Tour Whitman neighborhood's historic live/work fire station

Historic Tacoma will celebrate National Preservation Month in May by hosting a tour of a century-old firehouse-turned-live/work space in Tacoma’s Whitman neighborhood.

On the Tacoma Register of Historic Places, Tacoma Firehouse No. 8 was built in 1909 and served as a fire station until decommissioned in 2003. Two years later, the building was remodeled to provide warehouse space for “With Love Chocolates” and living space for the company’s owners on the second floor.

“With the discussion of late about code revisions that support live/work space in Tacoma, we thought you might want a peak inside a very special live/work space, a renovated firehouse,” wrote a Historic Tacoma spokesperson in an e-mail Thursday announcing the event. “Although this property does not have the proportion of residential to commercial use that a traditional live/work would require, the renovation is a great example of how Tacoma’s Special Tax Valuation Program can make a substantial historic remodel financially feasible.”

Earlier this month, Historic Tacoma briefed Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on an effort under way to amend existing ordinances in order to allow artist live/work spaces in some of the city’s older warehouse, commercial, and industrial spaces. According to Historic Tacoma, the creation of live/work spaces would encourage the occupation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings and serve as an economic development tool for the city, returning under-utilized buildings to the tax rolls. Historic Tacoma has prepared a white paper on the issue. A copy of that report is online at .

The tour of Tacoma Firehouse No. 8, which is located at 4301 South L Street, will be held on Sat., May 19 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The event is free to Historic Tacoma members, and $10 for non-members. For more information, visit .

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Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider live/work lofts (04/10/12) —