Historic Buildings within Washington’s State Parks

Status: Watch List

Year Listed: 2012

Headlining 2012’s roster was a thematic listing including the Historic Resources of Washington’s State Park System. With over 600 historic buildings and structures, Washington State Parks is the single largest owner of historic buildings in the state. The inventory of historic buildings, structures, and sites under the jurisdiction of State Parks includes territorial forts, coastal military fortifications, lighthouses, artillery installments, CCC picnic shelters, a seminary, and numerous others listed in local registers of historic places, in the National Register, and as National Historic Landmark Districts. Recent economic woes have made it increasingly challenging for the agency to sustain the needed level of maintenance at parks statewide, let alone address mounting capital needs. In the current biennium, the capital budget for buildings and structures is less than one-third of funding levels provided in the recent past. Moving forward, the State Parks operating budget will rely entirely on the success of the Discover Pass, a visitor fee-for-use program, the revenues of which have thus far fallen short of projections. Without adequate funding for capital projects, mounting deferred maintenance could lead to more serious building deterioration in the near term. Park Rangers, who already do double duty in performing a variety of maintenance tasks on buildings, will be going to seasonal employment, leaving dozens of structures unattended for periods of time.