Future of historical Commanding Officer’s Quarters at Fort Worden under study

PORT TOWNSEND — On May 16, Bill Conklin sent out a letter to members of the Commanding Officer’s Quarters Heritage Group.

In the letter, Conklin wrote that he had attended a meeting at Fort Worden State Park the day before, where he learned for the first time of a facilities-use assessment recommendation to close the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, or COQ, museum and convert it to rental housing.

The heritage group, one of the state park’s partner organizations, had already informed park administrators that was struggling to keep the house staffed with docents — and as a result, it was resigning from management when the group’s lease expires at the end of this year.

But the recommendation to close the museum, which opened in 1982, blindsided Conklin and others who have put in thousands of hours over the years to keep it going.

He is urging residents of Port Townsend and elsewhere to take a close look at Fort Worden’s long-range plan.

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