Public hearing scheduled for Shops and Stables Building historic nomination

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing next week regarding a nomination to place the former Tacoma Municipal Barn on the city’s register of historic places.

The building, also known as the “City Shops and Stables Building” and located at 2324 S. C St., was built in 1910 at a cost of approximately $30,000, according to the nomination prepared by Caroline T. Swope, a preservation consultant at Kingstree Studios, on behalf of Historic Tacoma.

“The Municipal Barn embodies the transitional period between horse-dominated transportation and automobiles, and is a rare example of a Craftsman style concrete building,” wrote Swope in the nomination.

Highlights from the historic nomination include:

  • A grand opening on March 7, 1910, included a display of freshly brushed horses wearing pink ribbons, comments from Tacoma Mayor John W. Linck, and free sandwiches, coffee, and cigars;
  • At one point, the building was home to 53 horses, six cats who kept the premises free of mice, and a goat named “Billy”;
  • Manure produced by the City’s horses, and picked up from the streets by the street cleaning team, was used in residential gardens;
  • In addition to holding horses, wagons, a feed grinder, and a blacksmith shop, the building also served machinists, broom-makers, carpenters, painters, and pipe-fitters;
  • Building designer and City engineer Wilbur C. Raleigh was also the supervising engineer for the construction of the Murray Morgan Bridge and the Puyallup River Bridge.

Last month, Tacoma’s Landmark Preservation Commission reviewed the nomination and determined the building met the criteria required to be nominated to the local historic register. Following the public hearing and close of the public comment period, the nomination could be approved by the commission and forward to Tacoma City Council for final approval.

The public hearing will be held on Weds., April 23, at 5:30 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., Room 248, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the agenda and meeting materials are available online here.

The 104-year-old former Tacoma Municipal Barn (also known as the "City Shops and Stables Building"), located at 2324 S. C St., has been nominated to Tacoma's Register of historic places. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA / CAROLINE T. SWOPE)

The 104-year-old former Tacoma Municipal Barn (also known as the “City Shops and Stables Building”), located at 2324 S. C St., has been nominated to Tacoma’s Register of historic places. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA / CAROLINE T. SWOPE)