Old Woodinville School
Status: Watch List
Year Listed: 2016
Woodinville, King County
Everyone in Woodinville knows where the school is – the site has held an educational facility since construction of the first wood-frame schoolhouse in 1892. The first building was relocated to the back of the district-owned lot when a new, two-room school took its place in 1902, and a subsequent fire prompted the construction of a brick, ‘fireproof’ school in 1909. Funding through the Works Progress Administration led to expansion of the brick structure in the 1930s with a final remodel occurring in 1948 when architect Fred B. Stephen delivered on an effort to balance the façade.
The 1948 building is an example of “stripped classicism” that combines the symmetry and formality of Beaux-Arts classicism with the sparseness and controlled detailing drawn from European Modernism.
After nearly a century serving Woodinville students, the school district mothballed the building in the 1980s. Following incorporation, the newly formed City of Woodinville moved into the building, eventually purchasing the site from the district. But with a new City Hall constructed on the property in 2001, the historic school closed once again. Local community members were hopeful at first that the city would rehabilitate the old school, but a decade of false starts have deflated those hopes.
Since 2005, the city has pursued public/private partnership opportunities for the rehabilitation of the school, conducting feasibility studies and issuing requests for proposals. Many in the community felt the most recent proposal to convert the property into a brewery and boutique hotel offered the best option to date, but it failed to gain the needed city council support. While the city continues to seek ideas for re-use, supporters fear “demolition by neglect” will soon make any rehabilitation project unrealistic