PORT TOWNSEND — The Fort Worden Foundation has been given $500,000 by the National Park Service to assist with the $13.4 million Makers Square capital project.
The funds will assist with renovations of Building 305, the Quartermaster Storehouse, which has been under construction since this summer.
The area for Makers Square is located behind Taps at the Guardhouse, a pub and eatery at 300 Eisenhower Ave. near the entrance to Fort Worden.
Construction began in July; planning started in 2014. The project is expected to be finished next fall.
The Fort Worden Foundation has secured $11.6 million through federal and state funding — as well as philanthropic gifts — making up 87 percent of the campaign goal of $13.4 million, said Megan Claflin, Fort Worden Public Development Authority (PDA) grants and public relations manager, in a press release.
“We’re honored to be included among such a prestigious list of historic properties and collections,” said Dave Robison, executive director of the PDA.
“For more than a century Fort Worden has been recognized as a site of cultural and historic significance, and we are privileged to be a part of the innovative partnership preserving this magnificent place for future generations,” he added.
The National Park Service worked with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities to award $12.6 million in matching grants to 41 projects in 23 states through the Save America’s Treasures program.
Among the eight West Coast projects selected for funding, the Fort Worden Foundation and Seattle City Light were the only two from Washington state, Claflin said.
Once renovations are complete, Building 305 will offer more than 15,000 square feet of new space, Claflin said.
The main floor will feature two classrooms and two large studios, an extended gallery space and a reception area. The basement will be home to KPTZ 91.9FM, a nonprofit, community radio station complete with modern recording and broadcast studios.
The second floor will provide flexible spaces for artists, nonprofit organizations and creative businesses.
“Aspiring and master artists, craftsmen and makers will find a year-round community in which they can create, collaborate, educate and connect with new audiences,” Claflin said.
Makers Square and the renovations to Building 305 are expected to have a large impact on the arts community in Port Townsend and Jefferson County, Robison said.
“The Makers Square project will impact the artistic, cultural and economic factors that enhance the visibility of Fort Worden, which directly contributes to Port Townsend’s identity as an arts community,” Robison said.
“Building 305 is one of the most historically significant buildings on the Fort Worden campus.
“Preservation of its key historic features and its adaptive reuse as an arts and education center will ensure that it remains a public asset for the next 100 years.”
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].