Public hearings Wednesday for 2 historic buildings, Mr. Dahl Drive nominations

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold public hearings this week for nominations to formally recognize two historic buildings in the Hilltop neighborhood, as well as the late principal of a local elementary school.

One hearing will focus on a nomination to rename a section of roadway in honor of Bob Dahl, the late principal of Lowell Elementary School. Dahl passed away on March 18, 2012, at the age of 58 after he was hospitalized following a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease in which the lungs develop scar tissue of unknown causes, according to Tacoma Public Schools officials. Earlier this year, a group of students at Lowell Elementary School submitted a request to City Hall to rename a half-block section of North 13th Street at Yakima Avenue near their school to “Mr. Dahl Drive.” Students gathered more than 150 signatures in support of the proposal. They also wrote more than five-dozen letters requesting the street name honor, as well as more than a dozen hand-drawn maps of the area and the section of the street to be renamed. The school’s PTA has also offered to help cover some of the expenses related to new signs and changing the school’s address, which is the only building that would be affected if the nomination is approved.

Another hearing will focus on a nomination to place the Kellogg-Sicker Building, former home of Browne’s Star Grill, and the Pochert Building on the local register of historic places. Both the Kellogg-Sicker Building and Pochert Building date back to 1906 and 1904, respectively, and were designed by pioneer Tacoma architect Carl August Darmer. Both properties, which sit vacant today, were purchased by the City of Tacoma in 2005. Last year, Historic Tacoma, a non-profit organization that advocates for historic preservation, placed the buildings on its “Watch List” of endangered properties.

The landmarks commission is scheduled to hold public hearings on the nominations on Weds., April 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., Council Chamber / first floor. The public is invited to comment on the nominations during the hearings.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Kellogg‐Sicker Building and Pochert Building, click on the following links:

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Mr. Dahl Drive nomination, click on the following links:

Historic Tacoma has nominated the Browne's Star Grill (left) and Pochert (right) buildings in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood to Tacoma's Register of Historic Places. (PHOTO COURTESY HISTORIC TACOMA)