Blaine train depot makes state endangered properties list

Published on Wed, May 23, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Chris Moore, the field director for the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, interviews Blaine City Council member Charlier Hawkins about the history of the Blaine train depot on May 7. The depot was named as one of the trust’s 2012 “most endangered” historic properties. Photo by Jeremy Schwartz.

A Washington historical preservation organization has chosen the Blaine train depot as one of their most endangered historical properties for 2012.

The nonprofit Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has selected the Blaine train depot as one of eight historic sites across the state to be included in the trust’s 2012 list of most endangered historical properties. The trust spent the last six months or so reviewing applications sent in by local preservation advocates from communities across Washington, trust field director Chris Moore said.

The trust does not go looking for historic properties in need of assistance, but only accepts nominations from local advocates, Moore explained. The trust looks for properties that have a certain degree of support and interest from the communities in which they’re located.

“We don’t come into a community and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to list this,’” Moore said.

Two community groups in Blaine teamed up to submit the depot’s application to the trust earlier in the year. After that, the
selection process involved the trust’s board evaluating the applications and making a final decision. Moore said the trust does not disclose how many applications they receive in a given year.

Though the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has no regulatory power over what happens to the properties on the endangered list, Moore said he feels the list goes a long way toward increasing the exposure of the featured properties. Since 1992, the trust has helped bring wider attention to more than 100 endangered historical sites across the state and has worked with local advocates to figure out ways to save the endangered properties.

“We do feel the added attention can be a real benefit,” Moore said.

Since Burlington Northern Santa Fe sought permission from the city to tear down the train depot last October, numerous Blaine residents have renewed the call to restore the building and turn it into an eventual Amtrak stop. City officials from Surrey, White Rock and other lower mainland British Columbia cities have expressed strong support for an operational train stop in Blaine, while transportation advocates from Seattle are currently exploring ways to make that a reality.

To learn more about the push to save the Blaine train depot, visit