Tag Archives: city historic preservation commission

Farm preservationists earn first Blakely Award

Steve Romein and his wife Ty Cramer earned a special commendation from the Bainbridge Historic Preservation Commission for their work rehabilitating the Lynwood Center building and preserving two south Bainbridge farms.

“Steve and Ty have set an excellent example for other developers to follow and made our community a better place in which to live,” the city commission said in a statement after awarding the couple the commission’s first Blakely Award for preservation leadership. The commission plans to give the award on an annual basis.

The commission also recognized the Bainbridge park district with a Blakely Award in the “project of excellence” category for its work to restore the cabin at Camp Yeomalt Park.

In 2007, Romein and Cramer began pouring money into fixing up and expanding the decaying Lynwood Center building in a manner that fit its 1930s-era Tudor style.

“In their renovation efforts, Ty and Steve chose to do so in a way that it would retain its original historic integrity,” the commission said. “The Lynwood Center neighborhood has been revitalized by their efforts.”

Early this year, Romein and Cramer purchased an Old Mill Road farm with the goal of preserving it as farmland and to develop a trail connecting to other public pathways. They also plan to rehabilitate two 19th-century farmhouses on the property.

The pair then purchased an even larger farm that island preservation groups have had their eye on for years. Romein and Cramer plan to put farmers to work on the land, develop a farming education program with nearby Blakely Elementary and set aside a portion as preserved open space.

You can read my profile of Steve Romein here.

Moran School may dodge the wrecking ball

At least five parties have expressed serious interest in purchasing and rehabilitating the crumbling Moran School theater building.

While the parties won’t be named until negotiations formally begin with the building’s owner, it was disclosed that most are either nonprofits or educational institutions.

That’s surprisingly good news for historical preservationists who had all but given up hope that the former private school theater and dormitory would be saved.

“It’s very encouraging,” said Dave Williams, chair of the city Historic Preservation Commission. “We’ve been really surprised with the amount of interest.”

I wrote a story about the level of interest shown on Friday, the deadline for finding a buyer. Read that story HERE.

Williams added a few more details this morning. According to Williams, four parties have written official letters of interest. He said most were established “educational institutions,” but declined to give specifics. He did note that none were universities or schools for children (like, say, a Montessori school). Williams agreed most of the educational institutions were in a similar vein as the IslandWood environmental learning center.

He also mentioned that an architect representing a wealthy individual has shown strong interest.

And according to this blog’s latest poll results (see over to the right), most people would like to see the building become a McMenamins brew pub/hotel. Oddly enough, that’s also the least likely of the the nine poll options to actually happen (mostly because the owner, which operates the next-door nursing home, would never allow it). But we can dream…