In 2009, Seattle nearly lost a giant among the city’s diminishing stock of culturally significant buildings. Washington Hall, built in 1908 by the Danish Brotherhood, was a cornerstone of the Central Area community through much of the 20th Century. Past performers at the 14th and E Fir space have included Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and a young Jimi Hendrix.
Rescuing it from demolition, the preservation nonprofit Historic Seattle acquired the building in 2009 and have been slowly been restoring it since. In 2014 the nonprofit secured a $300,000 city grant to add an elevator. Ultimately the group found a cheaper solution that did not require use of those funds.
Now the nonprofit is proposing to use the grant to complete its restoration efforts and enter into a new memorandum of understanding with the city on how those funds will be used. Washington Hall plans to use the $300,000 from the city to finish an exterior restoration and interior buildout of the building, which it says it cannot do without the grant. The full restoration will also include new nonprofit offices.
On Wednesday, the City Council’s affordable housing committee moved the proposal to a full council vote. It will be introduced to the full council on Monday.
A grand re-opening of Washington Hall is scheduled for June 1st.