City mulls future uses of historic city hall building

SNOQUALMIE - The historic city hall building in downtown Snoqualmie could be sold or leased to a private business once the city is done with renovations.

Possible futures for the building were discussed at the June 9 Snoqualmie City Council meeting where council members contemplated uses for the old city hall that ranged from a museum to a restaurant.

"I would like to have a methodical, well-laid out plan," said Councilwoman Marcia Korich. "We need to make a logical decision."

The city has owned the building, located on the corner of Falls Avenue and River Street, since 1976 when it started using the building for city offices after being used as a bank for many years.

The building was shut down after a February, 2001 earthquake damaged the structure. The city has since sought funding and renovation plans for the building, which has to be repaired according to county historical landmark guidelines.

While the city has solidified a plan to renovate the building, the use of the structure has yet to be determined. The city used the building in the past for council meetings and an addition to the building as a mayor's office, but the city may not need the building in the future. Council meetings have taken place at the Union Hall on Railroad Avenue, and the city has land set aside for a new municipal campus on Snoqualmie Parkway where it hopes to build a new city hall.

State law requires the city prove it does not need the building before it sells it, but once that is accomplished the city is free to sell or lease the property to whomever it chooses. Work on the old city hall, which should start by August and finish up by next spring, will only renovate the exterior and reinforce the structure of the building; leaving the interior to be done however the owner wants it to be.

Mayor Fuzzy Fletcher said he would like to see the building used as a museum, possibly for the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society (which has a building in North Bend) or for the Northwest Railway Museum (which is located in the Snoqualmie Train Depot).

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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