No More Graffiti for Broadway Graffiti Garage

Here's some bad news for fans of the Broadway Grafitti garage: as of November 1, it will just be a garage.

‘Graffiti Garage’ on Broadway Reverts Back Exclusively to Original Use as a Commercial Parking Facility on Nov. 1
-- Compliance and Enforcement Efforts Begin Nov. 4 --  

In response to feedback from neighboring businesses and concerns regarding safety and liability, the private property owner of the "Graffiti Garage" at 723-737 Broadway in Tacoma has made the decision to limit its use to that of a commercial parking garage, effective Nov. 1, 2013.  City compliance and enforcement efforts related to this decision will begin on Nov. 4, 2013. The private property owner will work with the Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area and the City of Tacoma in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition. 

"We thank the private property owner of this space for making it available in 2008 and for sharing in Tacoma’s vision of creating a place for the expression of a unique urban art form cultivated by some very talented and diverse local artists," said Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride. "Unfortunately – as referenced in a public notice issued by the private property owner – as the popularity of this place grew over the years, it also morphed into a very popular gathering place for events that have far exceeded its intended use, in both scale and purpose. Community conversations are underway to find alternate spaces for our local artists to consider as they share in efforts to help realize our joint vision for a safer, more beautiful and more vibrant Tacoma." 

Effective Nov. 1, 2013, the garage's hours of operation as a commercial parking facility for monthly parking and validated vehicles will be Monday - Friday, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Vehicles are not allowed to park there on Saturdays and Sundays, and vehicles left in the garage after 8 p.m. on weekdays, or any time on weekends, may be impounded at the vehicle owner’s expense. 

Any private individual who is interested in hosting a space for public art is invited to contact Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride at or (253) 591-5192.

What other "alternate spaces" could fill a similar function? Would you offer up your walls up to the soon to be canvas-less graffiti artists? How about your neighbors' walls?

Photo credit: Thanks to Ingrid for the garage interior pictures.

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Jenny JRegistered

This makes me sad. I don’t know what businesses were complaining, but I think any retail establishments benefit from added foot traffic because of people coming to see the garages. Such a shame. I hope someone in Tacoma has a space that can host the artists - and they are artists.

October 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Bring it. Out of attempted code enforcement comes art.

October 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I am disappointed in Tacoma and the property owner’s decision. This is a great place to just come look at the art, as well as for photographers to use as a backdrop. I agree with the writer above who said area businesses only benefit from added foot traffic, If I had never passed the garage - I would have never looked around their stores.

December 19, 2013 at 10:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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RESOLVED: Graffiti is not a necessary element for motivating conspicuous consumption.

December 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Fred Davie

“Community conversations are underway to find alternate spaces for our local artists to consider as they share in efforts to help realize our joint vision for a safer, more beautiful and more vibrant Tacoma.”

Whose “joint vision” are we talking about? Are we including the huge segment of the local population which prefers buildings to be clean of graffiti and other “artistic” scrawlings? Are the taxpayers required to fund any aspect of this attempt to create a “beautiful and more vibrant Tacoma?” How about a referendum on graffiti?

December 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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sarah Rodin

when I was younger I always went down town to go see the graffiti garage and one day I felt like I would be one of those awesome artists who spent time on their graffiti and let people see it for how cool and artistic it really is. Now I look back and I can still remember the smiles on peoples faces as they went by looking at each and every one. Every time you would go back there would be a new piece of artwork. That someone of course spent and time to create. If anyone thinks that that influenced any graffiti elsewhere, then they are definitely dumb or just suck. it gave people a chance to express themselves. now they rather tag and do artwork where it isn’t allowed because they don’t have a for sure place to show their art work. and its not like we need more parking down town so you cant use that excuse. If any graffiti is anywhere it will be on buildings like your house. if it ever influenced any graffiti in other places it does now because they don’t have a place to do it. the owner of this garage has no clue on what people think just because you live here doesn’t mean you know everyone. sO OVER ALL I WOULD BRING IT BACK TO BEING AN OPPORTUNITY OF ART INSTEAD OF MAKing Tacoma even more boring then it already is.

September 15, 2015 at 8:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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altered chords

The artistic graffitti I see downtown looks interesting to me.  None of it makes the location a destination.  The gang tagging I see in various neighborhood garages, fences etc looks bad to me.  Gang tagging has nothing to do w/ artistic expression.  The 2 are totally unrelated.

September 18, 2015 at 2:01 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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