The Washington State Legislature, the State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation were honored in Spokane at the 2012 National Historic Preservation Conference by receiving an Honor Award for the Heritage Barn Program. Receiving the award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation was Jerri Honeyford of Sunnyside, Chair of the Washington Heritage Barn Advisory Committee. Also recognized in receiving the award was Senator Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside representing the Washington State Legislature; Dr. Allyson Brooks, the State Historic Preservation Officer; and Jennifer Meisner, director of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
Recognizing the steady erosion of historic barns due to deterioration and development pressures, Senator Jim Honeyford and wife Jerri Honeyford have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the importance of barns as historic resources on our rural landscape. Working in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and the Northwest preservation advocacy group the Washington Trust, Senator Honeyford advanced legislation that recognized barns as historic resources and provided seed money by the legislature for the preservation of historic era barns.
In just three years, the Washington Heritage Barn Program has identified and surveyed hundreds of barns in Washington State. The most significant barns were added to the Washington Heritage Barn Register. So far, nearly 500 barns have been added to the register. These barns are considered important features of our landscape and the state’s rich agricultural history.
With matching grants provided by the Washington State Legislature, 46 barns have been restored. The economic stimulus provided by the distribution of the grant funds has been readily seen in each of the rural communities where grants were awarded, creating jobs and motivating barn owners to repair and maintain their barns which are vital to farm operations.
According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, headquartered in Washington D. C., the National Preservation Honor Awards “are bestowed on distinguished individuals, non-profit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage.”
Also receiving a National Preservation Award from the National Trust was the McKinstry Corporation of Spokane for the creative adaptive re-use of the former Spokane Inland Empire Railroad trolley car building which is now referred to as “McKinstry Station” located near Gonzaga University.