Project Cadwell

Help Us Preserve Local History!

The Kittitas County Historical Society, Inc. recognizes the importance of collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of our community and has done so successfully since 1961. As a private nonprofit charitable organization, we rely on generous donations, memberships, investment income, and bequests to make what we do possible. We provide high-quality programs and exhibits for individuals to enjoy from all across the world, reflecting our diverse, collective history. After nearly 50 years in the Cadwell Building, a brick structure built after the Great Ellensburg Fire of July 4, 1889, the exterior brick masonry is in need of repair in multiple areas. Other repairs have been identified that are vital to the long-term health of the structure and need to be implemented so that we can continue collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of Kittitas County now and into the future.

Project Summary

The Kittitas County Historical Museum is executing repairs, upgrades, and improvements, as funding becomes available, and in a manner that minimizes disruption of normal building operations.

The first phase (Phase 1) will focus on the highest priority items which were recommended by both an architect and structural engineer, as provided in a full Building Existing Conditions Assessment provided in February 2022 which guides this project. The work will re-point damaged exterior mortar joints and repair damaged brick at the south and west walls, including window and door openings, and all parapets on the Cadwell Building; re-point mortar joints and repair damaged brick remaining exterior walls of the Cadwell Building; re-point mortar joints and repair damaged brick at East and West Additions.

The chimney on the southeast corner of the Cadwell Building is not a character-defining feature and will be removed, with the brick salvaged for use in the repointing. An electrical wire on the West Addition URM parapet will be relocated and the over-height parapet braced. Storefronts will be repaired and repainted, and infiltration reduction measures will be implemented to improve energy efficiency. Issues affecting facility operations with the potential for damage would be addressed, such as roof repair; and remove, repair, and reinstall damaged parapet caps and repair and brace parapets on Cadwell Building, East Addition, and West Addition. Additional phases will address items such as wall anchorage, seismic stabilization, a diaphragm overlay, energy efficiency upgrades, and HVAC system upgrades. Phases may be adjusted depending on the nature of the work and priorities as they are addressed.

Project Summary

The Kittitas County Historical Museum is executing repairs, upgrades, and improvements, as funding becomes available, and in a manner that minimizes disruption of normal building operations.

The first phase (Phase 1) will focus on the highest priority items which were recommended by both an architect and structural engineer, as provided in a full Building Existing Conditions Assessment provided in February 2022 which guides this project. The work will re-point damaged exterior mortar joints and repair damaged brick at south and west walls, including window and door openings, and all parapets on the Cadwell Building; re-point mortar joints and repair damaged brick remaining exterior walls of the Cadwell Building; re-point mortar joints and repair damaged brick at East and West Additions.

The chimney on the southeast corner of the Cadwell Building is not a character-defining feature and will be removed, with the brick salvaged for use in the repointing. An electrical wire on the West Addition URM parapet will be relocated and the over-height parapet braced. Storefronts will be repaired and repainted, and infiltration reduction measures will be implemented to improve energy efficiency. Issues affecting facility operations with the potential for damage would be addressed, such as roof repair; and remove, repair, and reinstall damaged parapet caps and repair and brace parapets on Cadwell Building, East Addition, and West Addition. Additional phases will address items such as wall anchorage, seismic stabilization, a diaphragm overlay, energy efficiency upgrades, and HVAC system upgrades. Phases may be adjusted depending on the nature of the work and priorities as they are addressed.

Project History

The Kittitas County Historical Society, Inc. is the owner of the Cadwell Building, home to the Kittitas County Historical Museum. The building is a recognized cornerstone of the Downtown Ellensburg Historic District, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It is also on the Washington Heritage Register and on the local Ellensburg Landmarks Register. The building has served as home to the Kittitas County Historical Society Inc., dba Kittitas County Historical Museum, since 1974 with a grand opening on June 1, 1975.

The primary and central structure of the museum is the Cadwell Building. The museum also incorporates adjoining buildings to the east and west, which have been referred to as the East Addition and the West Addition. The term “Addition” means that they were combined with the original museum facility in 1999-2000, and that they were not originally designed or constructed as intentional additions to the Cadwell Building.

The Kittitas County Historical Museum underwent rehabilitation of its storefront in the late 1970s which restored the building to its 1889 grandeur, but other rehabilitation was not completed at that time.

The building is in a good condition overall, but the exterior brick masonry remains a priority based on its rate of failure.

Scope of Project

The Kittitas County Historical Society, Inc. seeks to address structural repairs and rehabilitation, which identifies the exterior brick masonry as the highest priority, along with necessary seismic work. This work will address repairs that are necessary to the long-term health of the structure, focusing on re-pointing damaged exterior mortar joins and brick along with repainting of all exterior walls; removal of a non-character defining chimney and reuse of the brick in the re-pointing; relocation of an electrical wire and bracing of the parapet; and repair of storefronts and parapets.

Adding Community Value

The Kittitas County Historical Society, Inc. continues to collect, preserve, and share the history of Kittitas County and partner with businesses and organizations throughout the community. In its 60th year, its mission is as evident as day 1, continuing a strong passion in telling a complete and diverse history of the people, places, events, and activities that continue shaping our shared history. We partner with a wide number of organizations and are seeking community support for this project, through endorsements like letters of support. Our capital campaign is only now just getting started, and it is through YOUR support that we are able to continue collecting, preserving, and sharing local history. Without our building, we will not have a space to make our history accessible to those who wish to visit, experience, and explore Kittitas County’s rich history.

HELP US!

As a private non-profit charitable organization, we rely on generous donations, memberships, investment income, and bequests to make what we do possible. We will soon be submitting an application for the Heritage Capital Projects Fund Grant through the Washington State Historical Society, which could help us tremendously. However, we need all the help we can get from our community to make this project happen. We ask you to please consider making a tax-deductible gift or writing a letter of support today to help us preserve the history of Kittitas County!