Olympia's Bigelow House takeover by state put on hold

The State Parks and Recreation Commission has stepped back from plans to take over Olympia's oldest house, citing budget constraints.

Local history buffs were hopeful that giving the house to the state, plus $100,000 in repair funding set aside by the Legislature this year, would guarantee a future for the Bigelow House.

"We thought everything was golden. The Legislature did indeed appropriate that money, and we have been working with state parks," said Karen Johnson, director of the Bigelow House museum. "Then of course — boom — all the problems with the state budget, and the deficit."

The parks commission has decided it can't afford to take on a 150-year-old historic property at the same time it's making deep cuts to existing parks and services.

"We don't know what's going on with our budget, and historic places are very expensive," said Virginia Painter, spokeswoman for the commission.

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