Posted by: wadahp | February 9, 2010

WTHP SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR 2010 MOST ENDANGERED LIST

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is seeking nominations to its 2010 Most Endangered Historic Properties List. Nomination forms may be obtained through the Trust’s website.

The on-going threats to historic properties statewide include demolition, neglect, incompatible development and insensitive alteration. These types of threats and many others impact resources across Washington that all contribute to the heritage and vitality of our state, enhancing the quality of life in small towns, large cities and across rural areas. Inclusion in the Most Endangered List can be an important initial step in advocacy campaigns designed to bring attention to significant historic resources.

Properties selected for inclusion in the list will receive support and technical assistance from the Trust who will support efforts to remove any threats facing the historic resource while also working to raise awareness of preservation in general. Through proactive partnering with local organizations and concerned citizens, the Trust’s Most Endangered List program has resulted in many high profile success stories across Washington since its establishment in 1992.

Several case studies demonstrate the effectiveness of inclusion in our Most Endangered List. A year ago, several structures comprising the Sand Point Naval Station at Seattle’s Magnusson Park faced uncertain futures due primarily to deferred maintenance and neglect. With cooperation from several stakeholders, including local preservation advocates, Seattle’s Parks and Recreation Department, and the University of Washington, Sand Point has been recommended for listing as a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places.

In University Place, grassroots efforts aimed at preserving the Curran House, a mid-century modern residence designed by a noted Tacoma architect, hit a snag when city officials questioned the value of retaining the house. Set amid an apple orchard, the site serves as a city park and plays host to picnics, community events and family gatherings. With a sense of doggedness and determination on the part of advocates, and after inclusion in the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered List, the University Place City Council passed a resolution supporting preservation of the Curran House. More good news followed with the announcement that the Curran House received a Pierce County grant of $30,000 to address much needed maintenance issues.

The statewide listing in 2006 of Washington’s Historic Barns resulted in a legislative effort to address the unique threats facing these iconic structures. Passed in 2007, the Heritage Barn Preservation Initiative established the Heritage Barn Register while setting aside funding to provide stabilization and rehabilitation grants to assist barn owners with preservation projects. Created as a program within the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, the initiative has resulted in 408 barns being designated as official Washington State Heritage Barns. Moreover, through the grant program, 31 barns across the state have received funds to assist with rehabilitation projects. The Washington Trust rallied a diverse collection of agricultural-related and heritage-minded advocacy groups to support this legislation – a loose knit coalition that has kept up momentum and remains committed to historic barns.

These are but a few of the many preservation successes in which the Washington Trust has played a role. We encourage communities to take action when the historic fabric of their neighborhoods, main streets and rural landscapes are threatened, and we offer our support with preservation efforts aimed at removing these threats.

Nominations to the Trust’s 2010 Most Endangered Historic Properties List are due on Monday, March 15, 2010. The 2010 List will be announced at a press conference in May as part of the Washington Trust’s Preservation Month programming. For more information on the Most Endangered Historic Properties List, including a nomination form, please visit the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation website.

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