On Oct. 23 community members, business owners and officials gathered inside Village Theatre-First Stage in downtown Issaquah to recognize people and businesses for their work in historic preservation. The event was the 19th annual Spellman Awards for Exemplary Achievement in Historic Preservation and it was hosted by the Downtown Issaquah Association.
Exhibits, storefronts and local historical achievements were recognized during the award ceremony.
Among the awards was Fischer Meats of Issaquah, the Sunset Garage of North Bend and Lunar Roving Vehicles of Kent.
For longer than 100 years, Fischer Meats has been an operating meat business in Issaquah’s downtown. The business was first started by John Fischer in 1910, who later passed the store down to his two sons. In 1981 Fischer Meats was passed over to Chris and Jacque Chiechi. Chris started cutting meat when he was only 14 and although the store has changed family lineage, the traditions and values of the profession remain unchanged.
The Sunset Garage in North Bend was first opened in 1922 by Harry Snyder as an auto dealership and later as a repair shop after the Great Depression. Craig Glazier of North Bend has been restoring the iconic building and bringing the 1929 storefront style back to life.
The Lunar Roving Vehicles were built in 1969-71 in Kent. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the city of Kent launched a campaign to recognize the rovers as a community landmark. Through media exposure, exhibits and events the city of Kent informed its citizens of the vital role it and Boeing played in the success of the Apollo missions.
Erica Maniez, Issaquah History Museum director said historic preservation is important as a means to establish a particular feel in a neighborhood, but more importantly it’s often a big determining factor as to why people decide to call a community their home.
“Studies have shown that areas that foster historic preservation tend to have a more robust historic downtown area,” Maniez said. Maniez thinks Issaquah’s downtown is a good example of this and she believes it’s a factor why people often use the word “charming” when describing the town.
“One of the things that historically preserved buildings do is they help create a shared vision of what the community is like, and a feeling of a shared identity” she said.