Dr. Allyson Brooks, State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) announced the 2017 award winners for Outstanding Achievements in Historic Preservation. Each year the SHPO, who also serves as the Director of the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP), recognizes persons, organizations, and projects that achieved distinction in the field of historic preservation in the following categories: Historic Preservation Stewardship, Career Achievement, Historic Preservation Education, Outstanding Rehabilitation, and Special Achievement.
The 2017 contingent of winners comes from Clark, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, and San Juan Counties. In addition, five tribes and several individuals will be celebrated for their dedication to achieve the repatriation of the Ancient One, also known as the Kennewick Man. The five tribes to be recognized in the Preservation Stewardship category are: Colville, Nez Perce, Umatilla, Wanapum, and the Yakama Nation.
Award winners in each category are:
The SHPO is honoring the five claimant tribes with a Preservation Stewardship award for the successful repatriation of the Ancient One. Their stewardship of the Ancient One is reflected by their unwavering efforts over a 20 year timespan to bring his remains back home. The five tribes being honored are: Colville Confederated Tribes, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Nez Perce Tribe, and the Wanapum Band Tribe.
In addition to the tribes, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse, and U.S. Representative Denny Heck were each presented with a Preservation Stewardship award.
The SHPO is also presenting a special Preservation Hero award to the following individuals who demonstrated unwavering commitment to achieving the repatriation of the Ancient One: Washington State Senator John McCoy; Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Squamish Tribe and Vice-Chairman of the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and Chris Moore of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation; and Tim Thompson, Consultant.
Washington Hall, located in Seattle’s Central District, is also a recipient of the Preservation Stewardship award. The public development entity Historic Seattle brought the building back from the brink of decay and demolition. As a vibrant community center and social hub for many of the city’s immigrant groups, the building has been the scene of innumerable events and performances. However, shifting demographics and social trends left the center’s future in doubt until it was purchased by Historic Seattle in 2009. Working with a broad range of neighborhood and local organizations, Historic Seattle preserved Washington Hall and returned it to its glory days as a neighborhood center of arts and culture.
Dr. Ken Ames of Portland is honored in the Career Achievement category for his contributions to Washington archaeology at both the state and regional level. He was one of the pioneers of the study of native Northwest Coast Societies. He authored and co-authored multiple books and articles on archaeology in Washington and the Northwest Coast. His work spanned over 30 years conducting fieldwork on the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in Washington and also along the Lower Columbia River, most notably for his work at the Cathlapotle village site near present-day Ridgefield, Washington. Most recently Dr. Ames worked as a principal investigator at the Bear Creek Site, a significant late Pleistocene-Holocene Era site in Redmond, Washington.
In the education category, the award winners are five students from Lopez Island Middle School and teacher Anthony Rovente for developing “Project WA: Connecting History and Place,” an innovative approach to teaching history using smartphones. In 2016, the students in Rovente’s Northwest History Class researched and documented the people, places, and events they viewed as the most interesting and personally meaningful in Washington State history with a focus on historic places that are endangered. Working closely with communications and marketing consultant Tim Fry, the students designed and developed content for the mobile app called Washington State Insider, followed by a road trip and a blog.
Outstanding Historic Building Rehabilitation – The Valerie Sivinski Award
Each year the SHPO recognizes achievement in historic preservation through outstanding rehabilitations of historic buildings and structures. The awards in this category are named in honor of the late Tacoma architect Valerie Sivinski.
The first of three Valerie Sivinski awards goes to the Elks Building in Ellensburg. Built in 1923, the Elks Building has been a cornerstone of the Downtown Ellensburg Historic District. When the Elks gave up their charter in 2004, the building was sold and it entered a long state of neglect and disrepair. A target for demolition at one point, the Elks was rescued by Wenatchee developer Rory Turner. Turner returned this historic gem back to prominence by a meticulous rehabilitation. The property is now home to two restaurants, commercial and non-profit office space, and an event center in the beautifully restored ceremonial lodge room. An adjacent boutique hotel is currently being planned to complement the Elks as further evidence of Downtown Ellensburg’s resurgence.
The second award in this category goes to the Double Infantry Barracks Building 987 at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve at Fort Vancouver. The National Park Service successfully rehabilitated the hundred-year-old structure. Before the rehab, Building 987 had asbestos and lead paint issues as well as an array of maintenance and structural problems. The $11 million project revitalized the building with new tin ceiling tiles, newly painted interior and exterior, stripped and repainted porch columns, and resurfaced and sanded original wood floors. Building 987 is one of the signature structures along the Reserve’s iconic Barracks Row and Parade Ground and recently opened as headquarter office space for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
The third 2017 Valerie Sivinski award goes to the fully-rehabilitated Publix Hotel located in Seattle’s historic Chinatown/International District for 90 years. Built in 1927 as a working-class, single-room occupancy hotel, the Publix provided modest, inexpensive housing to a large clientele of immigrant workers from China, Japan, and the Philippines. The Uwajimaya family purchased the hotel in 1990 and continued to provide affordable housing for low-income residents until the building was closed in 2003. Beginning in 2014, the family initiated a complete rehabilitation of the building. Work included restoration of the hotel’s ground floor retail spaces and brightened the 60 affordable apartments with modern amenities as well as a rooftop garden and an entertainment space.
Marion (Mick) Hersey of Bremerton will be honored for his volunteer work across Western Washington in cleaning and restoring historic site markers, grave stones, cemeteries, as well as military commemorative markers and artifacts. Without hesitation, he devotes hours of personal time after his full-time job, on weekends, and vacation, to repair markers and gravesites that have been damaged, vandalized, or forgotten to memory. A U.S. Veteran, Mick is a role model of selfless public service, devoted to preserving these reminders of Washington history and historic sites.