$250,000 grant boosts restoration of old Port Townsend City Hall

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County Historical Society has received a $250,000 grant for the restoration of historic City Hall, society director Bill Tennent announced Friday.

“This is the big one,” Tennent said.

The grant, from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, will be used to complete the interior restoration of the 1890-era civic building, a joint project with the city of Port Townsend.

David Hero, head of the historical society’s capital campaign, called the grant the cornerstone of final fundraising efforts.

“The Murdock trust scrutinizes grant applications very closely and especially likes to fund successful projects that are nearing completion and are in their final phase of fundraising,” Hero said.

The historical society set a goal of $600,000 for the final phase of a project, which will pay for appropriate lighting, carpeting and woodwork refinishing of the society’s museum and office space on the first floor, and City Council Chambers and meeting rooms on the second.

Mostly an outright gift

Of the total received from the Murdock trust, $200,000 is an outright gift, Tennent said, and $50,000 is contingent on matching contributions.

“This comes at the perfect time for the community, because it will match local donations,” said Linda Maguire, historical society president.

The interior work is expected to be completed by fall, Tennant said.

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