Nostalgia for Herald’s old home muted by Oso tragedy

Mister Rogers used to sing “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,” a ditty that now comes to mind when I walk into work.

My new Herald home is beautiful. The landscaping is parklike. Trees are in bloom. Our newsroom is bright, efficient and newly renovated. And for the first time in decades, my desk is tidy.

Still, the place doesn’t feel familiar — not yet. It’s not far from where I spent 33 years, but it feels a million miles from the old neighborhood.

At the end of March, The Daily Herald moved out of its longtime home overlooking Everett’s Port Gardner. It had been there since 1959.

I miss that familiar view — the USS Nimitz at its homeport, the ferry headed to Clinton, the Boeing 747 Dreamlifter in the sky. We took it for granted. Gazing out the window toward Whidbey Island was just another day at the office. I miss the waterfront’s natural music, the squawking gulls and barking sea lions. I miss quick walks to the Everett Public Library or the Sisters Restaurant.

Missing the old place doesn’t mean I dislike the new one. By now you know where we are, right?

The Herald’s new Everett home is the Frontier Building on 41st Street. We’re in the south tower of the glassy complex, on the third floor. The address is 1800 41st St., S-300, just off Colby Avenue.

It was built for GTE in 1981, the year I started at The Herald on Grand Avenue and California Street. The Herald launched its Sunday edition on April 5, 1981. That change followed the Washington Post Co.’s purchase of the paper, in 1978, from the Best family. The local family had run the newspaper since 1901.

The Post sold The Daily Herald to Sound Publishing Inc. in March 2013. For the year that followed, the Post still owned the building at 1213 California St. and property across the street on W. Marine View Drive.

A week ago, it was announced that Skotdal Real Estate in Everett had purchased, for an undisclosed price, the two city blocks that were once Herald property. Eventually, the developer of the Library Place apartments plans to redevelop the site.

I drove past the old place Thursday. Heavy equipment was tearing up our former parking lot, where big windows once offered a view of our press. Sound Publishing now prints the paper at our plant near Paine Field.

My last shift at the old Herald was March 30. It was just a week after the people of Oso, Darrington and Arlington suffered the most devastating event in Snohomish County history. Any sting of nostalgia we might have felt leaving the old office was obliterated. We were, and are, working to tell the stories of the tragedy.

Only now am I starting to think about the new neighborhood. The Herald moved out of Bayside, described by Everett’s Office of Neighborhoods as a place of “architectural diversity,” with “fine historic homes.” Bayside is home to family-owned businesses, downtown firms, the restored Everett High School and the Hartley Mansion.

Our new digs are in Everett’s Glacier View neighborhood, just south of downtown.

According to the city, it is “characterized by well-kept single family homes.” The lush and lovely Everett Golf &Country Club is here. Many houses were built decades after those in century-old north Everett. But Glacier View includes a place as historic as any in town — Evergreen Cemetery.

Everett Public Library history specialist David Dilgard conducts tours of the 100-acre cemetery, which was platted in 1898. Among those buried there are 150 Civil War veterans, a victim of the 1916 labor strife known as the Everett Massacre, people who died in the 1910 Wellington avalanche, two U.S. senators, and the great-great-great grandmother of President Barack Obama.

The Daily Herald is also a big part of local history. Like the community’s story, ours continues.

We’re new to this beautiful neighborhood. That won’t change what really matters — what’s in the newspaper.

Julie Muhsltein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

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