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Preserving historic barns in King County

  • Written by Valley View Staff

Historic barns are highly visible icons of King County’s heritage. They are essential elements of our rural landscapes, conveying both a sense of place and traditional building methods, but many of these cherished community landmarks are threatened. Changes in farming technologies, high maintenance costs, and development pressures contribute to the challenges many property owners face as they strive to preserve their historic barns, and in many cases, their rural way of life.

King County’s Historic Preservation Program is pleased to announce the second of two rounds of the Barn Again Historic Barn Preservation Program. The goal of this program is to provide funds for the stabilization and rehabilitation of historic barns and outbuildings that are historically associated with the working life of a farm, as well as community gathering places associated with agricultural organizations, such as grange halls.

Funding for two rounds of the Barn Again Historic Barn Preservation Program, totaling $500,000, was included in King County and 4Culture’s Building for Culture Initiative, which leveraged early payoff of Kingdome debt to provide significant funding for cultural facilities and historic properties throughout the county. In 2016, approximately half of the funding was awarded to nine different projects. In 2017, the other half, up to $250,000, will be awarded. The program will continue beyond 2017 only if additional funding can be secured. To be eligible for funding, buildings must be over 40 years old, located in King County, in need of substantial repair, and still convey their historic character.

Grant awards are anticipated to be in the range of $5,000 to $50,000 for projects that extend the life of the building and retain historic features. Eligible projects include repairs to roofs, foundations, walls, structural frameworks and building systems.

Grant guidelines and application forms are posted on King County’s website at www.kingcounty.gov/barnagain. Applications are due April 21, 2017.

Staff with King County’s Historic Preservation Program will be conducting free public workshops during which they will provide a step-by-step overview of the application process and help applicants develop viable scopes of work.

The next local workshop will be Friday, March 3, 12:30 p.m., Carnation Library, 4804 Tolt Avenue.

For more information, please contact Todd Scott, King County’s Preservation Architect, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (206) 477-4545.

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