Every year, many historic properties across the State of Washington are threatened by demolition or neglect. Collectively, these properties contribute to the quality of life we enjoy and shape the daily experiences of living in small towns, large cities and rural areas across the state. The loss of even one historic resource erodes the rich historic fabric we are so fortunate to enjoy in Washington. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has maintained a list of Most Endangered Places in our state since 1992. Bringing attention to threatened buildings, sites and places has raised awareness in communities statewide and resulted in many success stories.
This nomination process is your chance to initiate your own story of success. Properties selected for the Most Endangered Places will receive Washington Trust assistance in developing support to remove the threat.
What does being listed mean?
With inclusion on the Most Endangered Places list, the type of support from the Washington Trust varies with each individual case base on the needs. Typically, it includes helping plan advocacy strategies, finding/evaluating potential resources (financial or otherwise) to help, video/photos for publicity, organizing/hosting stakeholder meetings, and attention from our statewide network of preservationists.
Support generally does not include taking control of or leading the advocacy campaign, direct financial support, or purchase of the property. The Most Endangered Places is also not a regulatory or legal historical designation that restricts what can be done to the property. This can only be achieved through a local city ordinance.
How to Nominate
All nominators must contact the Washington Trust office prior to submitting a nomination to discuss the program requirements, nomination criteria, and over-arching goals for the threatened resource. Please contact Jennifer Mortensen, Outreach Director, via email or by calling 206-462-2999.
If the property is selected for inclusion in the Most Endangered Historic Properties List, nominators agree to work with the Washington Trust to develop advocacy strategies, provide regular updates to staff and site representatives, submit articles for newsletter consideration, and generally engage in efforts to find a positive preservation outcome for the resource.
- There must be a substantial degree of endangerment by owner neglect, proposed demolition, rezoning, redevelopment, and/or other human or environmental factors.
- The property/resource must be demonstrably significant to the community for its historical or cultural associations. This may be demonstrated by a listing on or eligibility for listing on a historical register (National Register of Historic Places, Washington Heritage Register, or a local register), or by other means that clearly convey the historic or cultural significance that the property/resource holds for the community.
- There must be evidence of local support (or the clear potential for building local support) for the preservation of the property/resource. (Letters from other community members/groups to demonstrate local support are strongly encouraged, but not required.)
- Inclusion on the list will be made based on the significance of the nominated property/resource as determined by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and not solely on the degree of endangerment.
Because preservation emergencies can happen at any time, nominations to our Most Endangered program are accepted all year-round. If you have any questions about the nomination or announcement process, please contact Jennifer Mortensen by email or at 206-462-2999.
To download a PDF of the nomination form text, click here. Please note that this document is for reference only and all final submissions must be submitted online via the form linked above.