Some concerned area residents have started a petition to preserve the historic Masonic Retirement Home in Des Moines, and they’re seeking help.

The petition was organized and created on June 27, 2022, by Lloyd Elliott Lytle Jr., a Des Moines resident and advocate for preserving and revitalizing the Landmark on the Sound building.

“It is a magnificent building, nearly a hundred years old at the heart of Des Moines,” the petition says. “It is eligible for designation as a Historical Heritage Site by Washington State.”

You can find the petition online here, or in front of the Woodmont Library until 3:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, July 16, 2022.

“Our aim is particularly to have Des Moines residents – thousands of them – sign this petition, which we’ll be presenting to the Des Moines City Council and the owner a little bit down the line to demonstrate that there is tremendous community support for preserving and repurposing the Masonic Home,” local historian Barbara McMichael said.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Organizers are seeking volunteers to help spread their message and get residents to sign the petition, which will be communicated to the Des Moines City Council and parties involved in the preservation discussion.

“We need more people who would be willing to doorbell in their neighborhoods or the Farmers Market or the Waterland Parade or other public spots to help get the word out,” McMichael said.

McMichael assures us that only names and cities will be made public, not street addresses or emails. Privacy is respected. Emails will be used to update everyone on progress toward preservation.

“Thank you for your support of Des Moines cultural heritage for this generation and future generations!” she added.

“It’s a pity the Des Moines City Council has been instructed not to speak on this matter, but that doesn’t have to mean that the citizens of Des Moines can’t make their voices heard!”

Here’s more info:

    • There is a current application by its new owner (Zenith Properties LLC) to demolish it, with no indication of what would replace it.
    • It is in the process of a SEPA EIS study, which looks at environmental impacts of a possible demolition.
    • This building and the nature around it have been in the community longer than most people here. They are a cultural inheritance which this generation should preserve, revitalize and pass on to future generations, so a hundred years from now, they can appreciate and be inspired by the artistic, architectural splendor and beauty.
    • To volunteer, or for more info, please email [email protected] and/or [email protected].