The Charles Pink House stands proud and elegant, on the corner of Harrison and Lawrence, in Port Townsend. The Pink House is a prized piece of Port Townsend’s Uptown National Historic District, but it came perilously close to being demolished.
The house was built by Horace Tucker in 1868 and purchased by Charles Pink in 1874. The house remained in the Pink family until 1966.
From 1966, the home passed through a succession of owners until it was purchased by the City of Port Townsend in 1981. The City planned to relocate the house to make way to expand the historic Carnegie Library next door. After years of debate, the City decided to keep the house in place if a tenant could be found willing to renovate the house.
The Pink House had been neglected for so long it was in total disrepair. When a tenant could not be found, demolition seemed likely.
In 1993, Bob Little stepped forward and made the City and offer: lease him the ground for twenty five years and he would restore the house and lease it to commercial tenants.
It took months to work through red tape before the renovation could begin. Construction began by shoring up the house. Then the house was gutted, plumbing was replaced, and new walls were erected. In the process, architectural details were discovered which had been lost in remodels over the past one hundred years.
The old fireplace was brought back to life. Beautiful old archways and plaster details were discovered. Victorian bays added in the late 1880’s were left in place, but the Art and Crafts style porch – added in one of the numerous remodels through the years – was eliminated.
Drawing details from old photos and the Rothschild House (also built by Horace Tucker) as a pattern, the porch was restored, with the porch railings painstakingly reproduced.
The restoration met both Washington State Archaeological and Department of Interior Guidelines. The Jefferson County Historical Society awarded this joint public-private partnership the Mary Johnson Preservation Award for contributing to the architectural heritage of the Port Townsend Area.
The Pink House is special to Port Townsend because of its late Greek Revival architectural style and it is one of the few houses built in the 1860’s that survives in Washington.