To save Washington Hall from possible demolition, Historic Seattle, with the help of 4Culture, purchased the building in 2009 and set the course for an ambitious restoration plan. Historic Seattle’s plan and long-term vision for Washington Hall is to serve as a home for community arts, heritage, and cultural organizations while also continuing to serve a wide array of performance and community events through a robust rental program.
Restoration includes stabilization of the building through seismic upgrades, a new roof, and securing the south wall. For the first time in its history the Hall will be fully accessible with the addition of an elevator. Refinished floors, stage enhancements, new lighting, and a complete re-working of the back space of the building, which originally provided rooms for the Danish immigrants who were newly arrived in Seattle, will restore this Historic Landmark building in a way that honors its storied past.
When fully renovated the building’s main hall and lodge room will help address the lack of affordable venues in Seattle, especially for generative and emerging artists. The Hall will also provide nonprofit office space, meeting rooms, a recording studio, a catering kitchen, small café, and space for interpretive displays about the Hall’s history.
Since the campaign was launched we have heard countless stories and reminiscences of experiences people have had at Washington Hall.
Extraordinary music, dance, theater, and spoken word performances, important community meetings, religious and cultural ceremonies, a place where couples met and friendships began. Every story has reinforced our dedication to restore this lovely, simple building for the benefit of the community.
The $9.9 million dollar project has been supported by city, county and state agencies, local foundations, corporations, and individual donors, culminating in November 2015 with a $986,000 grant from King County and 4Culture’s Building For Culture program. Receiving this grant allowed the renovation work to remain on schedule, and the Hall reopened to the community in June 2016.