More trouble for Old City Hall?

If you happened to be walking by Old City Hall in downtown Tacoma this morning, you might have spotted two ominous notices placed on the historic building’s front door. According to the notices, water and electric bills have not been paid and Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) is giving the owner until March 29 to make arrangements to pay the bills before services are shut off.

It is yet another sad turn for the building this month alone. According to a March 16 memo from Public Works Director Dick McKinley to City Manager Eric Anderson, the City of Tacoma issued a $125 civil penalty against the building’s ownership group, The Stratford Company and Old City Hall LLC, on March 2 in relation to clean-up efforts at the 118-year-old building located at 625 Commerce Street. On Nov. 30, water pipes inside the building froze then burst following an arctic storm, spreading approximately 30,000 gallons of water throughout the five-story building and causing much damage. That forced the few tenants that were left in the building to evacuate.

Earlier this year, the ownership group dodged a foreclosure action brought on by the Union Bank of California.

Notices to shut off water and electric services were placed on Old City Hall by Tacoma Public Utilities. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)


To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Old City Hall, 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