Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Board welcomes new members, bids farewell to Miguel Llanos
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The AKCHO board welcomed two new members at its June meeting, while bidding a fond farewell to longtime board member Miguel Llanos, co-founder of the Redmond Historical Society. Llanos had served as AKCHO Programs Chair for the last several years but new professional opportunities and a chance to be closer to family prompt his move out of the area. He will be sorely missed, but if you’d like a chance to say good-bye, his last appearance at an AKCHO event will be at the membership meeting in Issaquah later this month.

The two new members coming onto the board are Josh Gannis, director of Eastside Heritage Center, and Hilary Pittenger, who oversees artifacts and collections at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn.

On the agenda at its June meeting, the board discussed membership numbers and decided to e-mail a membership renewal reminder later this week, to be followed up by personal contacts by board members if necessary.

The board also agreed on venues for the 2019 AKCHO Annual Meeting and Awards Program and discussed making some slight changes in the timeline for the Awards Program to facilitate planning and preparation.

Finally, the board heard from 4Culture heritage lead Brian Carter on that agency’s plans to conduct a year-long listening tour to gather data from each of the cities in King County, as well as from the unincorporated areas that have advisory councils. They also got an update on 4Culture’s search for a new executive director – finalists are undergoing day-long interview sessions with selected groups this week and a new director will be announced early in the summer.


From board vision to vibrant building – CWB’s new Wagner Education Center
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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


Nominations solicited for Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards
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Washington State Arts Commission
Nomination deadline: 7/9/2018

The Governor’s Arts Awards were established in 1966 to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to the arts and cultural development of Washington State.

The Governor’s Heritage Awards were established in 1989 to honor outstanding individuals and organizations whose dedication to preserving and promoting traditions and cultural heritage are worthy of state recognition.

The Governor’s Arts and Heritage Awards, administered on behalf of the Governor by ArtsWA, are among the most prestigious honors that the Governor confers. Since inception of the program, 153 individuals and organizations have received Arts Awards, and 53 individuals and organizations have been honored with a Heritage Award.

To be eligible for either Arts or Heritage Awards, individuals or organizations must be current Washington residents or have resided in the state during the time the contributions were made, and not be a previous recipient of a Governor’s Arts Award or Heritage Award.

Check out nomination categories and guidelines here.


Two King County sites on WA Trust’s 2018 Most Endangered list
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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.


Labor Archives of WA seeks your participation in labor history survey
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The Labor Archives of Washington at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections invites all cultural heritage institutions in the Pacific Northwest with records related to labor history and interrelated civil rights and social justice organizations/activism to participate in the Pacific Northwest Labor History Regional Records Survey. Here is the link:

This information will give the LAW a broader knowledge about where records documenting labor history in the region currently reside, enabling the Archives to compile a regional directory of labor historical records as well as integrate this information into the Society of American Archivists, Labor Archives Section’s Labor Archives of the United States and Canada: A Directory.

This survey is being administered in conjunction with a survey distributed to labor organizations in the state of Washington to gather information on the state of labor historical records within union organizational offices.

If you’d rather complete the survey over the phone or by paper, just contact Assistant Labor Archivist, Crystal Rodgers at or 206-685-6903. Deadline to complete the survey is July 31, 2018. Please forward the survey to colleagues who you know have collections relevant to this survey. 



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!




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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.

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