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Eastside Heritage Center Welcomes Josh Gannis As It's Next Executive Director!

Executive Director

Eastside Heritage Center (EHC) is pleased to announce the selection of Josh Gannis as its next Executive Director. Josh will lead EHC in their mission to preserve and share the history of East King County with the community. He will join the team on August 2, 2017. The selection was made after a nine month period of extensive strategic planning and regional searching.

Josh comes to EHC with an extensive and diverse background in leading museum and educational non-profit organizations. After earning a B.A. degree in History at Central Connecticut State University, and a Master's in U.S. Constitutional History from San Francisco State University, he comes to EHC with more than thirteen years of experience in both large and small scale education, and culturally focused non-profit organizations.

EHC is thrilled for the experience and knowledge he will bring, especially in outreach programming. He comes from The Mountaineers as the Youth Education Manager, and served prior to that as the Program Director at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center for their partnership program with the Pacific Science Center and City of Bellevue. For over seven years, he served as the Associate Director of the Crissy Field Center of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, where he spear-headed a nationally acclaimed program designed to engage underserved residents of the San Francisco Bay community with the natural and cultural resources of the National Park. His work at the Crissy Field Center helped the National Park Service in the Pacific Region to create more inclusive programming and outreach strategies.

EHC invites all to join them in welcoming Josh as he begins his new adventure here. Josh can be contacted at

Winters House Closure Announcement

In preparation for the construction of Sound Transit’s East Link light rail line, the City of Bellevue has closed the Winters House for approximately four years. Sound Transit anticipates construction of the South Bellevue segment of East Link to begin as early as January 2017. The rail line will run on the east side of Bellevue Way SE, dropping down into a covered trench as it passes in front of the Winters House.
The Winters House was built in 1929 in Spanish Eclectic style for $32,000 by Frederick and Cecilia Winters. In the late 1980s, the Bellevue Historical Society worked with the City of Bellevue to restore the structure and subsequently list it on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1992, the City and EHC have partnered to provide programming, exhibits and public access to the historic site.

Eastside Heritage Center’s archive and research center are currently located within the Winters House, but will be relocated for the duration of the closure. In addition, all furnishings in the House will be put into secure, climate-controlled storage, until the site re-opens to the public after the construction of East Link. For research inquiries and public access to Eastside Heritage Center’s archive and artifact collection, please call (425) 450-1049 or email

EHC has worked with representatives from Sound Transit, the City of Bellevue and the State’s Historic Preservation Office, to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to protect the structure during construction. These measures include:
·  Frequent city inspections;
·  Monitoring devices to detect ground movements;
·  On-site evaluation of excavation and construction by geotechnical engineers; and
·  Construction barrier and dust control measures around the house.

For questions related to the East Link project, contact Marie Jensen with the City of Bellevue at (425) 452-2064 or

Heritage Benefit Dinner

A warm thank you to all who supported the 10th Annual Heritage Benefit Dinner on February 8th, 2017 at the Meydenbauer Center. Your generosity raised over $93,000 towards the stewardship of Eastside history.

Journey Stories

At Eastside Heritage Center’s annual Bellevue Strawberry Festival in Crossroads Park, members of the community engage directly in the preservation and interpretation of Eastside history by sharing their “journey stories” with us. We hope you enjoy these “Birth Place” segments from 2011 and 2012, as introductions to the diversity of stories collected. These video oral history projects were made possible through the support of 4Culture, the City of Bellevue and Humanities Washington.

Journey Stories Segment One - . this is a 12-minute segment hosted on YouTube.

2012 Birth Place Segment Click here to view on YouTube.

2011 Birth Place Segment Click here to view on YouTube.

Eastside Heritage Center featured in Seattle Times
Eastside Living Story   Read the article here.

Eastside Heritage Center Announces Endowment Fund
We are excited to announce that Eastside Heritage Center has started an Endowment Fund.  It has been launched with a generous donation from the estate of long-time EHC supporters Paul and Reda Vander Hoek.  The Board has discussed making further contributions to the Fund with various one-time income sources.

We hope that our members, friends and supporters will consider contributions to EHC’s Endowment.  While we are very dependent on the generosity of our members for our annual operating budget, there is also room to help ensure the long-term financial health of EHC.

If you have questions about the Endowment, please contact Lexi at 425-450-1049 or email

The Heritage Reflector is Going Digital
Change is coming to Eastside Heritage Center’s newsletter in 2011! The Heritage Reflector will cease its hard-copy publication following the March issue. Beginning in June and going forward, issues will be available on our website and via email distribution. This change will not only save valuable hours for EHC staff and volunteers, the money we save in postage and materials costs can be used to support our programs and collection. If you’d like to sign up to receive the digital Heritage Reflector, send an email to and include the subject line “Subscribe to Heritage Reflector.” If you have any questions, contact Lexi at 425-450-1049.

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