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April 2014
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CityLink Seattle

City Light Recognized by State Historic Preservation Officer Awards



 

Photo of Ross Lodge.

Ross Lodge after the renovations.

The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) recently announced that Seattle City Light is one of the 11 recipients for the State Historic Preservation Officer’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation.

Seattle City Light was nominated for its rehabilitation of the Ross Lodge in the company town of Diablo, in eastern Whatcom County.  Before starting work on the historic Ross Lodge, Seattle City Light made sure that rehabilitation of the lodge would not damage sensitive archaeological resources in the project vicinity. The 75-year old dormitory has been repurposed as an executive conference center after having been abandoned for more than 20 years.

“We are thankful for the honor granted us by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. This recognition highlights Seattle City Light’s leadership in preservation work and demonstrates our efforts to make historic preservation a priority as the Nation’s Greenest Utility,” City Light Chief of Staff Sephir Hamilton said.

 

Ross Lodge before the renovations.

Ross Lodge before the renovations.

Other recent preservation efforts include rehabilitation on the Gorge Inn, the anchor building on old Main Street in Newhalem, part of the Skagit National Register Historic District. “The utility is embracing stewardship of their unique cultural resources in a bold and thoughtful manner. Our hats are off to Seattle City Light,” said Gretchen Luxenberg, a cultural resources specialist with the National Park Service.

“This is an incredible achievement by many people who worked tirelessly and had the vision, passion and persistence to push forward and restore a building that would have been easy to give up on. The Ross Lodge is an example of strong civic stewardship commitment by City Light,” said Bernie O’Donnell, director of Utility Support Services.

“This has been fantastic work by the entire team and I want to thank all of the participants that worked on this renovation. Gaining recognition with an award like this is icing on the cake, and all involved should be very proud of this accomplishment,” Power Supply and Environmental Affairs Officer Michael Jones said in expressing his congratulations to the many City Light employees and departments that worked together to ensure the successful completion of the renovation.

 

Photo of the inside of Ross Lodge.

The renovated Ross Lodge is now being used as an executive conference center.

The awards program is currently in its 24th year, and exists to recognize persons, organizations and projects that have achieved distinction in the field of historic preservation. This year, the ceremony will be held on May 13 in the Columbia Room of the Legislative Building in Olympia. Washington State Historic Preservation Officer Allyson Brooks will be the event speaker. The event coincides with National Historic Preservation Month. The awards are given for preservation efforts that epitomize the spirit of the late Valerie Sivinski, a Tacoma-area architect who became Washington state’s first Capitol conservator.

More information about the award recipients is available at www.dahp.wa.gov, or by contacting Russell Holter of the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation at 360.586.3533 or russell.holter@dahp.wa.gov.

About Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.