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DES seeking buyers for Press Houses on Capitol Campus

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OLYMPIA -- DES is seeking buyers to purchase, remove and relocate two residential structures on the West Capitol Campus – the  Carlyon House (201 Sid Snyder Ave SW) and Ayer House (1417 Columbia St SW), commonly known as the Press Houses.

DES has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP). The window of opportunity to purchase, remove and relocate the Press Houses is finite. Proposals from potential buyers are due Aug. 3. Per legislation, the Press Houses must be removed from the Capitol Campus by Dec. 31, 2021.

If there are no proposals that meet the RFP criteria, the process will be terminated and DES will move forward with preparing the site to accommodate Newhouse Building Replacement construction, which includes demolition of the Press Houses. Newhouse construction is part of Legislative Campus Modernization (LCM), a series of projects located on different sites on the West Capitol Campus.

The Legislature authorized DES to sell the houses after members of the public expressed interest in preserving the residences – as long as the state is not responsible for any expenses relating to their sale, removal and relocation.

Proposals will be evaluated for how well they meet 10 criteria within the RFP, including: 

  • Documentation of proposer’s ability to pay for the purchase and transport and to fully execute the terms of the contracts,
  • Project schedule demonstrating the proposer’s ability to remove and relocate building(s) by Dec. 31, 2021,
  • A City of Olympia-reviewed transportation plan identifying potential route to new site.
  • Presentation of work plans to minimize health, safety, and environmental risks to state of Washington during and after the removal and relocation process, and
  • Credentials for project team members, as well as current Certificate of Insurance for all involved construction and/or transport vendors.

About the Carlyon House

The Carlyon House was built in 1923 by P.H. and Edna Carlyon as their personal residence. P.H. Carlyon served in both the Washington State House and Senate. The home was designed by Wohleb and Stanley, Architects who also designed 12 homes in the South Capitol neighborhood, the State Capital Museum and several buildings on the Capitol Campus. The state of Washington purchased the property in 1971.

About the Ayer House

The Ayer House was commissioned by investor Louise Hanson, wife of Olympia Oyster Company president O.C. Hanson, in 1937 for $675. It was designed by Elizabeth Ayer, the first woman graduate of the University of Washington’s School of Architecture and the first licensed woman architect in the state. The state of Washington purchased the property in 1970.

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