We’ve been reporting for almost two years on advocates’ hopes of saving “Eva’s Stone Cottage,” the little rock-covered house across from Don Armeni Boat Ramp, on a site set for redevelopment. Today, they have launched a community campaign – here’s the announcement:
The stone-studded cottage at 1123 Harbor Ave SW has been a beloved and legendary landmark in West Seattle for 90 years. The wrecking ball is looming and we need help to save this piece of Seattle history.
Eva Falk built the cottage in the 1930’s and her children came up with its unique façade of more than 15,000 beach stones. The stones were carried from the beach near the Alki Lighthouse, and each stone was thoughtfully placed by hand on the exterior of the building. Eva told her daughter Carmecita Munoz that “This house is for giving shelter to anybody and anything.” For good reason, one stone placed prominently near the cottage’s front door bears the shape of a heart, welcoming all who entered. Eva passed away in 1997 at age 92.
The Stone Cottage is now surrounded by condos and townhouses and is slated for demolition in January. For more than two years, a group of West Seattle neighbors, Save The Stone Cottage LLC, has joined forces with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Historic Seattle, to develop a plan to save the 90-year-old beach home. These community volunteers, working in conjunction with the new property owner, Chainqui Development, have developed a three-phase, adaptive-reuse plan, and have until mid-January 2021 to move the house off the site before the wrecking ball arrives.
The plan involves securing and transporting the structure into temporary storage, siting and selecting its final location, and eventual site placement and structure restoration. Our vision is to preserve the cottage and keep it in the immediate Alki neighborhood, as a place for the community to gather. “Old buildings matter because they tell the story of the city. Once they’re gone, that’s it. You can’t build an old building,” says John Bennett, owner of Bennett Properties and historic-building consultant.
Save The Stone Cottage LLC seeks to raise $110,000 in donations to execute the plan to rescue, relocate, and restore the Stone Cottage. Donations are being accepted through the website www.savethestonecottage.org and a GoFundMe charity account. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, is serving as the fiscal sponsor of the Save the Stone Cottage Project, and has no operational role in this project.
Save The Stone Cottage plans Friday media briefings at which volunteers will talk more about the plan. (That’s also when they expect to launch the crowdfunding page.)