Group honored for fight for historic building

  • Mon May 24th, 2010 10:38pm
  • News

By Debra Smith Herald Writer

EVERETT — They marched in rallies, mounted petition drives and held spaghetti dinners.

They went to court and they kept elected Port of Everett’s officials on their toes.

Now the state has recognized a group of local activists for their efforts to protect a historical waterfront building.

Historic Everett earned a “Special Achievement” award from Washington’s Department of Archaeology &Historic Preservation for its work to preserve the Collins Building.

“They’re just a small group of volunteers who were so passionate about this issue,” said Greg Griffith, the state’s deputy preservation officer. “They went the extra mile on their own dime and time.”

Workers used to build cedar caskets in the heavy-timbered Collins Building. State officials called the building “the last vestige of Everett’s marine industrial district.”

When some locals learned the building wouldn’t be a part of a planned high-end waterfront development, they fought back in the courts and with a grassroots campaign.

The state called the group out for its “creative advocacy work” and “legal maneuvers.”

They are still fighting now, said Valerie Steel of Historic Everett. The Port of Everett commissioners plan to talk about the fate of the building June 5 at a workshop planned for 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Everett Transit Station, 3201 Smith Ave.

Historic Everett envisions the building as the future home of a year-round farmer’s market and the Maritime Museum.

“For people all over the state to recognize our accomplishment is gratifying,” she said.

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197,