Achievements in Historic Preservation

Tacoma's Landmarks Preservation Commission and Historic Tacoma will honor outstanding achievements in Historic Preservation at a public event this Thursday. The awards to be handed out will recognize traditional preservation projects, as well as "broader efforts to revitalize Tacoma’s historic downtown through innovative programming."

  • University of Washington Tacoma’s Joy Building Renovation will be recognized for Stewardship in Historic Preservation. UWT's LEED-Platinum remodel brought the historic Pacific Avenue building back to life with classrooms and retail space. Originally built in 1892, and billed as "nearly fireproof," the interior was destroyed by a fire in 1903, but the Joy Building went on to house a series of commercial uses, including  a glove manufacturer, seed store, coffee company, machinery distributor, logging supplier and automobile dealerships. The commercial spirit of the building is carried on with Than Brothers Pho, Granola's Frozen Yogurt, and Jimmy John's sandwiches.
  • Spaceworks Tacoma's efforts towards Downtown Revitalization will be recognized for its work activating vacant retail spaces with art and creative enterprises, bringing life back to many of downtown Tacoma's historic buildings.
  • Sharon Winters will be recognized for her Leadership in Historic Preservation. Winters joined the LPC in 1999, going on in 2005 to oversee the first major overhaul of Tacoma's historic preservation codes since the 1980s. Winters also founded Historic Tacoma, a non-profit organization advocating for historic preservation in Tacoma; and worked with Tacoma School District's preservation plan.
  • The City of Tacoma’s Old Town Dock project will get recognition for Stewardship in Historic Preservation. The City's $2.3 million remodel of the dock reopened it to the public in 2013 after its closure in 2008 due to safety concerns. Originally constructed in 1873, the dock had a long history as a working dock, before becoming a public space with more recreational uses.

The public is invited to join the awards reception on Thursday, May 8 from 6-8 p.m. at B Sharp Coffee House, 706 Court C (Opera Alley). For more information on other Preservation Month activities, visit more on the honorees here

All four achievents being honored this year have not only restored pieces of Tacoma's history, these preservation efforts have opened up pieces of Tacoma's history to the public. What would you like to see honored in years to come? Maybe there's a smaller, but valuable restoration project underway, or a project you'd like to see begun...

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