(Wikimedia photo of Alki Homestead, pre-fire)
Almost a year and a half after an accidental electrical fire gutted the historic, city landmark Homestead Restaurant in Alki, it remains empty; its owner has publicized a proposal to “reconstruct” it and add other commercial buildings on the property, but has not taken it to the next step of city Landmark Board approval, after an early review by its Architectural Review Committee last November. Now, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is planning a Fourth of July event to call fresh attention to its plight – and inviting public participation in a big way. We’d gotten a few hints about it (as noted here) but tonight, the full announcement is public:
Independence Day event says ‘This Place Matters’ for Alki Homestead
Southwest Seattle Historical Society plans July 4 group photo in front of Fir Lodge
The people of Seattle will have a public opportunity to stand up for a century-old West Seattle city landmark at a mid-day rally on July 4, 2010.
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society has organized a mass photo event to take place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 4, in front of Fir Lodge, the 106-year-old log structure that many have known for decades as the Alki Homestead restaurant. The building was damaged by a January 2009 fire and since then has sat vacant.
A crowd of neighbors, joined by prominent political leaders, will gather on the sidewalk and street in front of the structure at 2717 61st Ave. S.W., just a half block from Alki Beach. Participants will hold signs saying, “This Place Matters,” a slogan promoted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The resulting photo will be used in a poster that will be disseminated throughout Seattle and distributed widely online.
Those attending include King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, all residents of West Seattle, and other representatives of the Seattle City Council, King County Council, and Seattle city government.
The announcement continues after the jump:
Organizations represented at the photo event will include the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, which last year placed the Homestead on its “most endangered” list, and Historic Seattle.
“Historic buildings ground us in place and history,” says Judy Bentley, president of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. “This is a tangible way for those who support preservation and restoration of key buildings in our city to take a stand and educate others about why it is important to save this unique structure. The brief, fun event will capture an image that will inspire countless others. Come ready to hold a sign or just smile.”
The event takes place after the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s annual membership picnic, which begins at noon at the Homestead’s original carriage house, now the Log House Museum. The public is invited to join the society and come to the picnic.
Fir Lodge was built of Douglas fir logs in 1904 for a local soap maker, William J. Bernard, his wife Gladys and daughter Marie. The building served as the early home of the Seattle Auto Club and in 1950 became the Alki Homestead restaurant. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society secured Seattle city landmark status for the building in 1996.
For more information on the event, call the Log House Museum of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society at 206-938-5293 or visit www.loghousemuseum.info.
WSB coverage of the Alki Homestead is archived here, newest to oldest.