Preservationists will showcase Tacoma's historic churches

At 1 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 25, church bells will toll across Tacoma, opening 15 historic churches and synagogues for tours and programs. This free event, sponsored by Historic Tacoma, celebrates Tacoma’s diverse collection of religious architecture, as well as the contributions each congregation has made to the development and vitality of the City. Participants will enjoy building tours, exhibits and music ranging from organ to traditional Slovak to gospel, while viewing soaring architectural spaces, stunning stained glass and hand-carved detailing.

This event comes after completion of a comprehensive citywide inventory of pre-1965 religious structures funded by a federal grant obtained by the City of Tacoma. Over 170 buildings, representing a range of architectural styles, were identified in the survey. Documentation for these buildings has been filed with the State and the City. Detailed research was conducted on the most culturally and architecturally significant structures, laying the groundwork for future preservation efforts.

Highlights of this inventory project are being published in print and Web-based formats. The print publication will be available for purchase at the Oct. 25 event and available in pdf format on Historic Tacoma’s Web site — — in late October. The open house event and publications are made possible through a grant from the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Washington.

Pick-up a tour guide & map at one of three locations:

— St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church, 3615 N. Gove;

— Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 901 N. J Street;

— Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 434 S. 30th

Other participating congregations include Center for Spiritual Living, Christ Episcopal; Church of St. Patrick; First Church of Christ, Scientist; Northwest Baptist Seminary; Old St. Peter’s; Peace Lutheran; St. Joseph’s Catholic Church; St. Paul Lutheran; St. Rita of Cascia Catholic Church; Temple Beth El; and Urban Grace.