Downtown Tacoma’s Graffiti Garage artist venue to close

The popular downtown Tacoma ‘Graffiti Garage,’ a haven for artists to legally spray paint their work, will close by the end of this month, City of Tacoma officials announced Friday.

The owner of the privately-owned garage, located at 723-737 Broadway, decided to limit its use to that of a commercial parking garage effective Nov. 1, citing feedback from neighboring businesses and concerns regarding safety and liability. City compliance and enforcement efforts related to this decision will begin on Nov. 4.

“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 under way 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, the garage’s hours of operation as a commercial parking facility for monthly parking and validated vehicles will be Monday through Friday between 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.

The Graffiti Garage in downtown Tacoma. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)

The Graffiti Garage in downtown Tacoma. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)