The end may be near for a quaint little stone cottage on the shores of Puget Sound.
Nearly a hundred years ago, Eva Falk and her mother dragged handful after handful of beach stones up from Alki Beach to a little plot of land, constructing a squat little cabin just up the shore. Eva bartered with homeless neighbors to build the house, offering them meals in exchange for their construction work, and found stained glass to install in the windows.
Now it’s facing demolition in January, with Chainqui Development planning to knock it over in favor of new housing unless preservationists can come up with $110,000 to lift the building up, carry it away, and put it down … somewhere. They haven’t figured out where yet.
To be fair, the Stone Cottage is in terrible shape, Seattle desperately needs more housing, and nothing and nobody lasts forever. But it sure is cute, and it would be a shame to lose a pretty little building. For now, the hope is that fans of the building can raise enough cash to move it onto some unoccupied land on a temporary basis while they search for a long-term home. A house-moving company says that it should be a relatively straightforward process, but storing an entire building for an unknown amount of time isn’t cheap.
For many, the little house represents one woman’s resiliency during the greatest economic collapse of the last century, and the ability of a community to band together when times are tough. “The rocks retain the memories of the Duwamish people,” says Ken Workman, a descendant of Chief Seattle.
But for developers, the house represents something more: fifteen condos and twenty-three parking spaces.
Now with the wrecking ball perilously close, time is growing short for the building that survived nearly a century. Chainqui has pledged $20,000 to help move the structure, and a GoFundMe organized by neighbors has raised a few thousand more—now there’s just a little bit of time left to make up the difference.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Chainqui’s total assets are valued at around eight billion dollars.