"Historic Preservation is simply having the good sense to hang onto something...an older building or neighborhood or a piece of landscape because it is important to us as individuals and/or as a nation..."

(Joanne Moyer, WA Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation suggested we reference this quote at tonight’s meeting.) 

“At the very least, Finch Lodge needs to be evaluated by a professional cultural resource specialist to determine the historical significance of the Lodge.  While I have never visited the site, based on your website, which provides historical and current images of the building as well as some brief history, in my opinion the Lodge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.  The Lodge not only has direct ties to the history of the Boy Scouts and the development of Camp Cowles, it represents the work of noted architect Julius Zittel.  Zittel, who passed away in 1939, was the first designated architect for Washington State and designed many important public buildings on the east side of the state from the 1890s through the 1920s.  Finch Lodge appears to be an excellent example of his work.”

Michael Houser, Architectural Historian
Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation

Finch Lodge IS Worth Saving

A peek at one of the originally exposed trusses now hidden above the ceiling

Some points to consider:

· The primary historical and ascetic value of this building comes from its sturdy post-and-beam construction, large roof trusses and architectural details.  The inside wall surface can simply be removed and eventually be put back or replaced with another surface.  This particular historical building can therefore be relatively easily rewired, weather-sealed and insulated.  All plumbing would be removed and placed in the new addition.

· New windows (in the same style as the original) could retain the look of the lodge while keeping it much warmer.

· In today’s world of high energy prices, conventional fireplaces create a net heat loss.  Thorough repair and either inserts or high quality light effects might safely keep the fireplaces’ craftsmanship intact while eliminating all drafts.  (Even a total rebuild should be little more costly here than in gthe proposed new building .) Choosing to destroy this National historic treasure would risk driving away some Scout donors and a lot of public good will.

· Rather than depreciate with time, a rehabilitated Finch Lodge would become more special and valuable.  The donations it could help draw over the next 75 to 100 years would far exceed any additional cost there might be for preservation.

· Preserving buildings preserves information - how buildings were constructed, the quality of the work etc.  Preserving buildings allows future generations to experience in a very tangible way the "feel" of a building and place.  If nothing more could be saved but the Post-and-Beam construction, the massive roof trusses, the balcony and railing and the two stone fireplaces (they don't even have to function), this building would be well worth saving.

· Before any talk of demolition, ALL available resources should be aggressively put into determining how to best make rehabilitation of Finch Lodge work logistically and economically to enrich the Scout Vision for the future.

More information and photos can be found at www.savefinchlodge.com

History does matter.  This Treasure is worth an honest attempt to save it.

Finch Lodge as Photographed by a 10-year-old camper in the 1960’s.

A businessman’s point of view

“We’ve all heard the expression ‘it’s cheaper to build new than it is to reconstruct.’  That’s not True.  I’ve always found that it’s much cheaper to use an existing structure.  Now, doing so is more complicated, and you actually have to be a better builder to do that kind of work, but if you know what you’re doing, it costs you less money.”

Donald Trump (latest issue of Preservation magazine)