We wholeheartedly agree with Seattle Times reporter Lynn Thompson who, in her Aug. 23 article, stated, “The proposal from Kevin Daniels… may be the last, best hope to preserve the [Saint Edward Seminary].” Mike Siegel’s photos on the Times website show much of what any party is up against with this particular restoration project (http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/eastside/park-style-lodge-proposed-to-save-saint-edward-seminary-2/).
A brief history of how we got to this point can be found on the Daniels Development Company website: “Completed in 1931, the Saint Edward Seminary building is a significant historic and iconic structure that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. Dedicated to Saint Edward the Confessor and located in the city of Kenmore, Saint Edward Seminary operated for 46-years before closing in 1976. Closed for 39-years (almost as long as open) the aging Seminary building has been in a state of disrepair with repairs estimated in the tens of millions. With an experienced team in historic restoration, Daniels Real Estate has proposed a plan to reuse the building as a ‘great lodge,’ allowing more public access than ever before while preserving the solitude of the 316 acre state park that surrounds it.”
In her article, Lynn Thompson continues, “Under the proposal by Daniels Real Estate, all but about eight acres of the grounds immediately surrounding the seminary building would remain a state park. In exchange for the building, Daniels would buy almost 10 acres of adjacent, undeveloped Lake Washington waterfront and deed it to the park.”
The Daniels firm is the one that beautifully restored Seattle’s King Street Station. As citizens of Kenmore and people who deeply care about Saint Edward Park, we have come to the same conclusion as the Seattle Times Editorial Board, “The seminary must not be allowed to end up like countless other historic treasures regrettably shuttered or torn down. Instead, it should be renovated into the vibrant, majestic structure it deserves to be.”
We would be foolish to let this opportunity pass us by. There will be no other.
Rosie and Randy Schaffer, Kenmore