Preservation Magazine, Summer 2016

Transitions: Threatened—Granville Haller House

Haller House

photo by: Benjamin Benschneider

In each Transitions section of Preservation magazine, we highlight places of local and national importance that have recently been restored, are currently threatened, have been saved from demolition or neglect, or have been lost. Here's one from Summer 2016.

This 1859 Georgian house on Washington’s Whidbey Island, expanded in 1866 by Col. Granville Haller, serves as one of the last vestiges of the state’s pioneer history. Although it was inhabited throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, it was never fully modernized; today, a toilet and a kitchen sink are the house’s only plumbing amenities. Its most recent residents occupied the house until 2004, and the building has been vacant ever since, with raccoons finding their way in last year and leaving holes that exposed the interior to water damage.

As of press time, local preservation organization Historic Whidbey had raised the $174,000 it needed to apply for a state heritage matching grant to purchase the property and restore it. Members of Historic Whidbey hope to turn the house into a heritage/visitor center with commercial space. It would focus on the region’s mid-19th-century territorial history, in conjunction with the nearby Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

Katherine Flynn is a former assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.


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