Two Peninsula buildings named to Washington Trust for Historic Preservation's endangered resources list
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Washington Trust for Historic Preservation Communications Director Jennifer Mortensen takes photos of the front of the former Port Angeles fire hall in March. — Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
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The historic chalet in Olympic National Park's Enchanted Valley.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

Two aging North Olympic Peninsula structures, one in the heart of Olympic National Park and the other in the heart of Port Angeles, have been named two of the state's most endangered historic properties.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has named Port Angeles' old fire hall on Lincoln Street and a historic wooden chalet on the banks of the Quinault River in the park to the trust's 2014 statewide endangered historic resources list.

The fire hall and the chalet join one of the last remaining dairy barns in Duvall and two small historic Washington communities on the endangered resources list, said Chris Moore, executive director of the trust.

“Once listed, the [trust] works with all stakeholders involved toward a positive preservation solution for those properties included in our most endangered list,” Moore said in an email.

“This includes technical assistance, advocacy, and strategy for preservation campaigns.”

The trust solicits nominees to the list every year from the public, Moore said, which are then reviewed by the trust's board.

City Councilwoman Cherie Kidd, a former mayor and longtime proponent of preserving the 83-year-old fire hall, said she was thrilled to hear the building made it onto the list.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Port Angeles,” Kidd said.

“Hopefully, this will bring more attention and perhaps funding opportunities.”

The fire hall, which once housed the Port Angeles City Council chambers, fire department and jail, is in the city's civic historic district alongside Veterans Memorial Park, the 1918 Museum at the Carnegie and the 100-year-old Clallam County Courthouse.

The fire hall, still owned by the city, is in dire need of renovation, officials have said, particularly to replace its aging roof.

A recent study by the city and Clallam County showed a complete restoration of the building would cost about $2.2 million.

Kidd, along with Gary Braun, a former Port Angeles mayor, and other local government officials, was interviewed in March about the fire hall for a short video that was slated to be shown at a conference in Wenatchee on Tuesday night showcasing this year's list members.

Barb Maynes, Olympic National Park spokeswoman, said the trust's inclusion of the 84-year-old chalet shows the amount of community support that exists for saving the historic 2-story structure.

“It underscores that the chalet has local significance and there are a lot of people that care deeply about it,” Maynes said.

A 4-foot section of the historic wooden structure, which stands within the park's wilderness area, was undercut by the Quinault River last winter.

Maynes said park staff members have completed an environmental assessment that analyzes the impact of moving the chalet a short distance away from the East Fork of the Quinault River to keep it from falling into the flowing water.

The assessment must be sent to National Park Service regional offices in San Francisco for review, Maynes said, and will eventually be released to the public for comment.

“We do not have a firm timeline right now for release,” Maynes said.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.



Reporter Rob Ollikainen contributed to this report.

Last modified: May 06. 2014 7:19PM
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