1 week till 4th of July, and ‘This Place Matters’ @ Alki Homestead

To preview next Sunday’s 4th of July “This Place Matters” group photo on the street/sidewalk in front of the Alki Homestead – the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s plan to show community concern about its future – Paul Dorpat‘s “Seattle Now and Then” in today’s Seattle Times (WSB partner) looks at the Homestead and its history, while previewing the event. Dorpat published even more Homestead history on his own website the yesterday, recalling it as “A Soap Manufacturer’s Log Mansion on Alki Point.” (His site also republishes the Times piece with a few “Web extra” photos.) Here’s our original June 8th story about the photo plan; here’s our June 20th story about where the Homestead stands from its owner’s perspective.

11 Replies to "1 week till 4th of July, and 'This Place Matters' @ Alki Homestead"

  • CB June 27, 2010 (11:42 pm)

    This is nothing more than a witch hunt. Shame on you WSB.
    I hope my business never has a fire. I am sure the WSB will organize a protest while I am down on my luck. Sickening.

    • WSB June 28, 2010 (1:16 am)

      CB, we haven’t organized anything here (nor have we ever organized any sort of protest or demonstration). We are reporting the news. Whether you or we or anyone else agree/s or disagree/s with this event, its organizers, its goals and its expected participants or not, it’s news. The status and fate of a historic building, designated a city landmark, whether privately or publicly owned, is news. As are updates from Tom Lin – we asked him for comment shortly after this event was announced, he called us several days later, and we sat down with him in person to find out what he has to say about the Homestead’s current status. We also, among the many other developments in this story that we have reported in the past few years (including stories before the fire), published open public calls that he made for help or support, like this one:
      What is shameful and sickening about us reporting the news? – TR

  • miws June 28, 2010 (5:48 am)

    What’s shameful and sickening, is that some people must be so miserable in their lives, that they have nothing better to contribute to newssite comment threads than continual non-constructive criticism of the newssite, and its editors/owners, and seem to hold a huge grudge against Seattle’s Mayor.


    Oh, and CB, I wish I knew what your business is, so I can make sure I never patronize it.



  • Diane June 28, 2010 (1:05 pm)

    agree with Mike and TR
    CB’s comment, extremely offensive; and WRONG on so many counts
    westseattleblog has remained completely neutral, while providing incredibly thorough reporting on this topic, for which I am VERY grateful
    this is a photo event, celebration and honoring of a beautiful historic building
    I will be there, and proudly have my photo included along with the many in our city who love the Homestead
    and I would love to see Tom Lin show up; why not, if he also loves the Homestead; I would be 1st in line to shake his hand, welcome him to participate; after all, this will be an archived photo for the next 100+ years, whether or not we can find a way to save the Homestead, and the current owner should be there, for sake of our history, if nothing else

  • acemotel June 28, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    yes, me too. I want to boycott CB’s business. :-)

  • Lynn Thomsen June 29, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    Shouldn’t SWHS just cancel the rally? Don’t they get it? It serves no purpose and it is not productive at all. Let’s try to be smart about restoring Homestead. Let’s work with the owner. I like to hear what SWHS is hoping to accomplish with this event.

  • libby carr June 29, 2010 (8:47 pm)

    Lynn: (BTW, thanks for having the courage to use your name, unlike most on this blog!):

    I totally agree with you. The “Hysterical” Society is just trying to badger Tom Lin into pour more money into a building that the log home experts have said cannot be saved b/c the logs are too rotten, and would be way too expensive to attempt to repair. That idea is not a solution!

    Tom Lin has demonstrated several times his sincerity in wanting to save this Historical landmark (i.e. he stepped up and bought it from the Nelson estate and kept it running serving Chicken dinners for 4 years — when no one else did that).

    But there is a limit to what he can do. And the Hysterical Society is not helping by “organizing a rally” to do What? Are they raising money to help with anything??? I don’t think so.

    Let’s not waste our time with this sort of grand-standing.

    Libby Carr, Alki

  • Mike June 29, 2010 (11:41 pm)

    I agree with Libby. Can Tracy of the Blog do an interview with SWHS and ask them what they are hoping to accomplish? It seems like Tom Lin has talked about his plans and opened himself to many public comments. Why can’t SWHS do the same thing? Shouldn’t the blog treat both sides the same so the public can get both sides of the story? I know what Tom Lin is proposing. But I have no idea what SWHS wants to accomplish. Do they want to buy the building? Do they want to work with Tom Lin? Do they want Homestead back? Do they want to take over the project? I think the public needs to know before showing up for this rally.

    • WSB June 30, 2010 (12:09 am)

      We have published the Historical Society’s statements as well – and if you read all the stories in the Alki Homestead coverage category, they have certainly been the subject of comments as well. Here’s their full announcement about this event:
      If you read the whole thing, it says they want to see the structure saved. That’s a fairly simple, clear statement of “what they hope to accomplish.” If you don’t think they have made enough statements previously, or if you think we haven’t published statements of theirs previously, please scroll through the aforementioned coverage category: https://westseattleblog.com/category/alki-homestead
      A few examples: Judy Bentley of SWSHS was among those whose remarks we published in our coverage of the Landmarks Preservation Board’s sole hearing on this project so far:
      SWSHS also made clear, specific requests in this statement we published in March 2009, two months after the fire:
      We also previously have published other statements from Tom Lin as well as from SWSHS. Don’t know what’s not “treat(ing) both sides the same” about that. In fact, the reason we had the most recent story with him is that we requested comment from him after the Historical Society’s announcement about the upcoming event. We didn’t request an in-depth interview – he could have e-mailed us back with a line or two – but he asked to sit down and talk, so we did – TR

  • libby carr June 30, 2010 (7:25 am)

    Tracy (WSB: Thanks again for your thorough reporting and for posting these links to past comments about this subject.

    I read with great interest (again) Mark Fritch’s comments about his inspection of the whole Homestead building and his determination that 80% of the logs are too far gone and cannot be saved. I further looked at his business website and he certainly has the credentials (with numerous log home clients) and pictures to prove it, that he is professional in this department.

    I would tend to believe him in his assessment of the Homestead. I also thought his explanation in a previous post comparing the reconstruction of the Log House Museum to the Homestead as being two very different projects. That also needs to be digested.

    Judy Bentley (prez of the SWHS) admits “… I’m no engineer…” in her comments before the subcommittee of the Historic Preservation Board. And she then goes on to imply that since the LHM was successfully restored, then the Homestead should be able to be restored as well.

    Well, sorry, Judy… it looks like it’s not quite that simple. Please read Mark Fritch’s comments, or hire your own professionals who are as well qualified to render an opinion as well documented and credible as Mark’s. If that professional engineer can demonstrate HOW this building (w/80% wood rot) can realistically be saved, then please produce the report. That, it strikes me, as something real and positive the LHM / SWSHS could do. Libby Carr

  • Mike June 30, 2010 (10:00 am)

    Sorry Tracy. I did not mean to criticize your work and that was not my intention.

    All I am saying is that I have read all those statements from SWHS, but not much follow up with SWHS after those statements. Some of those statements are repeats of the previous published one, as you can see. I am suggesting a solution offered by SWHS based on facts. In that case, we can all compare Tom Lin’s proposal to SWHS’s proposal.

    I believe it is important to state a problem but just as important to come up with a solution. I personally think a rally does not accomplish anything. We can not get Alki Homestead Restaurant back with people standing infront holding up signs.

    Again, it is not about the Blog’s reporting. It is about the format to get as much information for the public as possible so the community can stand together and get an important task accomplished.

Sorry, comment time is over.