The city has more than a dozen large, well-preserved buildings, including the Port Townsend Public Library (a 1913 Carnegie Library), the Federal Building (now commonly known as the city's post office), the Rose Theatre, and the Elks Lodge, which now houses Silverwater Cafe.Fort Worden, now a state park, has retained some of its pre-World War I architecture built when it was a military facility.By the late 19th century, Port Townsend was a well-known seaport, very active and banking on the future.

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It was restored in 2003 by the Jefferson County Historical Society.

the Rhododendron Festival, and the annual blues and jazz festival.

Since the 1970s new residents, including many retirees, have moved to town.

The waterfront retail district has restaurants, services, and tourist destinations.

It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

Port Townsend is noted for its Victorian houses and significant historical buildings.Since 1999, the city has had an annual international film festival in September.Other cultural programming, some at Fort Worden, now a state park, includes a Wooden Boat Festival, writers' conference, and blues and jazz festivals, in addition to music, dance, and live theatre performances.(The Milwaukee Road built a short spur to the pulpmill and barged cars over from Anacortes.)Over the decades that followed, Port Townsend maintained its economic stability in a variety of ways, including the development of artillery fortifications at Fort Worden.Many people left the area and many buildings were abandoned.It is the county seat and only incorporated city of Jefferson County. It was immediately recognized as a good safe harbor, although strong south winds and poor holding ground often make small-craft anchorage problematic off the town's waterfront.