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Right now, historic preservation in Washington faces unprecedented change.

Development is racing through our towns and cities at a frenetic pace. From Spokane to Aberdeen, Vancouver to Kennewick, our state’s historic places are under siege. Nowhere was this more manifest this year than in Issaquah, where right now the Providence Heights campus is being razed to the ground, its stunning stained-glass windows gone.

But cultural and historic sites are vanishing all over our state. In urban areas, entire communities face displacement, fragmentation, and the loss of key cultural places and legacy businesses. In rural parts of the state, agricultural lands are sprouting not crops but houses as sprawl takes over, resulting in the demolition of many historic barns.

These losses are calling traditional preservation practices and standards into question. How can local planning policies be improved to save important sites and to include considerations of intangible heritage? What historic and cultural spaces have been excluded from formal designation and landmark status, and why?

And through it all, at-risk sites like the Showbox in Seattle spark renewed visibility and energy for historic preservation as a whole, showing us there’s an entirely new generation of preservation advocates out there ready to fight for the places that matter to them.

What’s going to carry us through this tumultuous time? Inclusivity. Listening. Advocacy. Education. Most of all, unity. As a preservation community, we need to support each other and stand together.

Stand with us. Make a year-end contribution to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. Help us weather these challenges and carry our state’s historic places forward into a new era. Your gift is fully tax-deductible, and 100% of it goes to support our work saving the places that matter in Washington.

Questions? Contact Development Director Kristy Conrad at or 206-624-9449.