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November 16, 2016

Local projects win preservation awards

Photo by Mitch Barchi [enlarge]
Northwest Railway Museum is housed in the 1890 Snoqualmie Depot.

Photo by Jennifer Meisner [enlarge]
This bath house, or furoba, helps tell the story of daily life in Japanese-American farming communities before World War II.

A restored mid-century building in Renton and a railway museum in Snoqualmie are among the winners of the 2016 John D. Spellman Awards for historic preservation.

Spellman, who served as King County executive and Washington governor, established King County's historic preservation program 36 years ago, the county said in a press release.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said, “As we experience the biggest wave of new construction in our region's history, it's important that we preserve and restore structures that reflect our rich heritage.”

Here are the winners:

• Monica and Dave Brethauer, for rehabbing the 1954 Cortona Building, which was built as the F.W. Woolworth Department Store. They bought the building in 2015 and spent $1.1 million restoring the mid-century modern features. The building is an anchor in Renton's retail core.

• University of Washington, Department of Architecture for helping to revitalize King County's historic downtowns through its Storefront Studio program. Students develop master plans, streetscape designs and facade renovations with community input. Studio instructor Jim Nicholls leads the program.

• Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie for stewardship of the 1890 Snoqualmie Depot and the collection of railway cars and equipment. The museum celebrates the role railroads have played in the development and settlement of the Pacific Northwest.

• Neely Mansion Association for restoring a 1929 furoba, or bath house, next to Neely Mansion in Auburn. Hori Furoba was built by Shigeichi Hori, whose family lived in the mansion and farmed the property in the 1930s. The furoba helps tell the story of the daily life and customs of Japanese American communities before World War II.

At the award ceremony, Christie True, director of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, presented certificates to these owners and stewards of recently landmarked properties:

• Northwest Railway Museum, for designation of Northern Pacific Railway Locomotive 924. A rare example of a classic late 19th century steam locomotive, the 924 was used in railroad yards along Seattle's waterfront from 1901 to 1926. It is being restored at the museum's Railway Restoration Center.

• The city of Auburn for designation of the Auburn Pioneer Cemetery. It was established as a homestead graveyard in 1866, and later used as a cemetery for Euro-American families and then as a burial ground for Japanese-American families, who continue to use it today.

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