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Proposal Would Rename a Tacoma Waterfront Park Weyerhaeuser Park
The un-named park at the southern end of the west side of the Foss Waterway could get a name: George H. Weyerhaeuser Park.
The park, built in 2009, sits on three parcels of land on either side of the 21st Street bridge. The Foss Waterway Development Authority owns two of the parcels, the City of Tacoma owns the other. The land was once home to a butter tub factory, which later became Harmon Cabinets, which eventually burned down in the 1990s.
The Foss Waterway Development Authority has requested that the park be named after George H. Weyerhaeuser, who is described in the request as "influential in the development of the Foss Waterway."
George H. Weyerhaeuser, Jr., served on the boards of the FWDA and the Museum of Glass from 1999 until his death on April 14, 2013. Aside from being part of the Weyerhaeuser Company family, he was influential in the development of the Foss Waterway as a founding trustee of the Museum of Glass, as the FWDA Board President from 2001 to 2004, and as the chairman and president of the Urban Design Review Committee. According to the materials submitted with the request, the Waterway is a direct result of his widely recognized advocacy and leadership.
George gets credit for a lot of the redevelopment of the Foss in recent years, including the building of marinas, the public esplanade and park, and saving Albers Mill for adaptive reuse as lofts and retail space. He was also a founding trustee of the Museum of Glass. According to the park naming proposal, he "took his last breath on board his boat in the Foss Waterway." George is described as a passionate advocate for Tacoma, who "genuinely loved the downtown waterfront and was devoted to its improvement for the betterment of the city and its citizens."
The proposal to rename the park shows up on the agenda for Tacoma's Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting this week. The name will need first LPC and the City Council approval.
The Weyerhaeuser company headquarters moved out of Tacoma in 1971, but the family and the company go back to Tacoma's earliest days, and the family has continued to be active in the civic and philanthropic life of Tacoma. The proposal for Weyerhaeuser Park has support from a serious line-up of Tacoma institutions and individuals including the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Foss Waterway Seaport, and the Tacoma Waterfront Association, among others.
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