Port Townsend Harbor and Washington Trust for Historic Preservation agree to study Point Hudson

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PORT TOWNSEND – Point Hudson’s nearly century-old structures may receive some well-deserved attention in the near future.

The Port of Port Townsend, which operates the 17-acre Point Hudson facility, has entered into a two-year partnership agreement with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, a non-profit organization recently named as the entity responsible for the implementation of the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area.

The three port commissioners unanimously approved the deal on Wednesday evening at a regular business meeting at the port commission building.

The deal, which could lead to federal funding in the future, will allow both sides to conduct due diligence on historical information, find gaps and determine how to restore and preserve Point Hudson, said Jim Pivarnik, director port executive.

“This is really just the first step in a process which, if successful, will take several years to reach the finish line,” said assistant manager Eric Toews.

“We are only describing the principles of partnership in order to define the nature of the problems we face and the potential paths to be taken to resolve them. ”

Chris Moore, executive director of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, said the Washington Maritime National Heritage Area encompasses almost all of the state’s saltwater coastline with more than 3,000 miles in total.

The partnership with the port is the organization’s first, he said.

“We first learned about Point Hudson in 2005 or 2006, and even then there were concerns and questions about what was to happen to those huge buildings there,” Moore said.

“It landed on our most endangered buildings for the last time around this time, and there has certainly been some discussion or concern about them, as there are buildings that represent the beginning of the quarantine era. and the following eras. ”

In a note to port commissioners last week, Pivarnik said trust staff contacted the port last fall and the parties discussed the possibility of a long-term lease for all or part. of the property, and that the trust would endeavor to identify and secure funding for preservation efforts.

“Many of the historic structures and much of the infrastructure at Point Hudson date from the mid-1930s and the construction of a Federal Marine Quarantine Station,” Pivarnik said.

“These nearly 100-year-old structures now need a substantial reinvestment in order for Point Hudson to be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.”

The current agreement does not include a lease, although it indicates that the trust wishes to examine the feasibility of such an arrangement.

“Port Townsend truly represents, in many ways, the goals and themes that are enveloped in the national heritage area,” said Moore.

The next step in the process was to develop a management plan, and Moore predicted that this would start this summer and take between six and nine months.

“Once that is in place, we will be operational from an operational point of view,” he said.

Moore added that Point Hudson is a unique opportunity due to the “gathering of resources and the activity already underway”.

“There are no other projects at this time that we have gone to that level of depth,” he said.

“We would love to see this lay the groundwork for other similar projects to other locations, but Point Hudson is the only one we are looking at doing on a deal of this magnitude at this time.”

Moore said its 25-member board of directors, including former Port Townsend City Manager David Timmons, had already approved the deal.

Toews said if organizations can identify potential issues and how to resolve them, a more defined second phase will “dig deep” into the details.

“I don’t think we could have found another entity better placed to help us preserve any of the treasures of the Pacific Northwest,” he said. “We can use their expertise to help us leverage outside resources to see where we can find a way forward for the rehabilitation and preservation of Point Hudson for future generations. ”

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Jefferson County Editor-in-Chief Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].



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