Hori Bathhouse Auburn, Washington
The bathhouse was constructed in 1930 by Schigeichi Hori for his family, when they lived in the adjacent Neely Mansion. The tiny wood frame building was used for daily bathing and laundry activities. As noted in the King County Landmark nomination, it is the only known Japanese bathhouse left in the White River Valley, which once had a large Japanese-American farming community, and where bathhouses were once ubiquitous. After years of changed tenancy and ownership of the mansion, the bathhouse was relocated in the 1980s and used as a shed and a poultry roost. In 1998, after years of neglect, it was returned to its original site and conceptual plans were developed to restore it as an interpretative exhibit, but the loss of interior building fabric left many questions as to its original configuration.
In 2014 BOLA provided a condition assessment of the bathhouse and assisted the Historic Association with research and documentation toward its preservation. Funds from a King County 4Culture grant allowed BOLA to continue with design documents for stabilization, reroofing, siding repairs, new framing, and reconstruction of the interior. The project was completed in 2016. In that year, the project won a King County Spellman Award for Exemplary Achievement in Historic Preservation, and Washington Museum Association’s Award of Preservation Excellence.