Nearly two dozen icons of Puget Sound's past will split $750,000 in grants as runners-up in a public contest to boost historic preservation in the Seattle area.

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A church on rails will get restored seats. A Whidbey Island ferry house will have its front porch rebuilt. A lighthouse that for decades guided ships past the mouth of Hood Canal will see its lantern room repaired.

Nearly two dozen icons of Puget Sound’s past will split $750,000 in grants as runners-up in a public contest to boost historic preservation in the Seattle area.

The Point No Point Lighthouse and the Chapel Car 5 “Messenger of Peace” in Snoqualmie — one of the last remaining 19th century mobile churches — were among the big winners, with grants of $100,000 and $50,000 respectively.

Seven other projects will also receive $50,000 to $100,000 in grant money. Another 14 will collect $5,000 apiece.

The contest was sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation, but area residents were able to vote on how best to divvy up some of the $1 million in grants.

The first place winners — Town Hall on Seattle’s First Hill and a 136-foot wooden ship called Schooner Adventuress — were chosen by the public in a campaign that ended last month. Each was awarded $125,000.

The contest started with a list of several hundred proposed restoration projects, which were narrowed down to 25. After the public voting, a committee of local business people and civic leaders chose how best to divide up the remaining winnings.

Other projects receiving large grants include: Skansie Brothers Net Shed, a blue-sided red-roofed warehouse in Gig Harbor where fishermen once stored and mended their nets, which will get $100,000; Washington Hall, a former fraternal hall for Danish immigrants in Seattle that went on to host concerts and speakers from Duke Ellington to Martin Luther King Jr., which will receive $90,000; and Seattle’s Japanese Cultural and Community Center, location of one of the nation’s oldest Japanese language schools.

Part of the idea behind the contest was to engage the public more in historic preservation, and connect projects with potential future donors.

Seattle was the fifth city to host the contest, following Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and New Orleans.

Craig Welch: 206-464-2093 or cwelch@seattletimes.com