The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation announced its annual list of Most Endangered Historic Properties in the state of Washington on Tuesday, May 6.
The announcement came during the organization’s This Place Matters reception, preceding this week’s RevitalizeWA conference in Wenatchee.
Built during the Depression of the 1930’s from a Sears & Roebuck barn catalogue and featuring a popular gothic style roof, the Thayer Barn is one of the last remaining dairy barns standing within the City of Duvall in the Snoqualmie River Valley.
(Ed. note: Duvall residents Kristin and Bill Connors submitted the Thayer Barn nomination form for the annual state Endangered Historic Properties list).
Situated immediately adjacent to State Route 203, the barn serves as a reference point for the community’s agricultural heritage.
Yet, the barn has not been actively used for years, and sits dilapidated along the roadside. Efforts to preserve the barn are not new. A decade ago, notice went out that the property would be sold for redevelopment. Local advocates from the Duvall Foundation for the Arts rallied to save the barn, raising a sizeable portion of funds needed to realize the vision of converting the barn to a community arts center. But the deal fell through, and the barn continued to sit, untended.
Earlier this year, the property did indeed sell and plans for a housing development are moving forward.
Thankfully, the project sponsors have shown a willingness to incorporate the barn into the new development, provided advocates can come up with the needed funds.
Local support is present, and advocates from the DFA and The Thayer Barn Project are working on plans to rehabilitate the barn for a community purpose.
In the meantime, however, the biggest threat is time. Once permitting for the new housing project is complete, it will go forward with or without the barn. And given the barn’s level of deterioration, the structure is unlikely to survive another rainy winter season.
Videos of the barn and the other historic properties listed can be found on the Trust for Historic Preservation website wa-Trust.org.
More information on the Thayer Barn is available on “The Thayer Barn Project - Saving an American Icon” Facebook page.