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Fred Lind Manor Celebrates 80 Years of Serving Seattle’s Older Adults
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Fred Lind Manor Celebrates 80 Years of Serving Seattle’s Older Adults

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Jun 07, 2024

On June 5th, Fred Lind Manor is celebrating their 80th anniversary and honoring an incredible legacy of service to Seattle’s older adults.   It’s a legacy that has a rich history of being innovative, community-minded, and forward thinking.

Beginning in 1942, a group from the Baptist Conference saw a need for a family-like environment to assist and house, what could be described in those times as, “the elderly.”  With social security not yet in place, older adults without resources needed a community designed to enable an active lifestyle, while offering light assistance when needed.  Alternative retirement options available during these times were highly institutional and catered to bedridden older adults.  With a vision to offer retired missionaries a high quality of life, an independent committee was formed called the Baptist Rest Home Association, lead by Mr. Fred Lind, Mrs. Malmberg and Mrs. B.H. Miller.  In 1944 they were able to fundraise and purchase a mansion on Capitol Hill for $10,000, formally establishing the Baptist Retirement Home.  And it’s clear their vision solved a great need, as soon the mansion, which could accommodate 37 residents, had a long waitlist.

As the decades moved on, the Board acquired the neighboring mansions, eventually owning the entire block along 17th and Howell to respond to the growing need, while also remodeling to enhance community amenities and remain steadfast in their commitment to serve older adults.  They continued to be a front-runner in Seattle, pioneering the assisted living model, long before options for healthy and graceful aging even exited.  But as time took its toll on the campus of combined mansions, the Board, then headed by Bob Smythe, made a bold strategic decision to rebuild.

In 1987, the construction of the new campus, was complete. The building, which included 82 residential units, is still in service today.  It was named The Fred Lind Manor, to honor Mr. Lind’s leadership, vision, and dedication of resources. 

Fred Lind Manor’s legacy of innovation continued as the single-site nonprofit community weathered recessions, increased competition and Seattle’s changing demographics. Always trail-blazing through changing times, in 2014 the Board made another bold decision to affiliate with Transforming Age, a Pacific Northwest-based nonprofit senior living operator with a like-minded mission to serve seniors.  The strategic affiliation allowed the Fred Lind Board members, who were also growing older, to retire from their responsibilities, while simultaneously providing a network of support and resources for the community to remain competitive and sustainable.  Transforming Age reinvested in the community, converting the unused basement into valuable amenity spaces and remodeling apartments to market standards. 

The June 5th event celebrating Fred Lind Manor’s 80-year legacy is sure to be special, with past executive directors dating back to the 1990’s in attendance and a special honor being given to residents who have lived at Fred Lind Manor for over 20 years and long tenured team members.  Kenny Harrell has been a key member of the culinary team for 22 years and will be recognized along with Zahra Mahamud who has served the residents of Fred Lind for 23 years. 

“Kenny and Zahara are testaments to our people- the residents, the team members, the board members – that have ignited our community and enabled us to thrive throughout the decades,” says Mari Harrell, the current Executive Director at Fred Lind. “We are so proud to honor our 80 years of service and a legacy that continues to enable older adults to live their best lives and be a vital resource to the Seattle neighborhood.”

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