Alki Homestead about to mark 2 years since fire-forced shutdown

January 15, 2011 at 6:30 am | In Alki Homestead, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Tomorrow marks two years since the fire, blamed on a Christmas-lights malfunction, that blackened the inside of the city-landmark Alki Homestead and forced its beloved restaurant to close. While its owner has proposed “reconstructing” the historic log structure and including other businesses on the site, and even took steps toward applying for a permit, it’s been 14 months since that proposal went before the Architectural Review Committee of the city Landmark Preservation Board, whose signoff is required – and it has not reappeared in that venue.

Last July, owner Tom Lin announced he would sell the Homestead, offering it first to preservation/cultural groups, then to the general public. No public listing ever appeared, and no deal has ever been announced. We have left Lin messages asking for comment on its status, but no reply. However, an announcement came Friday afternoon from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, headquartered half a block away at what was the Homestead’s carriage house: They plan a media event Sunday morning, on the fire anniversary:

A coalition of four heritage organizations — the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Historic Seattle, 4Culture and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation — will hold a press conference to provide updates on the potential for protection, preservation and restoration of the city-landmark 1904 log building known as Fir Lodge and the Alki Homestead Restaurant.

Those are the same four Lin mentioned in his July announcement offering the Homestead for sale. They also were part of last July’s “This Place Matters” photo gathering, part of this nationwide historic-site-awareness campaign. But at the time, at least one of those organizations made a point of saying they’re not in the building-buying business. So what’s their plan? They’ll discuss it at the Log House Museum, 11 am Sunday.

6 Comments

  1. On Thursday as I was walking home from the bus stop, a couple was standing on the sidewalk in front of the Homestead. As I pass them the man asked – sort of tongue-in-cheek, “Is that a haunted house?”
    I kind of chuckled abit, and replied, “Not yet!”
    Actually, after stopping a minute and giving the building a second look, that’s exactly what it might look like to some.
    How very sad it is!

    Comment by Jo — 11:08 am January 15, 2011 #

  2. There’s nothing about the events of this place in the last two years that doesn’t make you sad. A fire from an easily avoided silly thing (plugging WAY too much stuff into one outlet on old wiring, very dangerous)…no remodeling…no major repairs…no attempt to sell. Just letting the building sit their and rot and degrade until (shock) it’ too badly damaged to sell and it has to be torn down (to be replaced by a 6 story mixed use condo project I’m sure). Just sad to see it. More sad to know we can’t do anything but sit by and watch one of Seattle’s oldest and most historic landmarks just rot away. It’s like someone buying the Space Needle, closing it and just letting it rust away until it has to be torn down. Sad.

    Comment by Alki Area — 4:58 pm January 15, 2011 #

  3. Alki Area – I know this doesn’t speak to most of your comment, but in case someone is just parachuting into this ongoing story – just for the record, the zoning on the site is NC1-30, so three stories is the maximum allowed.
    .
    http://info.kingcounty.gov/Assessor/eRealProperty/Detail.aspx?ParcelNbr=7621200006

    Comment by WSB — 6:03 pm January 15, 2011 #

  4. Dec. 4, 2008: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1046328&l=5b232c3342&id=689598253

    Comment by Mickymse — 9:03 pm January 15, 2011 #

  5. nice photo, Mickmse

    Comment by visitor — 11:55 pm January 15, 2011 #

  6. thanks Mickymse for sharing beautiful photo

    Comment by Diane — 12:55 am January 16, 2011 #

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