Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Advocacy: Showbox at the Market

The Seattle City Council voted to temporarily expand the Pike Place Market Historic District to include the endangered Showbox, in effect adding protections for its use.  Your support is needed to urge the Mayor to sign this legislation.

This historic theatre has been sold to developers, who planned to replace it with a 42-story apartment tower.  Efforts are underway to request City of Seattle Landmark status for the Showbox at the Market.

Here is an article with more information:

What you can do to help:

Contact Mayor Durkan to urge her to sign the Council’s legislation:

Mayor Durkan – Phone: (206) 684-4000  Email:

Continue to support the landmark nomination process by periodically visiting the article on the Historic Seattle website and following their suggestions under ‘What You Can Do Now’.

Sign the petition at


Advocacy: The Garden House

The Garden House, believed to be the first house built on Beacon Hill, is up for sale, putting it in danger.  The owners, the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs, voted to sell the building.  The Beacon Hill Garden Club would like to keep the Garden House as a meeting space for the community, non-profit groups, and artists.

Here is an article with more information:

Here is what you can do:

  • Write a letter of support.
  • Local non-profit organizations can join the Seattle Beacon Hill Historic Preservation Coalition.
  • Individuals can join the Beacon Hill Garden Club.

For more information about these options, see


How to mine history with hikes
Posted on:
Categories: News

AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom opens the AKCHO membership meeting at the Issaquah Depot.

The Issaquah History Museums, one of the historical organizations that had received recognition earlier this year at the 2018 AKCHO Awards Program for its mining history hikes, hosted the June AKCHO membership meeting at its restored Issaquah Depot facility.

Doug Bristol, a docent at the IHM since 2012, regaled nearly 20 AKCHO members with stories from Issaquah’s mining history before leading the group on a short tour to the entrance of a Squak Mountain mine. 

Bristol noted that the “Issaquah Alps” range is 50 million years old – older than the Cascade Mountains by several million years. This cluster of foothills (comprised of Cougar Mountain, Squak Mountain, Tiger Mountain, Taylor Mountain, Rattlesnake Ridge and Rattlesnake Mountain) is one of only two east-west trending mountain ranges on the West Coast – the other is the Siskiyous. 

Doug Bristol leads AKCHO members on a hike through Issaquah to an historic mine entrance.

By 1862, settlers were aware that coal was plentiful in the local foothills, but it wasn’t until the railroad arrived in 1888 that it became financially feasible to convey the coal to Seattle. Over the next several years, Issaquah went from boom to bust and back to boom again. Mining ceased after World War II, but the opening of the Lacey V. Murrow floating bridge across Lake Washington in 1940 helped turned Issaquah into a bedroom community to Seattle.

As the town grew, it was built over mines that had been dug tens of hundreds of feet below the surface. Bristol said that because the mines were built with rot- and insect-resistant cedar beams, the mines have held up well for a century or more, but the recent appearance of a few sinkholes around town suggests that even cedar has its limits.

As AKCHO members headed out into the cool but sunny June morning to thread their way through the streets of downtown Issaquah and past the salmon fishery on their short hike to the mine entrance, Bristol paused periodically to point out areas such as the library parking garage which had to engage in special mitigation in order to avoid slumping caused by the mines deep below. 

This is just one of several popular hikes offered by the Issaquah History Museums throughout the year. For more information on the hikes, visit


From board vision to vibrant building – CWB’s new Wagner Education Center
Posted on:
Categories: News

Sketch of the Wagner Education Center by S. Bower

Adding a new building to your site can be a long journey, Brandt Faatz, Executive Director of The Center for Wooden Boats told those gathered for AKCHO’s May membership meeting. He described how CWB’s new Wagner Education Center grew from their Board’s new goals, set in the early 2000s, to the expected opening this summer.

He noted the highs and lows of the dozen years since the Capital Campaign Cabinet secured its first leadership donation. He praised the many donors, both public and private, whose contributions made the building possible and he also noted the efforts of volunteers, one of whom has overseen the entire project.

There still is a bit of work – lighting, painting, flooring and more – to do in the interior before the opening of the building, which is named for CWB’s co-founders, the late Dick Wagner and Colleen Wagner. AKCHO members were treated to a pre-opening tour, including a look at the recently-installed main stairway treads, crafted from wood salvaged from the historic schooner Wawona. Members praised the new classroom space for kids and adults, the special area for volunteers and the environmentally-friendly solar-powered building.

The meeting began with a welcome by AKCHO Board member Judie Romeo, a 30-year CWB volunteer, who pointed out the 4Culture-funded exhibit on the room walls, showcasing small boats designed and built in King County.

AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom reviewed AKCHO’s three areas of focus: Advocacy, which includes writing letters in support of historic preservation; Centralized Resources, including a new redesign of the AKCHO website as a forum for sharing more information electronically, and Professional Development through meeting programs and new workshops. She encouraged members to become involved in these activities.

Chieko Phillips of 4Culture reminded members that applications for Collections Care grants are due June 27 and discussed nominations for Seattle’s Arts and Culture Awards. More information is available on


Two King County sites on WA Trust’s 2018 Most Endangered list
Posted on:
Categories: News

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has announced its 2018 list of Most Endangered Places. The nonprofit organization unveiled its list at its annual Vintage Washington fundraiser, which was held at the historic Georgetown Steam Plant. 

Two of the five sites on this year’s Most Endangered Places list are located in King County: Camp Kilworth in Federal Way and the East Seattle School on Mercer Island.

Camp Kilworth – photo courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

In 1934, William Kilworth purchased 25 acres in the South Sound and immediately deeded the property to the Tacoma Area Council of Boy Scouts. World War I veterans, who were members of the Tacoma Rotary Club, built the centerpiece of the camp in 1935: the Rustic-style Rotary Lodge. Over the decades, several other supporting structures were built, including an outdoor amphitheater that looks out over a dramatic view of south Puget Sound. Today, the property and its shoreline are one of only two places in rapidly growing Federal Way regarded as a highly sensitive environmental area; the high bank coastal forest on the site also serves as a wildlife corridor.

The Boy Scouts owned and operated the camp for over 80 years, but due to declining membership, their operations at Camp Kilworth ceased in 2016. In accordance with a stipulation in William Kilworth’s original 1934 deed, ownership of the property reverts to the Kilworth Family Foundations if the property is not used for scouting. The buildings sit vacant, unheated, and unmaintained, raising fears of demolition by neglect. Local advocates also feel it is important for the property remain as open space dedicated to education, as William Kilworth originally intended. The property has provided formative experiences for many over the years and has the potential to continue as a meaningful and historic educational environment for the community if the right stewardship arrangement can be found.

East Seattle School – photo courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

Built in 1914, East Seattle School is the oldest public building left on Mercer Island. The school’s Mission-style architectural details remain intact, including a terra cotta roof, a curvilinear parapet, and decorative brackets. Once located at the town center, the school was the heart of the Island’s community life for nearly 70 years. Construction of the I-90 floating bridge, however, brought a population boom to the Island in the 1950s, and the commercial center of Mercer Island gradually shifted to its current location.

East Seattle School was declared a surplus building in 1982 but continued its role as a community gathering space for nearly 30 more years as the home to the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club and various childcare centers. In 2007, private interests acquired the 3-acre property. While many objected to the transaction, others supported it because proceeds from the sale were used to construct a new Boys & Girls Club. As part of the deal, the new owner agreed to make no changes to the property for ten years. Now that those ten years have passed, the owner has applied for a demolition permit, and will likely build single family housing on the site. Community members hoping to see the school preserved are working to find a solution that will satisfy the owner’s investment goals while keeping the legacy of East Seattle School alive through adaptive reuse.

The other endangered historic properties on this year’s list include the 1914 Steilacoom Train Depot, designed by noted local architect, Arthur Potter Merrill; Arlington High School, an intact example of Art Deco architecture that includes two Richard Correll murals funded by the Works Progress Administration in 1940; and the Bruggemann Ranch cook house, which reflects pre-Manhattan Project history on what became the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington. 

Since 1992, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has used its Most Endangered Properties list to bring attention to over 160 threatened sites nominated by concerned citizens and organizations across the state. The Washington Trust assists advocates for these resources in developing strategies aimed at removing these threats, taking advantage of opportunities where they exist, and finding positive preservation solutions for listed places.

Please contact Jennifer Mortensen at 206-462-2999 or via e-mail at for more information.



Heritage Advisor is published by the Association of King County Historical Organizations as a service to members and those who support its mission. We update our website continually throughout the month, and on the first of every month we e-mail a condensed version of Heritage Advisor to our mailing list – you can subscribe to this service by filling out the requested information in the right sidebar on this page.

AKCHO was established in 1977 to encourage cooperation among historical organizations; promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve; and support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

The Heritage Advisor welcomes submissions of news items, calendar items, and opinion columns from AKCHO members, HA subscribers, and readers. Articles are limited to 300 words and they should have a strong relevance to historic preservation and heritage issues in King County, Washington. Submission of an article does not guarantee publication. AKCHO does not pay for published submissions. All articles are subject to review by AKCHO staff. Please send your article within the body of an email (no attachments, please) to

AKCHO welcomes new members year round. Individual memberships are $25, and we have a three-tiered system for organizational memberships, with dues dependent on budget size. For more information and an application form, visit

More than 150 individuals and organizations support heritage work and historic preservation in King County, thanks to their membership in AKCHO. Please join us!




Event Calendar

March 2018
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Heritage Advisor

Complete this form to sign-up to receive the Heritage Advisor Newsletter in your inbox.


Quick Links

AKCHO was established to encourage cooperation among historical organizations and to promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve, and to support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

By Laws

Follow AKCHO

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Linkedin

Latest Facebook Posts

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: Error validating application. Application has been deleted.
Type: OAuthException
Code: 190
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

Contact AKCHO

Association of King County
Historical Organizations
P.O. Box 3257
Seattle, WA 98114

Copyright © 2018 AKCHO and its licensors. All rights reserved. No images or graphics on this site may be used without written permission from their respective owners.

Funding for Heritage Advisor provided by 4Culture.
4 Culture
Receive 4Culture's monthly newsletter in your email inbox to keep informed about upcoming funding deadlines, program updates, services, and other resources from the cultural community. Subscribe at