• Panama Hotel Opens RFP Process for New Steward

    November 16, 2015

    As part of our National Treasures work at the Panama Hotel, owner Jan Johnson, in cooperation with the National Trust, is now officially seeking proposals for a new owner for the historic building and its important contents.

    The deadline for proposals is January 15, 2016. Interested parties can find the official request for proposals, an FAQ, and other background materials at PreservationNation.org.

    We are excited about this first step in the process of preserving the legacy of the Panama Hotel and owner Jan Johnson. Stay tuned for more updates!

  • Producers Laine Ross and David Vice talk about their Panama Hotel Legacy Film project

    October 1, 2015

    A new film series by producers Laine Ross and David Vice highlights the history and importance of preserving the Panama Hotel. In their Panama Hotel Legacy Film project, Ross and Vice educate the public about the Panama Hotel’s importance to American history, and about the importance of preserving this National Treasure.

    In their film, Vice and Ross focus on several stories the building has to offer from its 105 year old history, including the story of the current owner Jan Johnson, who has preserved the building, along with its Japanese-style bath house and collection of belongings stored by Japanese-Americans incarcerated during World War II. Ross and Vice also examine the history of Japanese internment and its impact on the surrounding community.

    The producers released a nine-minute segment to the public in time to coincide with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s designation of the site as a National Treasure on April 9, 2015. Once finished, the series will likely be released in two or three parts, and may be available through a distribution partner like HBO, Amazon, or Showtime, with whom the producers intend to have conversations.

    In a recent interview, Ross and Vice talked about their Panama Hotel Legacy Film Project and the importance of preserving the Panama hotel with the National Trust for Historic Preservation staff. Read the full interview.

  • Panama Hotel Internment Relics to be Catalogued

    July 30, 2015

    The National Trust has received a grant of $137,178 from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program to inventory, document, catalogue, and research the collection of objects left behind in the basement of Seattle’s Panama Hotel at the time of Japanese American internment that were never reclaimed after World War II.

    “The National Trust and our partners in this effort are thrilled to receive full funding for our proposal,Left Behind: Documenting the Japanese American Collections at the Panama Hotel,” said Sheri Freemuth, field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “This grant allows us to bring to life some of the stories of the more than 110,000 Japanese Americans and those of Japanese descent taken from their homes during this dark time in American history.”

    Conservation priorities identified during the inventory process will guide the recommendations for the preservation and interpretation of the Panama Hotel collection. The goal is to include a searchable database with photos, description, and a condition for each object as well as reports outlining key objects of significance and steps for the future of the items.

  • Bestselling Author Talks About The Panama Hotel

    June 3, 2015

    Historic preservationists and some Seattle-ites knew about the remarkable Panama Hotel generally and Jan Johnson’s efforts specifically, by the late 1980s. But the world was introduced to the story of the Panama Hotel through the 2009 New York Times Bestseller Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

    Author Jamie Ford’s fictional World War II era love story is set in Seattle’s International District in the second half of the 20th century and features the owner of the Panama Hotel (based on our friend Jan Johnson). The novel’s centerpiece is the true story of Japantown residents storing their trunks and suitcases in the basement of the hotel when Executive Order 9066 was issued by President Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. The novel’s heroine – Keiko Okabe – and her family left their belongings behind when they were evacuated and imprisoned in Hunt, Idaho at the Minidoka Relocation Center.

    Readers the world over (the novel has been translated in 30 languages, with over a million copies sold worldwide) were drawn in by the story and are curious about Seattle’s Chinatown, Japantown and, most of all, the hotel on the corner of 6th and Main – the Panama Hotel.

    Recently, the National Trust’s Director of Digital Content, Julia Rocchi, sat down with the author to discuss the hotel and the large impact it has had on his personal and professional life. Read the full interview.

All 4 updates

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