Inslee’s Proposed Budget Includes Funding For Lewis County Courthouse


Lewis County’s 1927 historic courthouse — where county officials still work — is one step closer to receiving a grant of approximately $400,000. As county commissioners noted this week, Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed capital budget for 2021-2023 includes the funding.

“This courthouse will be celebrating 100 years in 2027, so it’s wonderful to know that we continue to take care of that wonderful asset that was built years ago,” Commissioner Edna Fund told The Chronicle. “It’s not a done deal, but it’s close.”

The courthouse, which was added to the state and national historic registry in 2014, features Beaux Arts architecture, a French style that took grip in the United States in the late 19th century. Discover Lewis County describes the style as “a symbol of corporate wealth and civic pride.”

The county’s grant request was written by Lewis County facility manager Doug Carey, and later approved by a statewide committee on historic courthouses under the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation that Fund serves on. The committee approves grant requests and presents them to the governor. 

“Doug Carey, a seasoned gentlemen in this arena, always puts together really good grants,” Fund said. 

At the beginning of 2020, the courthouse was awarded just over $100,000 from the same grant program, which was used for exterior masonry work and to replace basement doors.

The grant money can be used for a variety of projects, and the implementation plan has not been written out by the county yet, although Fund noted that it could be used for anything from repairing weather damage to making the building more accessible while “maintaining the historic character.”

The governor’s proposed budget is just that — a proposal. The next step is for the legislature to approve the funding.