Demolition on Granary clears way for waterfront construction

Demolition of an annex on the backside of the Granary Building on Bellingham’s waterfront started Tuesday morning, June 14.

The work marked the beginning of what will be an extensive remodel of the historic structure, which was once used by a thriving Whatcom County egg and chicken cooperative in the first half of the 20th century.

John Muenscher of J.T. Muenscher, an Everson contractor, was working to carefully take down the annex so concrete blocks and wood could be recycled afterward.

Around 11:30 a.m., Muenscher was clearing the spaces around the first of several large solid wood beams so he could try to take it down in one piece.

“I try to do something with ‘em even if I have to give ‘em away,” he said.

He has sold similar items to people who are interested in reusing them in other projects.

In addition to taking down the annex, Muenscher was slated to take down a wooden canopy over a loading dock on the southwest side of the structure. In all, the work was expected to take about a day or two.

After that demolition, work will proceed to internal structural repairs and the stripping out of rotten timber, along with other steps needed for the renovation, according to architect John Reid.

The building will get a new life with help from Reid, working with developer Harcourt Developments.

In its new form, the generally three-story building (the tower has five) will be renovated to include restaurant space, stores, office space and public access to views of the waterfront.

Port and Bellingham officials created this promotional video to explain the broader waterfront redevelopment plans:

Samantha Wohlfeil: 360-715-2274, @SAWohlfeil