***UPDATE*** 3 Tacoma school buildings nominated to historic register

Three local public school buildings constructed between 1908 and 1957 have been nominated to the City of Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places.

McKinley Hill Elementary School, located at 3720 McKinley Ave., was built in 1908 and designed by architect Frederick Heath, who also designed the Pythian Temple, Stadium High School, and the Ansonia Building. Last year, Historic Tacoma, a non-profit organization that advocates for the protection and preservation of the city’s historic buildings and architectural heritage, placed the McKinley Hill Elementary School building on its Watch List of endangered properties. Oakland Elementary School, located at 3319 S. Adams St., was built in 1912 and designed by Heath and his business partner George Gove. Finally, Hoyt Elementary School, located at 2708 N. Union St., was built in 1957 and designed by Tacoma architect Robert Billsbrough Price, who also designed Tacoma Fire Station No. 17, the Tacoma Bicentennial Pavilion, and Sky Terrace Apartments.

The nominations were prepared by preservation activist Marshall McClintock on behalf of Historic Tacoma.

Docomomo WEWA, a Seattle-based non-profit organization focusing on the preservation of mid-century modern architecture in the Pacific Northwest, has written a letter supporting the nomination of Hoyt Elementary School because “it is an outstanding example of modern institutional design and is an excellent example of the work of architect Robert Billsbrough Price, one of Tacoma’s most prolific and prominent designers.”

Tacoma City Councilmember Ryan Mello also voiced his support in a March 20 letter to Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. “I am very supportive of this application and I hope that you will consider these applications at a future meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission,” wrote Councilmember Mello.

Four years ago, six public school buildings in Tacoma were added to the city’s historic register: Fern Hill Elementary School (8442 S. Park Ave.), built in 1911; Central Elementary Administration Building (601 S. 8th St.), built in 1912; Jason Lee Middle School (602 N. Sprague Ave.), built in 1924; Stewart Middle School (5010 Pacific Ave.), built in 1925; McCarver Elementary School (2111 S. J St.), built in 1925; and Whitman Elementary School (1120 S. 39th St.), built in 1952.

Six years ago, Historic Tacoma partnered with Tacoma Public Schools on a project to identify and document the many historic schools built between 1908 and 1958.

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to conduct a preliminary review of the nominations during a public meeting on Weds., June 25, at 5:30 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building, located at 747 Market St., Room 248, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the agenda, nominations, and meeting materials are available online here.

***UPDATE | Weds., July 2, 2014 @12:35 p.m. – Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is now scheduled to conduct the preliminary review of the nominations during a public meeting on Weds., July 9, at 5:30 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building, located at 747 Market St., Room 248, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the agenda, nominations, and meeting materials are available online here.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index’s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s historic schools, click on the following links: