State award for Index's historic preservation coverage

The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) presented this year’s award for outstanding achievement in media to Tacoma Daily Index editor Todd Matthews (pictured below) during a ceremony yesterday evening in Olympia, Wash.

The awards program, in its 17th year, recognizes persons, organizations, and projects that have achieved distinction in the field of historic preservation in Washington State. This year, 10 awards were presented in categories that include rehabilitation, stewardship, career achievement, special achievement, education, and media.

Matthews was nominated for the award by Historic Tacoma, a non-profit organization that aims to preserve Tacoma’s architectural legacy through education and advocacy.

“Matthews digs deep into his subjects to explore all aspects of the story and long range implications to his readers and the community,” said Dr. Allyson Brooks, the state’s historic preservation officer. Dr. Brooks noted that the DAHP, when selecting the award for media, “looks beyond the headlines to recognize and honor journalists that delve into emerging historic preservation topics and come up with well researched and presented reports.”

Dr. Brooks presented the award to Matthews during a ceremony held in the Legislative Building on the historic State Capitol Campus.

In 2006, Matthews covered historic preservation issues for the Index on a number of fronts. Notably, he wrote a series of articles that explored plans to renovate the historic Winthrop building downtown, and was the only journalist permitted access inside the 81-year-old, former historic hotel to photograph areas previously off-limits. He wrote a series of articles that examined a grassroots effort to restore a heritage streetcar system in Tacoma by looking at how other cities in Washington State had successfully achieved the same goal. Additionally, Matthews reported on efforts to secure the former Elk’s Lodge from trespassers and vandals as developers continued their plan to purchase and renovate the building. And he wrote about the activities of key Tacoma individuals and groups — including Historic Tacoma, Tacoma Historical Society, and the City of Tacoma’s historic preservation officer — that work to share and steward the city’s history.

“Tacoma is a great city in which to write about historic preservation issues,” said Matthews. “There are a number of individuals and groups in the city working on a grassroots level to raise awareness of the city’s history and the value of preservation. It makes my job to select and write stories very easy.”

Matthews has worked as a freelance journalist for more than a dozen newspapers and magazines in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Washington. In 2001 and 2003, he received honors from the Society of Professional Journalists for his journalism. In addition to his work at the Index, Matthews writes regularly for Seattle magazine, Seattle Business Monthly magazine, and City Arts Tacoma.

This year’s complete list of DAHP award recipients includes:

Valerie Sivinski Award for Outstanding Rehabilitation

  • Stadium High School (Tacoma)
  • Wilson Hotel (Anacortes)
  • Hailstone Feed Store (Issaquah)

Resource Stewardship

  • Grand Mound – Rochester Citizens Group for Swede Hall (Rochester)

Career Achievement

  • Dr. Richard Daugherty (Lacey)
  • Steven Arai (Seattle)

Special Achievement

  • Save the Bridge Committee (Curlew)
  • 12th Street Partners for the Donovan Lane Development (Everett)


  • Todd Matthews, Tacoma Daily Index (Tacoma)


  • Ft. Lewis Division Area Barracks Multi-Media CD (Ft. Lewis)

More information about the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is available online at


Tacoma Daily Index Editor Todd Matthews

Tacoma Daily Index Editor Todd Matthews