Amount Awarded:
Funding Received:
Project Status:
 Active: Planning phase

Executive Summary

The ASUW Shell House is located on the edge of campus along the shores of Lake Washington at the eastern end of the Montlake Cut. The site has always been a gathering space. Within its walls and on the waters of Lake Washington, generations of people gathered to collaborate, celebrate and connect to the water. Generations ago, the Duwamish people would come here to portage across the narrow isthmus that spanned the waters of Lake Washington. The site’s Lushootseed name, stəx̌ʷugʷił , translates o the place to “carry a canoe,” indicating their reverence for the shores of the lake that supported their livelihood.  Today, on the site of the Historic ASUW Shell House, we continue to respect these indigenous traditions of reverence for land and water, and have new histories to add to the narrative. Following its short use as a a seaplane hangar for the U.S. Navy during WWI, it housed the UW rowing team for decades, including George Pocock’s shop, the world-renowned boat builder who built rowing shells for teams across the world.  It recently has become a legend, thanks to the book (and soon-to-be-movie, “Boys in the Boat”) that chronicled UW men’s unlikely gold victory at Hitler’s 1936 Olympic Games.

As the very first Seattle historic landmark on campus, this building with its glorious location on the shores of lake Washington will soon be renovated into a dynamic space for the campus community, with gathering spaces for students, places for events, and exhibits to illustrate its characteristics of history, sustainability, beauty and community. As the UW Historic Shell House begins to implement designs for building renovation and landscape design, and in concert with the goals the UW established as a certified ‘salmon safe’ institution, this proposal seeks to develop a feasibility study for sustainable onsite stormwater harvesting and treatment at the Shell House site.

Primary Contact:
Kathryn Rogers Merlino