The Kulshan Club 1909
1120 Finnegan Way /  1127 11th Street

 

 
The Kulshan Club building, now located at 1120 Finnegan Way, was built in 1909 as a clubhouse for The Kulshan Club, an exclusive men’s social organization. The club incorporated in 1904 and met at the Cascade Club, another men’s group, on the top floor of the Mason Block, now Sycamore Square. In December 1908, the Club members voted to acquire land and to build their own clubhouse. In February 1909, they purchased Lot 1, Block 18 in the Town of Fairhaven from F.S. Olslager for $700 and hired Cox and Piper, Bellingham architects (who also designed the Herald and Bellingham National Bank buildings, among others) to build their clubhouse at a cost of no more than $5000. The building was completed in September 1909 at a cost of $4,428.50 without the bowling alley (which was added soon after). It was located across 12th Street from the Carnegie Library, now the Fairhaven branch of Bellingham Public Library. 

The clubhouse is a good example of Arts & Crafts bungalow style, very popular at the time. Its hilly site allowed for a floor below the entrance level; it extended an entire block in width that provided space for billiards, pool and bowling alley as well as dining and meeting rooms. The ground story exterior was clad with horizontal boards and battens embellished with wooden panels and the upper story with cedar shingles. The façade was broken up by square bays and covered porches. Arts and Crafts wallpapers and friezes decorated the interior walls and a wide, curved staircase connected the upper and lower floors.   

In the early 1930’s, the house was converted into apartments and when Finnegan Way was put through, it was moved down hill from 12th Street and Columbia Avenue to its present location. In the 1945 City Directory the house is at 1121 Finnegan Way and is divided into nine units called the Seaview Apartments. 
 Today it still houses nine apartments. This beautiful clubhouse is wedged between Fairhaven Gardens condominiums and a small strip mall. Nouvelle Vie LLC is the current owner of the building.