Artifacts Consulting conceived and produced a collaborative, documentation and interpretation approach for the former Sinclair Park Community Center, the last vestige of a vanished wartime housing project in Bremerton, Washington. A historical building documentation report was prepared for the Washington State Military Department. Artifacts integrated oral histories collected by the Black Historical Society of Kitsap County, collected from former Sinclair Park residents. Those recollections, along with historic photos and digitized ephemera, were published on CDs for distribution (CD design and graphic interface by Rusty George Design).
The stories showcase the racial tension of the time, the experiences of living apart, and the sense of community at Sinclair Park. The residents also recollect wartime work, women’s roles, and larger uncertainties balanced by day-to-day life and achievements. One of the neighborhood’s most famous former residents, Quincy Jones, recalls life there in his autobiography. (Jones practiced on the piano in the Community Center, after hours.)
Designed by the newly-formed architectural firm of Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson (NBBJ) in 1943, the Sinclair Park Community Center represented one of the first works by the Seattle-based firm that subsequently rose to international prominence. Most importantly, the Sinclair Park Community Center and the neighborhood it served were products of the Second World War. In turn, the neighborhood played a formative role for the African-American community of Bremerton and the Kitsap Peninsula. The Sinclair Park neighborhood served as wartime worker housing for primarily African-American families, most of whom had traveled from other parts of the country to work at the naval shipyard.
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2002 view of east (front) and south (end) facades. Photography by Terry Rishel.
2002 view of the Community Center's clubroom. Photography by Terry Rishel.
Digital scan of page A-3 of the original architectural drawings for the Community Center.
Historic site plan of Sinclair Park.
1940s aerial view of Bremerton.