SHPO Awards - OutstaNding Achievements in Historic Preservation

Dr. Allyson Brooks, State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) announced the recipients for the 2016 Outstanding Achievements in Historic Preservation. Each year, the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) honors persons, organizations, and projects that have achieved distinction in the field of historic preservation. Awards are made in the following categories: Barn Rehabilitation, Cemetery Preservation, Career Achievement, Preservation Education, Preservation Stewardship, Special Achievement, and the coveted Valerie Sivinski Award for Outstanding Rehabilitation of historic buildings.

In 2016, eleven honorees will receive awards in seven categories.  This year’s contingent of winners hail from Douglas, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Pierce, and Whatcom counties.  In addition, two historic preservation milestones will be celebrated at the awards ceremony. First, the SHPO has invited all former Washington state preservation officers to participate in a special 25th Anniversary retrospective of outstanding achievements in Washington Historic Preservation. Second, 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing into law of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, a key law championed by Washington’s congressional leaders.  Award winners in each category are:

Barn Rehabilitation

Mark and Mary Kay Haveman will be honored for their Outstanding Barn Rehabilitation of the Happy Home Barn located in the rolling wheat fields of Douglas County near Waterville. Dating to 1905, the barn was built as part of a robust homestead complex that included a residence, bunkhouse, smokehouse plus a nearby school and cemetery. While surviving over 100 years, time and weather had taken its toll on the barn’s roof and siding when the Haveman family listed it on the Washington Heritage Barn Register. A few years later, they received a grant from the State’s Heritage Barn Rehabilitation Grant program to bring the structure back to its former glory. Work included replacement of the roof, foundation, and siding materials, plus a new hay loft door and a coat of red paint. Today, the restored Happy Home Barn stands as testament to Douglas County’s pride in its agricultural heritage and future.

Cemetery Preservation

Representative Matt ManwellerIn the Cemetery Preservation category, State Representative Matt Manweller of Ellensburg will be honored for his support of HB 2637. The Manweller House Bill created the Washington State Historic Cemetery Preservation capital grant program within the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. The grant program will benefit the public by preserving the state’s increasingly threatened yet significant historic cemeteries so that they remain secure, maintained, and a place of beauty and pride to families and their communities. Grants may be awarded for rehabilitation and repair of the features, landscapes, and structures in historic cemeteries, or that maintain or improve the functions of a cemetery by local non-profit groups.  Governor Inslee signed HB 2637 into law on March 31, 2016

Historic Career Achievement

In 2016, three individuals are to be honored for achievement in their careers in the field of historic preservation: Karen Gordon of Seattle; Flo Lentz of Seattle; and Lita Dawn Stanton of Gig Harbor.

Karen Gordon is recognized for her years of dedication to work in the field of historic preservation in Seattle and across the nation.  Her legacy as the City of Seattle Historic Preservation Officer has made the Seattle Historic Preservation Program one of the nation’s strongest yet innovative local preservation agency. During Gordon’s career, over 400 buildings, structures, sites, districts, and objects across the city are now protected spanning the breadth of Seattle’s geography and colorful history. Among her many other professional activities and personal interests in preservation, Gordon enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience by serving as associate Professor of Historic Preservation at Goucher College to train future preservation professionals.

Flo Lentz is the second person being recognized for a long and successful career in historic preservation practicing in Seattle, Central Washington, and across the state. Working in the private sector, for public preservation agencies, and as a consultant, advocate, and educator, Lentz has advanced the importance of preservation in building strong communities. In Ellensburg, she started the private non-profit Historic Ellensburg advocacy group and worked to save the local train station. As staff at King County’s 4-Culture agency, Lentz built its preservation program to preserve historic properties and local programs, with a special interest in preserving properties important to communities of color.   

Lita Dawn, former Gig Harbor HP OfficerLita Dawn Stanton is a longtime resident of Gig Harbor, born into a local family of commercial fishermen.  Her passion for art, culture, and preservation is reflected in her life’s work and professional achievement.  As the City Historic Preservation Officer, she was responsible for overseeing the inventory of both historic residential and commercial business in Gig Harbor.  Among her many achievements, Stanton successfully worked to recognize and protect what is now Skansie Brothers Park and Net-Shed, and Eddon Boat Works, both on the Gig Harbor waterfront.   

Special Achievement Historic Preservation

The Friends of Mukai, formerly known as Island Landmarks, is recognized for their dedicated work in pursuit of preserving and interpreting Vashon Island’s Mukai House and Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as being a designated King County Landmark. Recognizing its significance to the region’s agricultural and Asian American heritage, efforts to protect the property from development began in1995. In 2000, Island Landmarks obtained public funding to purchase the residence with the goal of opening the property to the public with ongoing preservation. After years elapsed with no sign of reaching these goals, the Friends group members began organizing to gain control of the organization and property. After years of litigation, the Friends received a final decision this April effectively awarding control of the Mukai property to the Friends group. The special achievement award recognizes their long-fought effort to control the property and preserve it for public education and enjoyment.

Historic Preservation Education

Bellingham Historic TourThe winner for the Historic Preservation Education goes to the City of Bellingham and its Community Development Department for producing the Historic Downtown Bellingham Historic Tour. Information on the city’s history and architecture is delivered through three innovative technologies in order to reach a maximum number of participants and to attract learners of all ages, abilities, and technological comfort levels. The tour is made available as a hardcopy "booklet", an in-the-field audio tour, and as a desktop/tablet accessible journal. The content for the tour is much the same across the three platforms, although the desktop/tablet journal provides the richest experience with high quality photos, videos, expanded narrative and links to additional information. 

Historic Preservation Stewardship

Tamanowas RockThe Jamestown S’Klallam and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes together will be honored for their successful effort to protect Tamanowas Rock, a sacred place to the Tribes. Used for many years as a recreational resource and geological curiosity, the Tribes worked together to secure the property and make it available primarily as a place for current cultural practices and for teaching future generations how to care for natural and cultural resources.  The Jamestown S’Klallam and Port Gamble S’Klallam also recognize the importance of managing Tamanowas Rock for appropriate public access. The Tribes’ stewardship of the property is also evidenced by their successful work to list Tamanowas Rock on the National Register of Historic Places as a way to formally recognize its significance to the state’s heritage.

Outstanding Rehabilitation – Valerie Sivinski Award

Each year the State Historic Preservation Officer recognizes achievement in historic preservation by recognizing outstanding rehabilitations of historic buildings and structures. Awards made in this category are named in honor of the late Tacoma historic preservation architect Valerie Sivinski. 

The first of two Valerie Sivinski awards goes to the City of Des Moines for its rehabilitation of the historic Dining Hall of the former Covenant Beach Bible Camp, now located in Des Moines Beach Park. This award recognizes the City for its vision and commitment to preserving the Dining Hall and former camp in the face of daunting funding, regulatory, and environmental circumstances.

Lynden Department StoreThe second award goes to RMC Architects for its rehabilitation of the Lynden Department Store. Long a prominent presence in downtown Lynden, the former local department store faced lost activity and eventually a devastating fire in 2008. However, developer Forefront Ventures working with RMC Architects collaborated to list the property on the National Register of Historic Places and transformed the building into a 35-room boutique hotel. The hotel together with street level shops and restaurants now activate downtown Lynden’s Front Street with new retail activity and pedestrian traffic.

 SHPO Ceremony

A ceremony is held annually during the National Historic Preservation Month celebration in May. There will be a reception at 1:00 pm followed by the awards ceremony at 2:00 pm on May 17, 2016, at the Pritchard Building on the Capital Campus in Olympia.

For information about past award winners click here.  If you would like to more about our award program, please contact Russell Holter at (360)586-3533 or email, or Beva Ubias at (360) 586-3077 or