The Fort Ward Community Hall project has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
The grant was given from the trust’s Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund, which promotes historic preservation “where it really happens: at the community level.”
Awards are given in the name of Valerie Sivinski, a preservationist who died in October 2000 while performing preservation-related work. Sivinski was a longtime WTHP board member who served as president in the early 1990s.
Chris Moore, WTHP executive director, noted the demonstrated level of community support and coordination for the Fort Ward Community Hall project as key factors in the grant committee’s decision to award funding.
“Funds from our Sivinski Grant Program are often used to assist with projects aimed at re-purposing historic
structures for new uses,” Moore said. “With the Community
Hall project, the Friends of Fort Ward have thoughtfully and comprehensively envisioned a future for the building that is entirely compatible with its former role as a bakery.”
Other projects earning Sivinski grants announced this week include the 1926 fishing vessel Commencement built in Gig Harbor, the 1866 Haller House in Coupeville, and the 1880 Kirkman House in Walla Walla. In total, nine projects across the state received $10,000 in funding through the Sivinski Grant Program.
The grants were awarded Dec. 8 at the Trust’s annual holiday gala at the historic Stimson-Green Mansion in Seattle.
Douglas Crist, Friends of Fort Ward board member, thanked the WTHP for the Sivinski grant funding.
“To receive an award from a statewide organization is a real honor,” Crist said. “The Fort Ward Community Hall will serve residents of the island, but restoring the bakery building serves the larger goal of preserving Washington history and letting our heritage sites tell their stories.”
The project will see restoration of the historic brick bakery building on Evergreen Drive, constructed in 1910 as part of the US Army Coast Artillery Corps installation at Fort Ward. The building was repurposed as a power station to support the fort’s Naval Radio Station during World War II. It became a private residence after the fort was decommissioned in 1960.
The restored building will include an 1,100-square-foot central hall for meetings and classes, with an adjacent kitchen facility. It will join Seabold Hall, Island Center Hall and Camp Yeomalt among local historic buildings that have been preserved for public use.
Kitsap County (Fort Ward) Sewer District No. 7, which purchased the building in 2007, will maintain ownership and keep a small corner office for management of its utility operations. The rest of the building will be managed and programmed by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District under an interlocal agreement.
Fundraising for the restoration project is ongoing, and community groups and potential donors can arrange tours of the building by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and the Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund, see www.preservewa.org.