May 2018 – Historic Preservation Month Celebrates ‘Adaptive Reuse in Tacoma’

Each May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation encourages local communities to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month. The City of Tacoma is excited to announce this year’s Historic Preservation Month theme of “Adaptive Reuse in Tacoma.”

“This year’s theme of ‘Adaptive Reuse’ highlights historic preservation’s connections between environmental sustainability, neighborhood revitalization, and maintaining community character,” said Historic Preservation Officer Reuben McKnight.

2018 Historic Preservation Month Calendar:

Event details can be found on the new Historic Preservation Month website,

Key programs include:

Historic Preservation Month Proclamation: Tuesday, May 1, at 4:30 PM, at the Tacoma Municipal Building in Council Chambers (747 Market St., first floor)

Kick Off: Salvage Art Show and Iron Art Competition:  Saturday, May 5, from 11 AM – 3 PM, at Earthwise Architectural Salvage (628 E. 60th St.)

Historic Preservation Month Reception and Awards: Friday, May 18, from 6 – 8 PM, at Stewart Middle School (5010 Pacific Ave.)

Bringing Tacoma’s History to Life: Youth Historical Fiction Reading: Monday, May 21, 7 – 9 PM, Black Kettle Bites and Brew (744 Market St.)

Old Places, New Spaces: Adaptively Reused Trails Bike Tour:  Friday, May 25, from 5:15 – 7 PM, starting and ending at 7 Seas Brewing (2101 Jefferson Ave.)

  ~ Without “art” earth is just “eh” ~

Sometimes art just emerges  Photo: Morf Morford
Sometimes art just emerges Photo: Morf Morford

Tacoma is a regional and national example of successful adaptive reuse projects, featuring rehabilitated schools, warehouses, and commercial buildings throughout the downtown area and in neighborhoods. The theme also aligns with the City’s sustainability vision to conserve resources and achieve lasting and equitable prosperity.

The month’s programming will showcase exciting new twists on Tacoma’s history. The kickoff event, a Salvage Art Show at Earthwise Architectural Salvage, will feature artists who are working with recycled materials – and visitors will have a chance to make their own art during the Iron Art Competition, a family-friendly timed sculpture competition. To register for the Iron Art Competition, visit

There's no law that fire hydrants need to be boringPhoto: Morf Morford
There’s no law that fire hydrants need to be boring Photo: Morf Morford

The annual bike ride is a partnership with Tacoma/Pierce County Bike Month, and tours adaptively reused trail corridors, including the Water Flume Line and Prairie Line trails. The lineup of events also features the winners of Tacoma’s first youth historical fiction competition, “Bringing Tacoma’s History to Life,” which gives young writers a chance to creatively interpret important moments in the city’s history.

“This year, we’re celebrating the opportunities for the future that Tacoma’s historic resources can offer,” said Assistant Historic Preservation Officer Lauren Hoogkamer. “Together with our city’s cultural and heritage organizations, our slate of programs encourages the public to acknowledge the past as we reimagine Tacoma’s future.”

For more information, including a full roster of Historic Preservation Month activities, visit or contact Hoogkamer at or (253) 591-5254.

– City of Tacoma

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