Sunday, January 16, 2011, marked the two-year anniversary of a fire that partially damaged the Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead building in West Seattle. Built in 1904, this designated Seattle landmark building has been vacant and closed since, deteriorating with each passing month. In February 2010, a Certificate of Approval (C of A) application for demolition of the Alki Homestead was filed with the City’s Historic Preservation Program. This was a few months after the applicant presented an informational briefing to the Architectural Review Committee of the Landmarks Preservation Board on November 13, 2009 at a public meeting (which was followed by a Board tour of the site in December 2009). The C of A application was incomplete–it’s up to the applicant to file a complete application in order for the process to move forward. The advocacy effort to save the Homestead stepped up in 2010, culminating in a photo event on July 4, when about 200 people came together in front of the Homestead building to declare,“This Place Matters.”
On this two-year anniversary of the fire, a four-organization coalition consisting of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Historic Seattle, 4Culture, and Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, held a press conference at the Log House Museum to update the public about some developments since last July 4, where the coalition pronounced, “This Place Still Matters.” The goal of the advocacy effort is to see the landmark Alki Homestead protected, preserved and restored (according to accepted preservation design standards), no matter who the owner is. The organizations are resources for any owner.
Following are excerpts from the press release issued:
Here are the updates, which the coalition is optimistic will lead to the protection, preservation and restoration of the Alki Homestead:
- With the aim of purchasing the Alki Homestead, Historic Seattle, working with private investors, has had significant discussions with the building owner since last summer. In addition, other investigations leave Historic Seattle confident that the Alki Homestead building can be preserved with integrity and practicality. Historic Seattle and its investors remain interested in working with the owner to protect, preserve and restore the Alki Homestead.
- The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 4Culture and the Washington Trust filed on Friday a request with the Seattle Department of Planning and Development seeking the city’s help in protecting the building from damage. We trust that this step will maximize the potential for its preservation and restoration, particularly during inclement weather.
- The coalition released a color poster today that depicts the inspiring rally on July 4, 2010, when 200 public officials, civic leaders and others stood in front of the Alki Homestead to proclaim that “This Place Matters.” Immediately after today’s press conference, the coalition began posting this poster in area storefronts and elsewhere to spread the word about public support for this community and citywide treasure.
A few local news and blog representatives attended the press conference. Coverage includes the following:
West Seattle Blog. “Alki Homestead fire anniversary: ‘Somebody has to speak for the building.'” (This blog post also includes photos and a video of the press conference.)