(WSB photo from January, shortly after the fire)
Two months after the fire that closed the historic Alki Homestead restaurant, repairs have yet to begin, according to city online records which show no permits have been applied for, though records do show a complaint was filed with the city last week about the building’s condition/status. This morning, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which operates the nearby Log House Museum, has issued a news release expressing concern about the Homestead’s future:
Because of community uncertainty over the fate of the Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead Restaurant after an early-morning fire damaged the building on Jan. 16, 2009, the Executive Board of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society states the following:
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society advocates protection and preservation of significant historic structures on the Duwamish Peninsula. We nominated the Alki Homestead Restaurant building for city landmark status and the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board designated it a Seattle landmark on Oct. 18, 1995. Then and today, the building needs preservation.
The Alki Homestead, known 100 years ago as Fir Lodge, is a Seattle icon. It was the anchor of a beachfront estate created by the Bernard family. The carriage house that became the historical society’s Log House Museum is the only remaining structure of five outbuildings on that estate. Both the Homestead and The Log House Museum are–and should remain–vital and intertwined sites in our Seattle history for generations to come.
We support the building’s preservation. We urge:
-that the building be protected immediately in its damaged state: that the roof be covered, broken windows boarded up, and the entire structure protected from the elements and from intrusion;
-that the yard and landscape be maintained, perhaps with help from neighborhood volunteers; and
-that all landmarked features be preserved in the restoration of the building.
We are confident that there are many ways in which the building can be used to insure that it has an economically viable future. We urge community support of a vision that restores the landmarked building and sustains the site as a valuable element of the Alki community, the Duwamish Peninsula , and the city of Seattle.
After the fire, Homestead owner Tom Lin had said he still hoped to proceed with a sale of the restaurant operation – not the building itself – which was in the works before the fire; he also said it might take more than six months before the Homestead could reopen. We have a message out to him for comment on the Historical Society’s statement, and the status of plans for repairs/sale, and will let you know what we hear back.