Endangered Property: Day Block

EDITOR’S NOTE: On May 26, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation announced its annual list of Washington State’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The list dates back to 1992, and aims to raise awareness of historic properties that face demolition by redevelopment or neglect. Over the past 17 years, according to the Trust, more than 100 have been nominated by concerned citizens and organizations across the state. The organization also assists historic preservation advocates in developing strategies aimed at removing these threats.

This year’s list includes Curran House (University Place); Alki Homestead Restaurant (Seattle); BF Tabbott House (Bainbridge Island); Bush House (Index); George Carmack House (Seattle); Day Block (Dayton); Old Ellensburg Hospital (Ellensburg); Libbey House (Coupeville); Post-Intelligencer Globe (Seattle); Sand Point Naval Station (Seattle); St. Edward’s Catholic Church (Shelton); Surrey Downs (Bellevue); Vashon Elementary Gymnasium (Vashon Island).

Last month, the Index began publishing a profile of each endangered property, as compiled by the Trust. Here is what the Trust has to say about Day Block in Dayton.

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Home to the state’s oldest operating county courthouse, meticulously restored Victorians, and a downtown historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it seems incongruous that one of the city’s contributing historic resources would be threatened.

Built in 1882, the existing Day Block is actually the half-block remnant of what was once a larger structure. The original Italianate-style Day Block featured 11 round-arched windows, cast iron store fronts, and a bold projecting cornice at the roofline. Important architecturally, the building is also significant for its association with the Day Family and stands as one of the earlier two-story commercial structures in Dayton. Despite its storied history and role in Dayton’s development, deferred maintenance has taken its toll on the building. The second floor has been vacant since the 1950s and, in part because of a partial roof collapse in December of 2008, the commercial space on the ground floor is now vacant as well. Failure to address the needed repairs and continued exposure to the elements could potentially result in a case of demolition by neglect. At present, the Day Block is neither for sale nor for rent.

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For more information on the Trust, visit http://www.wa-trust.org .

For earlier Index coverage of the Trust, click on the following links:

1. In an old hilltop mansion, a strong voice for preservation (04/14/09) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1528102&more=0 or http://www.wahmee.com/tdi_wa_trust.pdf .

2. Long list of concerns for Washington State preservationists (05/29/08) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1228444&more=0 or http://www.wahmee.com/tdi_jennifer_meisner_qa.pdf .

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The Index has a blog. Visit us at http://i.feedtacoma.com/TDI-Reporters-Notebook/