Smouse House likely to be demolished after grant application fails


The Smouse House, home of the former Captain’s Table restaurant on South Iowa Avenue in Washington, is likely to be demolished after the Washington Chamber of Commerce was unable to obtain enough funding to renovate the site into an informational hub.

Despite securing a late surge in donations in June equaling around $750,000, the Smouse House still needed to hit their goal of $2 million to $2.5 million in overall funding to renovate the building. Once thought to be a $2 million project at most, the estimate increased substantially due to rising construction costs.

Now that the historical site will not receive the necessary grant money, the building’s survival prospects look increasingly grim.

“The chamber was really the last entity that was looking at possibly trying to save the building, and we weren’t able to do it with our nonprofit status and applying for grants,” said Michelle Redlinger, executive director for the Washington Chamber of Commerce. “My guess is that the building will not be able to remain on that spot and it will be demolished for any future development on that property.”

The building is owned by a local realtor in Washington, and although he’s looking at options to develop the space, he doesn’t have anything determined as of yet, said Ms. Redlinger.

Although the Smouse House was in need of a makeover, the community viewed the building as worth saving – due to its historical significance and its place in Washington at a high-traffic location.

But the chamber ran into some bad luck with its Riverboat Foundation grant process, a grant that would’ve resulted in an additional $750,000 to put toward the project. The grant suspended approval of new applications for about a year following COVID-19, halting any progress the Smouse House was making. Once it was finally reopened, the grant committee felt the building’s condition deteriorated too much in that time span to justify approving the grant application.

To learn more about the Smouse House property, contact Jeff Hazelett of Elliot Realty Group.