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King County historic preservation achievements celebrated at John D. Spellman Awards


Recipients of the 2015 John D. Spellman Awards for Exemplary Achievement in Historic Preservation were honored last week at the North Bend Theatre in North Bend.


The awards are named in honor of Governor John D. Spellman (King County Executive 1969-80), who established the County’s Historic Preservation Program 35 years ago.

The 1941 Art Moderne-style North Bend Theatre was a fitting venue for King County’s annual preservation awards ceremony this year. The building received a Spellman Award for rehabilitation in 1999, and current owners Cindy and Jim Walker have recently made significant repairs and upgrades to keep this cherished community landmark in operation, showing first-run films at small-town prices. 

The program opened with welcome remarks by Jennifer Meisner, King County’s new Historic Preservation Officer, and North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing. Poppi Handy, King County Landmarks Commission Chair, presented Certificates of Designation to owners and stewards of recently landmarked properties. Recipients included:

  • Paul Barry, owner of the 1929 Louis Marsh House in Kirkland, which is a rare  example of the French Eclectic style designed by renowned Seattle architect, Edwin Ivey;

  • The Delta-White Center Lodge for the Delta Masonic Temple in Tukwila, an excellent and well-preserved example of a fraternal building type from the early 20th Century;

  • The Mill Creek Neighborhood Council for the Mill Creek Historic District in Kent, a neighborhood that was established in 1890, was home to many of Kent’s leading citizens, and is the first entirely residential district to be designated in suburban King County; and

  • The Kenmore Community Club for their clubhouse, which is a simple vernacular structure with unusual interior features that was built in 1930 and continues to serve as a location for community activities in Kenmore.

Rhonda Berry, King County’s Chief of Operations, presented the awards for achievement in historic preservation.


Julie Koler, who served as King County’s Landmarks Coordinator and then Historic Preservation Officer from 1989 through 2014, was presented with a Career Achievement Award.


During her quarter-century career, Koler saw the Historic Preservation Program through numerous challenges and successes, training dozens of Landmarks Commission members.


Koler mentored many students to become the next generation of preservation professionals, and developed numerous collaborative preservation initiatives. She also added an archaeologist to the program’s professional staff, and was a tireless champion of grassroots efforts to preserve the King County’s historic resources.


The majority of King County’s landmarks were designated under Julie’s stewardship, including multiple historic districts, numerous dairy farms, bridges, cemeteries, schools, and other treasured properties.

The recipients of 2015 Spellman Awards for historic preservation are:

  • Steve and Georgia Teodosaidis for removal of the only remaining false Alpine façade in the North Bend historic district and restoration of the true historic façade of Bellinger’s Bakery (now Georgia’s Bakery) in North Bend;

  • Bassetti Architects in the compatible design category for restoring and incorporating the 1912 Ronald School in its design for the new, state-of-the-art Shorewood High School in Shoreline;

  • King County Department of Transportation’s Road Services Division for its innovative and creative approach to mitigation and interpretation in incorporating features from the demolished historic South Park Bridge into the new 14th Avenue Bridge Replacement project; and

  • The City of Des Moines in the disaster recovery category for its complete restoration of the 1934 Des Moines Beach Park Dining Hall, which had been heavily damaged during the Nisqually earthquake and by extreme flooding. 


The King County Historic Preservation Program was established in 1978 to identify, document, and protect King County’s significant historic resources. The Historic Preservation Program staffs a nine-person Landmarks Commission, conducts environmental reviews in cooperation with other agencies and jurisdictions, manages a regional preservation program in partnership with numerous suburban cities, maintains an inventory of historic resources, and develops and implements incentives to support and encourage restoration and rehabilitation of historic properties.