Tacoma home with timber history ties could become local landmark

A 107-year-old home with ties to a Tacoma family that was once a heavyweight in the timber industry could be...

A 107-year-old home with ties to a Tacoma family that was once a heavyweight in the timber industry could be added to Tacoma’s register of historic places later this month.

A nomination to place the so-called “Ella and John Snyder House,” which is located at 612 North 4th Street in the Stadium-Seminary National Historic District, on the historic register was prepared by owners Ken House and Lisa Robinson. House is a member of Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

According to the nomination, the home was once owned by John Snyder, who founded three Tacoma lumber mills, including Clear Fir Lumber Company, and his wife Ella. Snyder was one of three Tacoma City Councilmembers who traveled to Philadelphia in 1892 to negotiate the purchase of the Tacoma Light and Water Company from Charles B. Wright. Later, Snyder’s son, Frost, also a prominent figure in the local timber industry, owned the home for a period before it was sold to Kenneth Roegner, a long-time Commonwealth Title executive. The shingle- and Craftsman-style home was designed by Tacoma architect Ambrose J. Russell, who designed the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia, in addition to significant Tacoma buildings such as the Tacoma Armory, the Masonic Temple, and the Perkins Building.

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public meeting on March 14 to discuss the nomination, a public hearing on April 25 to receive public comment and consider the historic significance of the property, and approved the nomination on April 25. It was then forwarded to Tacoma City Council for final approval.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution adding the building to the city’s register of historic places during its meeting on Tues., July 17 at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, located 747 Market Street. More information is online here. Meetings are streamed live online here and broadcast live on TV Tacoma.

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