Topic: Waterfront (74)

Efforts to save the Granary building

Byy On

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.

If there are other websites with information, please email them to me and I'll add them below this article. john@nwcitizen.com

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

Comments by Readers

Mike Rostron

Aug 04, 2012

A building that originated from workers creating a cooperative in order to have some control over their livelihoods must naturally be torn down by a port intent on going their own way without regard for the citizens of the town they supposedly serve.  And as with all such decisions, outside consultants are of course more qualified than any locals to decide the fate of the building. 

We would be better served by electing some working class citizens to the commissioner positions and kicking out the corporate lackeys and developer shills.  Better to not develop the old Georgia Pacific site at all than to turn it over to the usual cabal of carpet-bagging developers.  In the meantime an imaginative cooperative of locals could do wonders with the Granary if given the chance.

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Tip Johnson

Aug 05, 2012

Buildings that deserve tearing down don’t usually look so square and plumb.  Considering the whole area is fill, somebody once upon a time musta done something right with its foundation.

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Paul deArmond

Aug 11, 2012

There’s a nice article over at Latte Republic on the Granary with a bunch of links to some recent local articles.

http://whatcomforum.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-legacy-of-bellingham-granary.html?m=1

And there’s also a video up on YouTube by Susan Blais

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1ybfhSJz6Y&feature=youtu.be

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Efforts to save the Granary building

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