Inside Tacoma’s Kellogg-Sicker, Pochert Buildings

The City of Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled this week to consider a nomination to place the Kellogg-Sicker Building, former home of Browne’s Star Grill, and the Pochert Building on the local register of historic places. Both the Kellogg-Sicker Building and Pochert Building date back to 1906 and 1904, respectively, and were designed by pioneer Tacoma architect Carl August Darmer. Both properties, which sit vacant today, were purchased by the City of Tacoma in 2005. Last year, Historic Tacoma, a non-profit organization that advocates for historic preservation, placed the buildings on its “Watch List” of endangered properties.

The nominations, which were prepared by architectural historian and former Historic Tacoma board president Caroline T. Swope and submitted to City Hall in October, include photographs that provide a peek inside these century-old Hilltop neighborhood buildings. Although the buildings have seen better days, Swope’s nominations indicate they are still in decent shape and can be saved. “The second floors of each building have exceptional integrity,” noted Swope.

The Kellogg-Sicker Building, located at t 1114-16 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, still retains its original floorplan, doors, wood flooring, light wells, double-hung windows, and hardware. Many of the bathrooms still include vintage plumbing fixtures and clawfoot tubs.

The Pochert Building, located at 1110-12 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, also retains its original floor plan, wood flooring, and double-hung windows, as well as intact baseboards and picture rails. Vintage built-in cabinets and bathroom fixtures remain in several locations.

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will review the nominations during its meeting on Weds., Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., Room 248. If the commission deems the buildings worthy of further consideration, a public hearing will be scheduled.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Kellogg‐Sicker Building and Pochert Building, click on the following links:

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.