Students research historic South, East Tacoma for Livable City project

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The City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office is partnering with the University of Washington on a Livable City Year project to identify historic resources in South and East Tacoma.

For this project, graduate and undergraduate students are researching the histories of two neighborhoods: McKinley Hill in East Tacoma, and the Edison Neighborhood along South Tacoma Way. Students will identify and research historic buildings, sites, and context in these two neighborhoods. As a culmination of their research, they will make recommendations about the potential for National Register Historic District or individual landmark nominations.

“This is an exciting opportunity to highlight the rich histories of South and East Tacoma,” said Assistant Historic Preservation Officer Lauren Hoogkamer.

Currently, Tacoma has seven National Register Historic Districts, all in Downtown, North, or West Tacoma. National Register District status acknowledges the historic significance of a neighborhood, but does not impact design review at the local level.

In addition to archival research, the community is invited to share neighborhood photos and history at two upcoming events:

East Tacoma Walking Tour and Community Meet & Eat

Saturday, April 14, from 1 – 3:30 p.m.

  • From 1 – 2:30 p.m., attend a walking tour of McKinley Hill in East Tacoma, led by Pretty Gritty Tours. Meet outside of Top of Tacoma (3529 McKinley Ave. E.)
  • From 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., share information about the neighborhood with student researchers at a Meet & Eat event. Bring neighborhood photos or stories to share. Destiny Middle School (1301 E. 34th St.)

To learn more, visit the Historic East Tacoma Walking Tour event page.

South Tacoma Way Walking Tour and Community Meet & Eat

Saturday, April 28, from 3 – 5:30 p.m.

  • Attend a walking tour of the Edison Neighborhood along South Tacoma Way, led by Pretty Gritty Tours. Meet outside of Edison City Alehouse (5602 S. Lawrence St.).
  • Share information about the neighborhood with student researchers at a Meet & Eat event. Bring neighborhood photos or stories to share. Venue and other event details will be announced on the event page.

To learn more, visit the Historic South Tacoma Walking Tour event page.

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