Port awaits Army Corps of Engineers ruling on Collins Building

By Mike Benbow Herald Writer

EVERETT — The Port of Everett has cleared the legal issues preventing it from razing the historic Collins Building, but it’s still awaiting a decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A temporary injunction won by Historic Everett preventing the demolition of the building was dismissed late last week.

The port’s Jerry Heller said the agency will take no action until it hears from the corps on an appeal by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, which had asked the federal agency to reconsider its finding that the port had acted appropriately in considering the building’s fate.

“The (demolition) permit is on hold and will be until the decision comes back,” said Heller, noting it could take a couple months.

The Collins Building, which had been used to make caskets, is on both the state and federal historic registers as one of the last surviving examples of the many workworking and lumber mills that used to line Everett’s waterfront. It’s about 75 years old.

Port officials have said rehabilitating the building so it could be usable would cost much more than its economic value. They’ve been trying to raze it to give more room to a new waterfront area called the Craftsman District that would house boat-related businesses.

The corps got involved when it made examining ways to save the building with various historical groups part of its permit to allow the port to build a new marina for large boats in the vicinity.

Mike Benbow: 425-339-3459, benbow@heraldnet.com.