The historic Weyerhaeuser Building has already moved twice in Everett, Washington. But never via land, as the latest plan to create a focal point of a new Boxcar Park along the waterfront gives the historic structure a chance to traverse terrain.
As the Port of Everett moves forward on a $330 million mixed-use Waterfront Place Central development, the 350-ton building needed to slide about a mile from its current location in order to be revitalized as a marina clubhouse and backdrop to a new outdoor performance venue around 2020.
Built in 1923 at the company’s first Everett Plant, the ornate Gothic-style structure was designed by architect Carl Gould and commissioned by the Weyerhaeuser Company as an opportunity to showcase local wood species such as fir, cedar and hemlock. The final design took form as a 6,000-sq-ft one-and-a-half story building.
The structure has already moved twice via barge, but the next move will happen July 13 and July 14 via land. The first move took place in 1936, relocating the building from Weyerhaeuser’s Mill A Site to Weyerhaeuser’s Mill B site. It stayed there until being donated by Weyerhaeuser and floating via the Snohomish River in 1984 to its current location.
As part of the process, the building is getting lifted 7.5 ft in the air using a unified jacking system with 42 jacks. The concrete-safe building will spend about four hours moving the needed one mile.
The final placement will allow construction to begin at Fisherman’s Harbor, the first phase of Waterfront Place Central, expected to start in mid-2016.
The move will also create a featured piece in the Boxcar Park that honors the waterfront’s industrial history with a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We’re bringing the building’s history back to life, returning it to its Milltown roots,” said Glen Bachman, port commission president. “Honoring the building in a public venue infused with its lumber and shingle past will not only provide an opportunity to keep Everett’s Milltown history alive for years to come, but also support the Port Commission’s capital initiative of creating a waterfront community.”
The Waterfront Place Central project serves as a large-scale real estate venture that should bring jobs and access to the waterfront while unifying the marina and surrounding property as one economic unit.
But, first, history must travel.
Follow Tim Newcomb on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.