Historic commission seeks grant for signs

The historic preservation commission wants to produce more signs like this one posted on the island
The historic preservation commission wants to produce more signs like this one posted on the island's historical museum, formerly a school house. In addition to the signs, they want to create bronze medallions to accompany the signs.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley

Honorary plaques have popped up on historic Bainbridge buildings in recent years, and islanders could soon see more sprouting in places that have a significant link to local history.

The city’s Historic Preservation Commission has presented a grant proposal to the council in the hopes of garnering $7,500 for the project.

If the city is successful, the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation would provide money  toward signs that will mark historic sites on the island.

The council backed the effort by a unanimous vote, allowing the commission to move forward on the grant application.

“We want to get more of these signs out there to raise awareness of the buildings,” said Dave Williams, chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission. “(The grant) is not going to cost the city any money, which is good news.”

Examples of the white historic signs can be seen on the Eagle Harbor Congregational Church or the Historical Museum — formerly a schoolhouse — that are already included on the city’s register of historical sites.

In addition to the signs, the commission hopes to produce 4-inch-diameter bronze medallions to adorn the signs.

The commission will be able to produce 50 to 75 medallions with the grant funding.

“One of our goals is to get more buildings registered,” Williams said. “It’s basically an honorary designation.”

Recently, the historic commission added five new structures to the historic register, which now boasts 23 buildings. The new additions include the Bay Hay & Feed building, the Farnum and Bucklin houses in Port Madison, the Lynwood Center and the Fire Station at Fort Ward.

There may be up to 200 structures on the island that are at least 100 years old, according to Williams.

However, he notes that just because a building is old, doesn't mean it can be included on the registry.

The Historic Preservation Commission votes to approve buildings based on certain criteria, such as if a structure has contributed to local history or was the birthplace of a historical figure.

Historical registry nomination forms, as well as the registry, are available on the commission’s page on the city’s website. Anyone can nominate a building, though the owner has to approve of the nomination for it to be considered.

Williams noted that being on the register is revocable. If for some reason someone wants to remove their building from the register, they can.

To view the register or nominate a building visit this historic preservation commission's webpage on the city's website.

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