Alki Homestead’s post-fire future: Two follow-ups

March 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm | In Alki Homestead, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

(WSB photo from January 16)
Two follow-ups this afternoon, the day after our Monday report about the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s announcement of concern regarding the fate of the Alki Homestead restaurant, an official city landmark, closed since fire heavily damaged its interior two months ago. We just talked with inspector Michael Griffin in the city Department of Planning and Development regarding the complaint filed last week about the building’s condition (noted online here). He tells WSB he has inspected the site and its only potential violations are that its roof and some windows are open to the elements, so building owner Tom Lin will be given a warning notice to take care of those problems. If he doesn’t, then a citation would follow. Aside from the roof/window openness, Griffin says, the property is “neat and tidy.” Meantime, we checked with the Historic Preservation division of the city Neighborhoods Department, to find out what role they might play, if any, in this situation. Landmarks coordinator Beth Chave tells WSB that she talked with Lin “about a month ago” to go over the review process required for repairs/changes on a landmarked property like this but hasn’t seen an application yet, so doesn’t have an “active file” about the Homestead site. (Meantime, owner Lin has not yet answered our requests for comment.)

10 Comments

  1. Did I read that right? The “only” violation is windows and the roof open to the elements? Uh, I’ve had a house roof damaged by a tree in a storm. The roof is the first thing you fix, that night if you can. If the roof is open and it’s raining nearly EVERY day in Seattle, the structure is being damaged, and could be damaged significantly. This isn’t Phoenix. Our weather, as I know from personal experience, makes water damage very easy if windows/roofs aren’t sealed. And this happened SEVERAL weeks ago. I can’t believe how irresponsible and thoughtless the owner is to not even put up a tarp. They can’t take one day out of their schedule in 4 weeks to tack up a sheet of plastic. SHAME on him and all the parties involved.

    Comment by HomeOnBeachDrive — 5:52 pm March 24, 2009 #

  2. Yes, that’s what the inspector told me. By “only” it simply means there were no other violations – the same inspector is part of the group that also responds to homes with piles of junk, places that are being infiltrated by transients, druggies and hookers, etc. and made a point of saying the Homestead is “secured from entry” so no one is doing THAT there. I don’t believe he was minimizing the potential violation, however – TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:56 pm March 24, 2009 #

  3. Shame, shame…Everyone knows your name

    Comment by GiGi — 6:55 pm March 24, 2009 #

  4. I just finished up at downtown event “Sustainability begins with Preservation”; all the leading Dept of Planning & Development folks were there; intro by Diane/dept head; also the city green building crew; and all the leaders in historic preservation; tonight’s focus on green building and historic preservation; speaker, Richard Moe, President of National Trust for Historic Preservation
    ~
    earlier today I emailed Exec Dir of Historic Seattle, Kathleen Brooker; quick chat with her tonight; she mentioned getting Alki Homestead on endangered list; the National Trust and Historic Seattle can help; will get more info later; I’m still downtown, on library computer

    Comment by Diane — 7:14 pm March 24, 2009 #

  5. On the front page of West Seattle Herald web site there is an article written by the great grandson of original builder of Alki Homestead. I think we all should take a look. It is quite interesting from his perspective about what is going on. Make sure you read his complete letter to WSH.

    Apparently he owns a log home construction company and is quite creditable with his experience.

    http://www.westseattleherald.com/2009/03/23/news/homestead-owner-says-he-will-restore-landmark-time

    Comment by Dora — 9:26 pm March 24, 2009 #

  6. I agree with “Dora”….. READ THE LETTER in the West Seattle Herald! Don’t only listen to the emotional voices on this…

    Comment by Dano — 11:34 pm March 24, 2009 #

  7. It’s sad that he isn’t taking care of the snow and rain coming in. “Neat and tiny” sounds like an understatement when FURTHER incredible damage is being done to the site. To the point it could be a complete loss in the near future. This is really sad.

    Comment by Yes to Sam. — 12:59 am March 25, 2009 #

  8. I went down there to check this out and am very concerned. I would still like to file a complaint with the city. I believe there is a real problem with the way this historic landmark is being cared for. Like I said earlier, even the non-historic landmark that had fire damage (along the beach) is at least boarded up so no rain or snow can get in.

    Comment by Yes to Sam. — 1:35 am March 25, 2009 #

  9. Yes, what a shock. There are actually 2 sides to the story! (Oh, wait, there always are!). And Mr. Lin isn’t necessarily evil, selfish, greedy, and self-serving (as so many people have publically accused him of being).

    To all the “civic minded” people who chose to assume the worst and have publically accused Mr. Lin of being negligent, greedy, and uncaring about the local community (like all land owners or develoers, right?): After the building has been painstakingly restored and re-opened (at great expense to Mr. Lin, no doubt), will you all publically apologize to Mr. Lin for being so mean-spirited, slanderous, and unnecessarily judgmental and negative? I thought not.

    Comment by Meghan — 7:48 am March 25, 2009 #

  10. Couldn’t we all chip in for a tarp and put it up? Maybe Lin needs some help…?

    Comment by Stephanie — 8:53 am March 25, 2009 #

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