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.