Local developer Ebenal General restores landmark buildings.
Bellingham, WA – The year was 1884, a time of transformation in the sleepy port town of Bellingham. Gold had been discovered in British Columbia, bringing thousands of adventurers, free spirits, and entrepreneurs to the area, which served as a main entry point to Canada’s Fraser River gold fields.
Although gold was the initial attraction, another natural resource made an impact on the town–coal. Discovered off the northeastern shore of Bellingham Bay, coal soon became a major industry, and the Bellingham Bay coal mine grew to be one of the largest on the West Coast, producing over 200,000 tons of coal annually at its peak.
At the center of this booming mining town was the Fairhaven District, and at the center of Fairhaven were the grand, historic Waldron and Young buildings. Originally designed as mixed-use residential and commercial properties, these buildings had started to show their wear after many years. In fact, they may have been relegated to the history books if not for the efforts of David Ebenal and his team.
Dave Ebenal and Ebenal General Inc. have a long history of their own in Bellingham, having spearheaded several high-profile projects in the area, including the Bellingham International Airport, the Squalicum Harbor Coast Guard Station and the Whatcom Museum for History & Art.
“Our goal in restoring the Waldron and Young buildings was to maintain the vibrant sense of community envisioned by its original developers in the Gold Rush era,” says Ebenal.
Now, as in their prime, the buildings serve as places where people gather to work, shop, live, and play. The Waldron and Young buildings have again become sought-after local properties. They are among just a few Bellingham buildings that have seen increased per-square-foot sales prices over the last few years.
Ebenal’s attention to period detail, combined with highly modern construction methods and materials, give the Waldron and Young a sense of timelessness that is as unique as Old Bellingham itself. The buildings’ retail tenants, like treasured Village Books, serve as living testaments to a way of life that is both extremely traditional and exquisitely modern.
To learn more about the Waldron and Young Buildings, and other ways the Ebenal Group is preserving living history in Bellingham, visit www.ebenal.com.