Tacoma Municipal Barn: Roof replacement, landmark designation decisions ahead

Tacoma City Council could vote next week on whether to award a contract to replace the roof on the former...

Tacoma City Council could vote next week on whether to award a contract to replace the roof on the former Tacoma Municipal Barn, a 104-year-old structure also known as the “City Shops and Stables Building.”

According to a legal notice published last month in the Tacoma Daily Index, the City of Tacoma accepted bids on the $430,000 project to install a new roof, overhangs, and gutters for the sprawling, City-owned building that occupies a full city block near the corner of South Holgate Street and South 24th Street. The bid process began on Tues., May 13. An on-site pre-bid meeting with representatives from Bosnick Roofing, D & D Construction, McMains Roofing, BCRA, and the City of Tacoma was held on Tues., May 20, at 10 a.m. The bid deadline expired at 11 a.m., on Tues., June 3. Three contractors submitted bids for the project: Puyallup, Wash.-based D & D Construction; Lakewood, Wash.-based Northwest Abatement Services, Inc. / Stetz Construction; and Olympia, Wash.-based Jones & Roberts Company.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to award the $430,000 contract (plus sales tax, plus a 20 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $516,000) to Northwest Abatement Services, Inc. / Stetz Construction during its meeting on Tues., July 1, at 5 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., Council Chambers, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the agenda, resolution, and staff memo are available online here and here and here (respectively).

Also on Tuesday, Tacoma City Council could vote on a resolution to add the building to Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places.

The former Tacoma Municipal Barn was built in 1910 at a cost of approximately $30,000, according to the nomination prepared by Caroline T. Swope, a preservation consultant at Kingstree Studios, on behalf of Historic Tacoma. “The Municipal Barn embodies the transitional period between horse-dominated transportation and automobiles, and is a rare example of a Craftsman style concrete building,” wrote Swope in the nomination.

Highlights from the historic nomination include:

  • A grand opening on March 7, 1910, included a display of freshly brushed horses wearing pink ribbons, comments from Tacoma Mayor John W. Linck, and free sandwiches, coffee, and cigars;
  • At one point, the building was home to 53 horses, six cats who kept the premises free of mice, and a goat named “Billy”;
  • Manure produced by the City’s horses, and picked up from the streets by the street cleaning team, was used in residential gardens;
  • In addition to holding horses, wagons, a feed grinder, and a blacksmith shop, the building also served machinists, broom-makers, carpenters, painters, and pipe-fitters;
  • Building designer and City engineer Wilbur C. Raleigh was also the supervising engineer for the construction of the Murray Morgan Bridge and the Puyallup River Bridge.

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission initially reviewed the nomination in March, and held a public hearing on the nomination in April.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to add the building to Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places during its meeting on Tues., July 1, at 5 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., Council Chambers, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the resolution, staff memo, and map are available online here and here and here (respectively).

To read the Tacoma Daily Index’s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Tacoma Municipal Barn, click on the following links:

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