Fil-Am community hall in Wapato, Washington declared a historic site
A 71-year-old Filipino American community hall in Wapato, Washington was unanimously given Historic Site status Sept. 1 by the state’s Advisory Committee on Archeology and Historic Preservation.
The Filipino Hall of Yakima Valley in Wapato, Washington “was the first Filipino hall in the United States built from the ground up for the express purpose of being a community hall,” said Dorothy Cordova, executive director of the national office of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS).
So far, the only hall given national registration is the Filipino Hall on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, which was originally a lumber mill.
The historic site designation resulted from a two-year collaboration between the Yakama Valley Chapter 26, and the state agency, Department of Archeology and History Preservation (DAHP).
Spencer Howard of DAHP, Dorothy Cordova and Maria Batayola of the Nations FANHS Office coordinated the effort, while Lorena Silva and Ray Pascua of Yakima FANHS, organized local support for research for the filing documents. Jim Tabayoyon, current President of the Filipino American Community of the Yakima Valley, thanked them for the successful effort.
The DAHP committee also unanimously passed a second resolution recommending the Filipino Hall of the Yakima Valley be registered as a national historic site by the United States Office of History Site Registrations.