Renovated Barracks building opens doors

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The Fort Vancouver National Trust and the city of Vancouver will open the doors to the renovated Artillery Barracks building at 10:15 a.m. Friday.

Mayor Pro Tem Larry Smith will help cut the ribbon. Smith is a retired Army colonel and served at Vancouver Barracks. The Trust and the city will be joined by the National Park Service, the Washington State Historical Society and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

Free public tours of the renovated space will be offered after the ceremony, which marks a renovation of the south porch and 6,500 square feet of interior space on the first floor of the building’s east wing.

Original architectural details that were preserved include the open floor plan, white oak tongue-and-groove floors, pressed tin ceiling tiles, interior and exterior columns and steam heat radiators. Period-appropriate reproduction light fixtures were added.

The renovated space will be available to rent for private events and public programs. The space includes a board/conference room, workshop space and banquet room with catering kitchen; it is fully accessible.

When the 40,000-square-foot Artillery Barracks opened in 1904, it housed two artillery batteries, or 240 soldiers. The building has most recently served as offices for the Army, but has been vacant since the mid-1990s. The West Barracks is owned by the city of Vancouver, with the Fort Vancouver National Trust holding the lease for the buildings.