Old Hotel to get Transplant from Other Historic Kent Building
Former C.L. Gougler headquarters, to be demolished, will donate woodwork, fixtures
One soon to be demolished historic Kent landmark will help give new life to another historic Kent building.
Some light fixtures and oak molding and trim from the former C.L. Gougler and Machine Co. headquarters on Lake Street — now vacant and owned by Furukawa Rock Drill USA — will be salvaged from the building before it's demolished and used to restore parts of the old Kent hotel.
Jeff Crane, president of Furukawa Rock Drill USA, said he was happy to donate the usable materials to Ron Burbick, the owner of the old hotel, to be used in its restoration.
"The architectural period is similar," Crane said.
The old hotel was built in 1919, and Crane said the Gougler headquarters, built by Charles L. Gougler, rose around the same time as the hotel.
Crane said he wanted to offer to Burbick whatever could be salvaged from the building, which he hopes to have crews razing before the end of 2011. Furukawa's Japanese parent company has given the go ahead for demolition of several buildings on the Lake Street property. FRD bought the remnants of the Gougler company and its complex in 1990.
The Gougler building itself is historic for its role as one of Kent's largest manufacturers. At its peak, C.L. Gougler and Machine operated 10 different plants across Kent and employed 1,500 people.
Burbick said he will be able to repurpose most of the Gougler building's art-deco light fixtures for the old hotel.
"We’re really going to totally disassemble Charlie Gougler’s offices, conference room and another office over there," Burbick said. "That will become the new home of the (Kent) chamber of commerce."
Burbick said the chamber, which plans to relocate to the old hotel once restoration is finished, was going to move into three offices almost the exact same size as the Gougler offices he's salvaging.
"So it’s really a perfect fit," he said. "These three offices are really nice oak."
Crane said he'd like to send along a framed portrait or sketch of Gougler with the woodwork so the donation is noted as part of the restoration.
The salvage-to-restoration effort is one Burbick would like to see duplicated as he works to restore the old hotel, which he officially acquired from the city last week.
"We hope to be able to use as much as we can from wherever, as long as it fits, obviously," he said. "There’s two or three other pieces of buildings that I have my eye on that we hope to be able to take and salvage and use in the old hotel."
As part of the hotel sale, Burbick said he would invest between $500,000 and $750,000 of his own money in the building, which will be owned by his non-profit. The actual restoration is estimated to cost around $3.6 million — excluding purchase price — and Burbick hopes to raise $3 million from other non-profit and community based organizations, and a fund also will be established at Home Savings Bank so residents can donate any amount to the restoration.
Burbick will make his first official, public request for support for the restoration at a Kent Rotary meeting today.
"Surprisingly I’ve already raised over a quarter of a million dollars ... I can’t divulge the donors yet," he said.