By Greg Asimakoupoulos
DES MOINES, WA (JULY 6, 2015) — Covenanters from around the Seattle area participated in the ribbon-cutting dedication of the restored historic dining hall at Covenant Beach Camp last Wednesday.
\Covenant Beach Camp was the first camp and conference center of the Pacific Northwest Conference. The conference sold the camp in 1986 after 50 years of operation in order to fund purchase of what would become Cascades Camp in Yelm, Washington. It opened in 1989.
Meanwhile, the facilities of Covenant Beach were purchased by the City of Des Moines in suburban Seattle for use as a public park. The Dining Hall building has been closed since 2002 due to the Nisqually Earthquake and Des Moines Creek flood damage.
Following years of seismic reinforcement, remodeling, and bringing the campus up to code, the old tabernacle on the same property was dedicated for use as a wedding venue, concert hall, and lecture hall three years ago.
The Dining Hall (and Kaffe Stuga), which opened in 1934 and was the central gathering place for family camps and weekend retreats, was not ready for dedication until this summer. City and state officials participated in the ceremonies. Gary Peterson, who served Midway Covenant Church near Covenant Beach, brought a greeting on behalf of the Pacific Northwest Conference.
Marvel Johnson, the 20-year-old daughter of Covenant church members designed the dining hall and went on to become one of the first women to graduate from the University of Washington School of Architecture.