The City of Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled Wednesday to hold a public hearing regarding a nomination to place the Central Lutheran Church building on the local register of historic places.
According to the nomination application, the two-story, L-shaped building, located at 401 Tacoma Avenue North, was constructed in 1957 by H. Halvorson, Inc. and designed by the architecture firm Lea, Pearson & Richards. The firm designed buildings for the National Bank of Washington in Parkland, Tacoma Savings & Loan Association, the Swasey Branch of the Tacoma Public Library, and the Kilworth Chapel at the University of Puget Sound.
The congregation formed in 1925 as part of the Norwegian Lutheran Church. Between 1925 and 1955, the congregation worshipped in an 1889 Victorian wooden church building, located at 1001 South G St. that was originally home to the First Presbyterian Church. In 1954, however, Pierce County ordered the church to vacate the building in order to construct the County-City Building. After a brief court battle, the county paid the church $150,000 to relocate. The congregation pledged $175,000 toward construction of the new church.
The nomination was prepared by historic preservation consultant Caroline T. Swope of Kingstree Studios at the request of the building’s owner.
The public hearing will be held during the commission’s meeting May 26. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the Tacoma Municipal Building North, 728 St. Helens, Room 16.
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