The rock solid concrete Granary building has been a landmark on the Bellingham waterfront for over 80 years. As redevelopment takes place in this area, the Port of Bellingham is in a surprise rush to demolish the building. Enough of a rush to raise suspicions. The Port has had excuses for even preventing experts from inspecting the inside of the building. Only Bellingham city hall stands in the way.
Meanwhile, broad public support has grown to urge a closer look at the building - with the idea of renovating and using it again. Over the past couple nights, a few citizens have set up a projector on the roof of a nearby building and are projecting graphics onto the large blank north wall. I went down there this evening to get these photos. Folks were grouping and discussing the situation - including one city council member.
It reminds me of past efforts to save valuable heritage buildings in Bellingham. It took a group of women 50 years ago to save the Whatcom Museum - now the iconic image of Bellingham. Local governments were ready to demolish it. Citizens Dock was lost 30 years ago due to non interest by the Port and city and even negligence to basic maintenance. Now the story is it was not possible to save it. In truth, it was in good shape and could now be a magnificent building on our waterfront.
Today we face losing the Granary building. Let us hope the Port of Bellingham allows experts to examine the building and for private developers to bid on renovating it. In a few years it could be one of our local treasures, with photos of it on Port brochures.
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