Avenue Southwest, said Kevin Broveleit, a neighbor and volunteer helping to create the new park.


SUBSTATION TO NEW PARK. The former Seattle City Light electricity distribution facility, at California Avenue and Southwest Dakota Street, is being turned into a community gathering place to be called Dakota Place Park. The area will provide a place to play for many children in the area now forced to use a parking lot. In addition, the building will hold meeting and classroom space for 100 people. Photo by Amber Trillo

National Historic Register status for Beach Park is “about making sure we respect our heritage and preserve it for our children,” Gov. Christine Gregoire said in Des Moines April 14.

Gregoire addressed about 300 people gathered in one of the remaining historic buildings to celebrate the heritage of the park on a rainy Friday morning.

Gregoire scored Des Moines a “perfect ten” in their commitment to keeping their history alive.

“It’s a celebration of our future,” said Mayor Bob Sheckler.


Gov. Christine Gregoire, center, sits with Des Moines Mayor Bob Sheckler and state Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines) during a ceremony commemorating Beach Park's placement on the National Historic Registry. Photo by AMBER TRILLO

The city of Seattle plans to build a $4 million, 8,000 square-foot fire station to replace West Seattle's High Point Fire Station 37, an 81-year-old building that's outdated and no longer meets many industry requirements, said Seattle Fire Department Battalion Chief Molly Douce.

Station 37, at the corner of 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Othello Street, will be rebuilt just three blocks south on the southeast corner of 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Holden Street.


It’s the birthplace of Des Moines and now it’s official in Washington D.C.! Even our Gov. Christine Gregoire is coming to Beach Park to celebrate this historic moment -- and you’re invited.

“The history of Beach Park mirrors the history of so many of Washington’s unique places,” the governor said. “It is a story of community pride ”

On Friday, April 14, at 10:30 a.m. Gov.


Many “Band-Aids” have been applied to shore up Camp Waskowitz, the Highline Public Schools’ outdoor environmental education facility, since it was built in 1935.

“But now it’s time for major surgery” on the old camp structures, according to its director.

Roberta McFarland noted that when the district bought the camp near North Bend in 1957, volunteers nailed donated shingles to the dining hall roof and “did what they could to spruce it up.”

However, concrete was never poured between the building’s walls and


Des Moines Beach Park is now a nationally recognized historic district.

The Des Moines City Council was informed of this latest development at their Jan. 26 meeting.

"It's very exciting," said Councilwoman Susan White, who has pushed for the historic designation during the past four years.


The newly renovated James Madison Middle School will reopen next week, still with its 1929 arched ceilings and ornate moldings, but now with computerized "smart boards" instead of blackboards.

The school has been closed for the past few years for a $38 million renovation while students attended classes at Boren Junior High in Delridge.


Matthew E. Durham

HISTORY PRESERVED. The historic entrance arches and windows were preserved in the remodeled, rebuilt and modernized Madison Middle School that will re-open next week.

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