Some three dozen volunteers, members and public officials braved near-80-degree heat today to watch as a red ribbon was cut to officially re-dedicate one of Olympia's most famous landmarks after extensive renovations.
Mayor Cheryl Selby read an official Mayoral Proclamation declaring June 21, 2021 as The Abigail Stuart House Grand Re-Opening Day. Senator Sam Hunt, who was credited by the Woman's Club leadership as having lead legislators to fund a significant part of the remodeling costs, spoke briefly, reminiscing about how nearly every local political candidate holds their fundraising events at the building, serving "meatballs and carrot sticks" and how "nice it is to have the building protected and restored."
This most recent remodeling upgraded electrical, plumbing and heating, sound and security systems, replaced windows, refinished the antique wood floors on the main floor and provide some new window coverings. The work was paid for through combination of a state grant, contractor discounts and member contributions. After reciting the list of upgrades, Sen. Hunt said, "Now when you turn on a PA system the lights may not dim."
This is the second major building upgrade in this century. The building suffered extensive damage in the Feb. 28, 2001 Nisqually earthquake here. The lathe-and-plaster interior walls crumbled, rendering the building unusable until they were replaced with new drywall products, then painted.
The Abigail Stuart House, built in 1908, is home of the Woman's Club of Olympia, the oldest such organization on the west coast. Established in 1883 to provide a meeting place for women, the Woman's Club has provides local scholarships, recruits donations of goods to be distributed in cooperation with other non-profit organizations and amasses its members to volunteer with various projects. Together its members contributed some 4,000 hours of service in 2019.