Monday, April 6, 2015

Nokomis Club - Take a Stand

The winds of change blow through Redmond.  You can see it everywhere, with construction piling on through the streets of the once quiet little town.  New apartments seem to be sprouting left and right, with ground floor commercial space available... but not quite filled.

The sense of community seems to have faded away, replaced by the urban center that demolishes everything in its path.  Look around Redmond now and you start realizing that it's nothing more but box shaped building after box shaped building, with varying degrees of bright, vibrant colors to clash with the dreary weather.  

Long before Redmond began its path to becoming a light version of Bellevue downtown, there was a thriving community, with people willing to help one another out in the most depressing of times.

In fact, in 1909 seven women formed the Nokomis Club, a group dedicated to providing services for the community.  In 1927, one of the members of the Club purchased the land and donated it to the Nokomis Club to build Redmond's first public library.  With the continued usage and popularity of the property, the Nokomis Club decided to expand it and build a Clubhouse to allow for more people to come by and have meetings.

Even with the Great Depression hitting America, the Nokomis Club was able to expand and build the Clubhouse for the community of Redmond to use.  The Club continued to grow and flourish, even giving scholarships for students.  When the Redmond public library moved to a larger location in 1964, the Nokomis Club was handed off to the Chamber of Commerce, continuing to be used as a building for the community, this time for the businesses growing in Redmond.

In 2012, the Redmond Chamber of Commerce agreed to a partnership with the Redmond Economic Development Alliance and Realize Redmond to form One Redmond.  The former Nokomis Club soon became home to another home for books, this time the McDonald's Book Exchange.  Unfortunately it was short lived as plans began to flourish for a new way to use the land.

And now, this land that was once donated to provide a center for the community of Redmond is in the process of being sold.  In it's place will be yet another five story residential / commercial building.  However, there is still something you can do to preserve this part of history.

If you want to take a stand against the change, help spread the word.  Dates and times for appeals are still in the midst of being scheduled.  Get in front of it, reach out to the community, write to the Redmond Reporter, and don't forget to email the mayor of Redmond at and express your concern.

- James