Sturdy and well-traveled at 93, an Everett landmark is about to make one more move. The handsome Weyerhaeuser building, which has twice voyaged by barge to new sites, will make an overland trip this spring.
By June, if all goes according to Port of Everett plans, the historic 6,000-square-foot building will be trucked to its new waterfront home in the port’s Boxcar Park. The ornate building, designed by architect Carl Gould as a showcase for Northwest wood products, is now at 1710 W. Marine View Drive near the Inn at Port Gardner and the port marina’s south docks.
Donated to the port by Weyerhaeuser, the building was moved there in 1984. It traveled down the Snohomish River from Weyerhaeuser’s Mill B site, where it had been since 1936. Built in 1923, its original home was Weyerhaeuser’s Mill A, near what is now the port’s South Terminal.
If you don’t know where Boxcar Park is, that’s understandable. The port is working on its Waterfront Place development. Visitors are seeing big changes in the area, including a paved trail and other public access to the waterfront.
Boxcar Park, a 2-acre grassy space at the water’s edge, is just north of the Everett Yacht Club building, which is at the foot of 14th Street. The park is in the Central Pier area, in a section the port calls its Esplanade District. Plans call for apartments and retail space. And a boutique hotel is planned for the Everett Yacht Club site.
In the current issue of its Portside publication, the Port of Everett says the Weyerhaeuser building will “serve as the centerpiece of the new Boxcar Park.”
“It’s a beautiful location,” said Lisa Lefeber, the port’s director of public affairs. “One of the historic displays, the saw blade, commemorates mill history on the site.”
In October, The Herald reported that the Everett Farmers Market will move this year from its longtime home along West Marine View Drive near Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant to the Boxcar Park area. The park is named for a rail spur that once followed 14th Street to the waterfront, Lefeber said.
Terrie Battuello, chief of business development for the Port of Everett, said the Weyerhaeuser building will serve two main purposes. Plans call for it to be a clubhouse for marina groups, including the Milltown Sailing Association, the Mukilteo Yacht Club, the Everett Sail and Power Squadron, and the Everett Sea Scouts. Lefeber said the Everett Yacht Club may relocate to another site.
The vintage building also will be a backdrop for an outdoor stage, a venue for concerts and plays. Outdoor movies may be shown there this summer. Development plans show that the old building will be called the Weyerhaeuser Muse.
Battuello said there was interest in other uses of the Weyerhaeuser building. It might have been something as mundane as a dental office. “The port feels strongly that it is an important building,” she said, adding that the community should have access to it.
But first, there are the logistics of the massive move, a 10-hour process. “It will be the first time it’s moved any distance by land,” Lefeber said.
She said the move could happen by Mother’s Day, May 8, “and more than likely at night.” A portion of West Marine View Drive will be closed in both directions as the building moves a few blocks north. It will cross port property on South Seiner Drive to 14th Street, where it will travel along the marina area to Boxcar Park.
The move and a new foundation will cost about $750,000, which is part of $1.6 million the port plans for total capital improvement costs for the Weyerhaeuser building, Lefeber said.
The building, which once housed the Everett Area Chamber of Commerce at its present site, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built for $30,000, its interior woodwork is hemlock, and its inside walls are fir. It has a dining room, a foyer that could host receptions, an upstairs area, glass-enclosed offices and the company’s original safe.
The port has already invested in a new roof, exterior painting, and a new heating system for the grand old building.
Plans call for symmetrical landscaping to evoke the 1920s. “It was originally in a big mud field, but we want to show what a garden would have looked like then — with everything as true to history as possible,” Battuello said.
“It’s going to be pretty cool,” Lefeber added.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie is taking some time off. Her column will return Jan. 20.
For more details about the Port of Everett’s waterfront plans, go to www.portofeverett.com and click on “Waterfront Place Project.” The Weyerhaeuser building will be moved to Boxcar Park, just north of the current Everett Yacht Club building.