Pullman Depot Heritage Center grant application qualifies for review

Funding will help pay for five-part restoration; first phase expected to cost $390,000



The Pullman Depot Heritage Center will remain open during external restoration but will locate to a different room during interior restoration.

BRADLEY GAMBLE, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman Depot Heritage Center qualified as one of the applicants for the 2021-2023 Heritage Capital Grant Program in order to help pay for the center’s restoration.

The center is seeking $240,000 to begin the first phase of its five-phase restoration plan, according to the Heritage Center press release. The center has collected $500,000 through their Fix the Bricks campaign to qualify for the grant.

The first phase includes restoring and repairing the depot’s exterior brick facade, as well as returning the roof to its original design and appearance. The first phase also plans to repair soffits, fascia and gutters. The projected cost for this phase is $390,000, according to the press release.

Heritage Center Co-chair Linda Hackbarth said the second phase will consist of restoring the main lobby, ticket area and main core of the building. The second phase is projected to cost $1 million.

She said later phases will focus on restoring the grounds and the train cars in front of the building, as well as continuing efforts to relocate the two train cars to provide a full view of the building.

Hackbarth said the restoration process is estimated to cost around $4 million to complete. The center will obtain the rest of its funding through local donations and other grants.

“If we get the grant, we have two years to spend the money,” she said. “We’re hoping that once the building is spruced up a bit, more local individuals will get interested in what the project is, and by that time we’ll have a capital campaign underway.”

The center’s application will go through a review process with the Washington State Historical Society, according to the press release. The society will develop a ranked list of projects to recommend for funding. The list will then be given to Gov. Jay Inslee to include for legislative deliberation of the state’s capital budget. The last time this grant was available, over $9.73 million was approved for 36 projects.

Hackbarth said the center did not want to pass up on the grant opportunity even with the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

“This grant becomes available every two years,” she said. “We decided to go for it now, or else we’d have to wait another two years.”

The restoration project is scheduled to begin in 2021 if the center obtains funding from the grant program.

Hackbarth said the center will not close during the external restoration but will have to relocate to a different room for interior restoration.

“Activities will continue throughout the restoration at least through all the exterior restoration,” she said. “At the point where we start doing interior restoration, we’ll have to move out of the freight room.”