Update on Shoreline Naval Hospital Chapel landmark process

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Interior of Naval Hospital Chapel at Fircrest
Photo by Janet Way

By Janet Way

The Shoreline Preservation Society has been through a nearly yearlong process of nominating and researching the extensive history of the very first freestanding Naval Hospital Chapel in America located at Fircrest School in Shoreline!

We were quite pleased with the reception we received from the King County Landmarks Commission Hearing, November 19, 2020 in a Zoom meeting (of course), but we need to be patient and wait a little bit longer for our final wish for our beautiful historic treasure to be granted.

All of the commissioners praised our presentation expertly presented by our historian experts at Northwest Vernacular. And they also seemed enthusiastic about the building’s history, beauty, interior and surrounding forest setting. They were impressed as well by the community response and many comment letters. 

SPS also provided a short “walkabout video” to better give the commissioners a sense of the Chapel in its serene, wooded surroundings. Numerous community members gave verbal comments at the hearing too.

While Department of Social and Health Services testified they were also supportive, they requested an amendment of the nomination proposal to reduce the forest area protected in case of expansion parking at the bottom of the hill. But the Commissioners seemed interested in supporting our original surrounding forest area nomination and said that DSHS could always come back to them if need be to amend the space if more parking spaces are desired.

However, the Commissioners decided to table the final decision and asked us to provide a more precise map that could be clearly defined the measurements. And provide a list of what would be eligible for preservation in the Chapel Interior.

We are already working on a response with our historians and hope that these details can be settled at their next hearing. It is up to the KC Landmarks Commission as to whether there will be another hearing this year or whether it would have to be in January.


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