North Lake Union Community Wharf
NORTH LAKE UNION WORKSHOP & WAREHOUSE GRAND OPENING
Completion of repairs allows museum to begin boat
restoration in former Metro warehouse
“Volunteers have spent hundreds of hours over the winter and spring straightening up the site, removing trash and garbage, doing repairs to the building and setting up a woodworking shop that dramatically expands our space for restoration of historic boats,” said Betsy Davis, Executive Director of The Center for Wooden Boats. “With the new site for storage and restoration of our collection we’ll be able to work on more boats more efficiently, and get them back into the water and available for people to use faster. What’s more, the new site has easy access to Wallingford and Fremont and makes it easier for more people there who are interested in working on historic boats to volunteer to help us.”
The opening of the new CWB boat restoration and boat storage facility is the first step toward the larger vision of the Seattle/King County Maritime Heritage Task Force that called for the creation of a Northlake Community Wharf on this site seven years ago.
“Even as this interim lease running to 2016 allows us to begin boat restoration on the site, we’ll keep working with our partners at King County to work out a longer term agreement that provides access to the water, so CWB can help residents of Wallingford, Fremont, the University District, Ballard and other North Seattle neighborhoods re-connect with Lake Union,” said Davis.
“What was a dormant waterfront property on North Lake Union today takes the first step to becoming a community gem celebrating our maritime heritage,” said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Larry Phillips, who sponsored legislation supporting the CWB lease agreement. “This is an exciting partnership that will maximize community use of precious public property and give the people of King County, Seattle and the entire state better access to their own maritime history.”
Metro has owned the property for several decades, but no longer needs it for transit operations. It had been used most recently by Metro for surplus property storage.
CWB’s Davis praised the leadership provided by Councilmember Phillips, along with the rest of the King County Council, and King County Executive Dow Constantine for encouraging all parties working on the complex project to keep moving ahead. “With political leaders saying, move….and with support from groups like the Fremont and Wallingford Chambers of Commerce, the Fremont Community Council, The Wallingford Community Council…no one was willing to quit on the vision,” said Davis. “And with help from environmental engineering company Anchor QEA and support and advice from multiple agencies and stakeholders associated with this waterfront site we’ve been able to deal, with the complex issues.”
Through the winter, in addition to gutting and cleaning the 1920’s era warehouse, CWB has repaired the roof, repaired the electrical systems, painted over graffiti and put in replacement windows. Generous donors have stepped up to help The Center for Wooden Boats in this effort. In addition to AnchorQEA, both Mithun and the Seattle office of KPFF Consulting Engineers have donated professional services to the project. Terex Corporation’s Aerial Work Platforms business segment has loaned CWB a state of the art Genie scissor lift which allowed crews to more easily reach and repair the roof and walls of the warehouse. Telecommunications giant CenturyLink has donated an historic, belt driven, drill press to CWB to use at the in renovation boat shop.
“Without the generous help of our partners there is no way we could have reached this milestone so fast,” said Davis.
A new Northlake Community Wharf friends group is being reinstituted to help promote community involvement and provide input as CWB continues working towards its long term vision for the Northlake Community Wharf. The community will be able to follow along as CWB works to make the vision become a reality on the CWB web site at www.cwb.org/NLU Anyone interested in helping can contact Davis at CWB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the King County Maritime Heritage Task Force report that identified the North Lake site and called for this community resource, download the PDF here: http://www.4culture.org/consulting/documents/4Culture_MaritimeReport.pdf
To read letters of support from the community regarding this project, click HERE.
If you are a business and interested in sponsoring the CWB Northlake Community Wharf, e-mail Dan Leach at email@example.com.
About The Center for Wooden Boats: The Center for Wooden Boats (www.CWB.org), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1976, provides a gathering place where maritime history comes alive through direct experience and our small craft heritage is enjoyed, preserved, and passed along to future generations. CWB, with year round locations both at South Lake Union in Seattle and at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island, engages visitors in whole body learning by putting the historic boats, oars and paddles, sails and tools in the hands of people who visit. To learn more about year-around maritime activities at Seattle’s Lake Union Park visit www.AtLakeUnionPark.org.