2 warehouse buildings nominated to Tacoma’s historic register

Two buildings dating back more than 100 years and located in Tacoma’s former warehouse district have been nominated to the City of Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places.

The former J. E. Aubry Wagon & Auto Works Building, located 2015 S. C St., was built in 1910 by architect O. F. Larson (who also built the Olympus Hotel in downtown Tacoma, as well as Jason Lee Middle School), according to a nomination prepared by Susan Johnson, an architectural historian at Tacoma-based Artifacts Consulting. The building’s original owner, J. E. Aubry, serviced wagons and carriages out of the three-story brick building. Aubry later shifted his focus to repairing automobile as modes of transportation changed.

The former Hunt-Mottet Warehouse, located at 2109-2115 S. C St., was built in 1907 by the architectural firm Bullard and Hill, which also built the historic J. B. Stevens Garage, otherwise known as the “Graffiti Garage,” in downtown Tacoma, according to the nomination. The building’s original owner, Frederick Mottet, operated the Hunt-Mottet Company, a wholesale hardware distributor serving the local logging, farming, and mining industries, out of the two-story building.

The nominations were submitted by Horizon Commerce Partners, a Tacoma-based commercial real estate and investment company that owns both buildings.

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to meet on Weds., Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., City Council Chambers, to review the nominations and determine whether the buildings meet the criteria required to be nominated to the local historic register. If the buildings meet the criteria, the commission will schedule a public hearing on the nominations.

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengers; third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright; and second-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State. His work has also appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.