|ZILLAH, Wash. – The 84-year-old
Teapot Dome, a Yakima Valley landmark gas station that has sat idle the
past few years after its owners closed it amid rising gas prices, has
been declared one of the state's most endangered historic properties.
Another on the list is the John A. Finch Boy Scout Lodge, on Diamond
Lake. Boy Scout directors decided last fall to raze, not renovate, the
historic lodge, saying a new structure would be less expensive.
The craftsman-style structure was designed in 1923 by Spokane
architect Julius Zittel, who designed Spokane's Carnegie Library and
other landmark buildings.
The gas station, built in 1922, is one of nine endangered historic
properties listed this year by the Washington Trust for Historic
Authorities say the vacant station will deteriorate – or could face
demolition – if it isn't put to use.
Earlier this year, officials in Zillah, about 20 miles southeast of
Yakima, agreed to buy the dome for $125,000, and put up about $1,000 in
earnest money. The city has about seven months left to close the deal,
Mayor Gary Clark said.
An effort to move the dome into town, where it will serve as a
visitor center, is under way, but roughly $250,000 is needed for the
A group calling itself Friends of the Teapot recently formed to raise
the necessary money.
Adding the dome to the state's endangered properties list helps to
stress the need to preserve the structure, Clark said, and could aid in
securing grants for preservation.
"We have a real good reason to want to save this teapot," he said.