The refurbished Whatcom County Territorial Courthouse in Bellingham's Old Town might finally become open to the public, thanks to a donor who is offering a $10,000 challenge grant to help pay for a wheelchair lift for the historic building.
The building at 1308 E. St. is the oldest brick structure in Washington. It's owned by the Whatcom County Historical Society, which has raised about $500,000 to restore the building. The chairlift is needed to make the lower floor, which will be rented to community groups, accessible to people with disabilities.
The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, will donate $10,000 if $4,000 in matching money is raised, said Caroline Flickinger, chairwoman of the society's courthouse committee. Raising $4,000 by the end of June also will enable the society to receive a $7,500 grant from the county, she said.
People can send a check payable to the society to P.O. Box 2116, Bellingham, WA 98227. People also can donate gifts of appreciated stock through the society's brokerage account. For details, contact Flickinger at 360-739-7553.
In addition, the society will hold a benefit garage sale at the building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 6. People can drop off sale items there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 30 and 4 to 7 p.m. April 4 and 5.
They accept donated clothing, household items, electronics and small appliances in working condition, art, books, toys and tools, but cannot accept TVs, mattresses, paint, batteries, large appliances or large furniture.
Reach Deam Kahn at email@example.com or call 715-2291.