State Parks restores Moran’s Mount Constitution lookout, emphasizes safety, historic preservation
Working with local contractors and preservation experts, Washington State Parks made extensive repairs to the Mount Constitution Lookout Tower at Moran State Park. This iconic and well-visited tower is a key symbol of the park and of Orcas Island itself.
Known for its near-360-degree views of the San Juan Islands, the historic lookout was designed in 1934 by famed architect Ellsworth Storey and built by the Civilian Conservation Corps soon after.
In accordance with state and national historic preservation standards, Parks removed stones on the second terrace and numbered each stone according to its place on the building. The team, which included expert stone masons and wood crafters, built a reinforced concrete wall and floor slabs, turned the stones into 4-inch veneers and replaced them in their original positions. They used the original species of wood to restore the tower’s third level summit house.
The agency also installed six new interpretive panels on the second and upper terraces, and added three new exhibits inside.
The restoration was completed over three months and cost $238,000, funded by Parks’ capital budget.