Washington State Heritage Barn Preservation Initiative
Award Type: Honor Award
Washington’s State Heritage Barn Preservation Initiative is a fantastic example of how a grassroots network can work in collaboration with a variety of officials and agencies to produce legislative success.
House Bill 2115 was approved by the Washington state legislature in 2007 with overwhelming support and established the creation of a state heritage Barn Register, with a matching grant program to provide assistance to historic barn owners rehabilitating their properties. In less than 5 years, 486 barns have been included in the register. Three grant rounds have awarded $1 million in state matching grants to owners of 46 historic barns – 40 of which are still in active agricultural use.
While upgrading and restoring their barns, farmers are utilizing local lumber yards, hardware stores and labor, bringing a boost to the state’s economy. Through this remarkable program, Washington State is sowing the seeds of preservation in all 39 of its counties, and this initiative is certain to keep on growing.
“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Whether it’s the restoration of an iconic post office in Philadelphia or the transformation of a Greyhound bus station into a Civil Rights museum in Montgomery, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places is bolstering local economies and creating jobs in communities across the country.”