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"IS THE HALLER HOUSE STILL ALIVE?"

Wondering about the fate of Coupeville's 1866 Haller House?
You are not alone!

In our last long-ago update, we informed our followers that the National Park Service (NPS) was exploring ways they could help rescue the Haller House from its slow descent into rubble. That favorable outcome is still very much a possibility!

However, as you may have heard, the wheels of government can move slowly. Patience is the most important tool we possess.

The aid that NPS is prepared to offer Historic Whidbey is two-fold:

  1. Purchase the waterfront parcel on the north side of Front Street outright.
  2. Purchase a preservation easement on the house and house-lot that places restrictions on their possible development. This will insure that the historic character of the house and grounds is preserved, AND it will lower the market value of the site so that Historic Whidbey can afford to purchase it.

In September the appraiser contracted by NPS to determine the value of the property made his official site visits and we anticipate the full report will be submitted to NPS in November. That appraisal will undergo rather rigorous review and editorial process by the Park Service before final values of both the land and the easement are determined.

Lastly, a non-negotiable offer will be made to the current owners of the house: NPS will purchase the waterfront parcel, and Historic Whidbey will purchase the house & house-lot, at the post-easement value that is determined by NPS. It will then be up to the current owners to either accept or reject the combined offers.

Though the process is slow, progress is being made.

Two things weigh on our minds while we wait:

  1. Once the value is established, will Historic Whidbey have enough funds in hand to move immediately towards purchase? Or will we need to launch a quick campaign to raise any shortfall?
  2. What steps can we take immediately to fix the roof, which, as you may know, has deteriorated significantly over the last year. We will not be in a position to replace it before the coming rainy season has commenced.

Over the course of 2017, our board decided that we would not return to fundraising until we could promise our donors that purchase not only could, but would, be accomplished. We hope you have enjoyed the respite! With any luck, success will bring an end to that hiatus.

We are so grateful to all of you for the support you have given us - both emotional and financial - over the last five years of our campaign. Should our efforts finally come to fruition, it will be thanks to your generosity, faith and optimism. It takes a village to save our vanishing heritage - Thank you for being part of our village.

Please feel free to contact Lynn Hyde with any questions or concerns you may have about this process. (206) 619-4427 or

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Snatching Whidbey’s Heritage from the Jaws of Oblivion – One Treasure at a Time.

Historic Preservation is more than just freezing architecture in time.

It means rescuing our region’s fading stories of origin.

Each historic house threshold leads into a theater, where the dreams, heartbreaks and dramas of those who founded our community are revealed to us.

Take a moment to learn about the vision of Historic Whidbey’s inaugural project – the Haller House Territorial Heritage Center.

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TERRITORIAL HERITAGE CENTER
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