Tuesday, February 7, 2012
GRANDVIEW - When Prosser's Steve Bradley, known throughout the Lower Valley as a physician's assistant and co-owner of Prosser Funeral Home, saw the Grandview Herald building was listed for sale, he saw an opportunity to preserve history.
The sale of the building, owned by John Fournier Jr., was finalized Jan. 10.
"It's a historical building, which attracts me," said Bradley.
He said he believes in preserving the history of the Lower Valley. Because there are few buildings listed on the Washington State Historic Registry, one of which is the building that has housed the Grandview Herald offices for several generations, Bradley moved to secure ownership. The building was constructed in 1922 after the Grandview Herald had been without its own building for 10 years due to a fire that consumed the newspaper's former site.
The building was in 1922 considered unique to the downtown Grandview area because it stood by itself, and was registered as a historic building July 22, 1986.
For the first time, 90 years after it was constructed, the building will no longer house the community newspaper.
Staff at the paper indicated it is not yet known where the Grandview Herald will be produced.
Bradley, knowing the significance of the structure to the community, said, "It's a part of the fabric of our valley."
He said he isn't yet certain of plans for the building, but as an admitted history buff, he is attracted to its beauty and is committed to the pride in the building.
Bradley said Fournier sold only the building to him, not the newspaper. "I don't know what his plans are," he said of the former building owner.
"I am invested in the Yakima Valley, having lived in Prosser for 40 years," Bradley said.
He wants to use the building for something that will benefit Grandview and Lower Valley residents "...something in keeping with the theme (of the building)."
Bradley has a few ideas, including creating an events center with a small, cozy coffee corner.
He said, "As an associate pastor for my church I see the need for an event center available for community members at a reasonable price."
Explaining, Bradley said he has been at several events where the facilities were offered at substantial rates.
"I don't have a mortgage...I paid for the building in cash and don't have to charge unreasonable prices...and I'm not in it for the money," he said.
"It's not about me, it's about the community...my heart has always been with the community," Bradley said, stating his primary goal is to meet the needs of the residents in the Lower Valley.
Another possibility for the building, he said, would be utilizing the space for a small flea market on Saturdays. Bradley said it would be an opportunity for the community to gather, whether to sell handmade goods or to purchase them.
"Memorial services could be held in the building for those who don't want a service in a church," he said.
As for all the possibilities, Bradley is seeking input from the community and said he is seeking ideas from Grandview's EDGE (Enhancing Development of Grandview's Economy).
"The community has supported me and I want to support it," said Bradley. "I want to connect with the community members."