Prairie Line Trail historic interpretation project begins

Over the next year, the City of Tacoma will create a historic interpretive plan for the city’s segments of the Prairie Line Trail and install several interpretive features along the corridor. The city was recently awarded a $400,000 Washington State 2015-2017 Heritage Capital Projects Fund grant to fund this project.

The project will draw on historic resources and community input to develop an interpretive strategy recognizing the significance and diverse history of the corridor. In addition, the effort will include early implementation of that strategy through the design and installation of five to seven interpretive features. The intent is to make the corridor’s history accessible and engaging to a broad audience through innovative interpretive strategies including public art, electronic media and signage or markers.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to tell this important part of Tacoma’s history in a creative and inclusive way,” said Historic Preservation Coordinator Lauren Hoogkamer.

As the project gets underway, the community will be invited to give feedback through public meetings, and a call for artists will be released to help interpret the historical themes. The city will also convene a stakeholder group to provide guidance and input.

A community meeting will be held Thursday, July 21, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Washington State History Museum (1911 Pacific Ave.) in conjunction with the Third Thursday Art Walk.

The Prairie Line Trail project converts one mile of the historic Prairie Line railroad corridor, through downtown Tacoma, into a signature public space integrating a multi-use trail, historic/cultural interpretation, public art, multimedia, and green features.

The project area lies within the Union Station Conservation District and Union Depot/Warehouse Historic District, the Brewery District, and the Tacoma waterfront.

— City of Tacoma