Another piece of history gone. That is the sentiment shared by Tim Kezele after the demolition of the historic Wauna post office on Oct. 16.
The building was gone in less than an hour, leaving no sign it ever existed.
“It (the building absence) takes the character away from this area,” said Kezele, a member of the Friends of Wauna Post Office, a small group of Key Pen residents who fought for more than two years to save the historic building. “There are not too many old buildings (commercial) left around here. It’s sad.”
Located on the Purdy Sand Spit, the building was owned by the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department. The county had expressed its desire to give the park to the Key Peninsula Metro Parks District. The metro parks board has said previously it would not be interested in the property as long as the building remained standing.
Kezele said it was the FWPO who got the ball rolling and even had the support of the Key Peninsula Business Association and Pierce County Councilmember Terry Lee.
“We had a pretty good momentum,” he said.
Kezele said neighbors wanted to see it demolished because the building was an eyesore and a hazard. The last straw for the post office and the group was a public meeting in September 2005. After that meeting, the group gave up.
The FWPO group had an engineer inspect the building. The engineer found the building still had structural integrity.
“We had Terry Lee behind us and with some dollars and materials to fix it up,” Kezele said.
The building, also known as the Goldman/White store, was on the county’s historic register. According to Kezele, it has been a landmark for the Key Pen for a long time. Last spring, the county was successful in removing the building from the registry and securing the paperwork for the demolition.
Kezele, who also served as the president of the KP Historical Society, was given permission by the county parks superintendent to remove any items from the post office. He removed two hot water tanks, several storefront windows and doors.
“Someday, if we ever have room (in the museum), we might use the items for an exhibit,” he said.
Nancy Lind, who spearheaded the Friends of Wauna Post Office group, was out of the country and could not be reached for comment prior to press time.