Fire Bell Tower

Port Townsend City Hall

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Port Townsend City Hall

City Hall Drawing

In 1891 architects Batwell & Patrick designed a combination fire department, police courtroom, jail and city offices to serve the needs of a city of 20,000.

Port Townsend City Hall Post Card

A multi-purpose civic structure, City Hall once housed administrative offices, council chambers, a courtroom, jail and fire hall. Completed in 1892 - the year before the town went bust - City Hall was often in a state of disrepair.

In the 1930s, substantial maintenance was completed under the Civil Works Administration. In 1945 a violent wind storm severely damaged the building’s towers and third floor roof structure.

As the fire and police departments, police court, jail and administrative offices moved on to more modern facilities, the museum expanded into many of the spaces left behind.

By the end of the 20th century, years of exposure to weather, earthquakes, and stop-gap repairs left the stone, woodwork, plaster and brick dangerously deteriorated.

United by the understanding that a city loses its soul if it loses its center, the City of Port Townsend and the Jefferson County Historical Society raised funds to restore the building in 2005. At the same time, the city constructed a new adjoining building. The addition literally supports the old. Seismic bracing and mechanical systems intermingle to tie the two together.

The restored City Hall now stands as a distinct focal point in Port Townsend’s National Register Landmark Historic District. It is a symbol of our town’s stewardship and pride in heritage. City Hall continues to be the place where we come together to chart our town’s future and to remind us of its past.

Port Townsend’s city council still meets upstairs, making this the oldest continuously operating city hall building in the State of Washington.