Year In Review: Notable People

In April, the Index interviewed long-time Wedge neighborhood resident Diane Walkup, who compared her 117-year-old home to a single-owner automobile — it has more than a few years on it, but it still runs great. The home was built before the automobile — a former carriage house in the backyard is one reminder. But for more than 90 years, the two-story, Victorian style home on the 400 block of South M Street was the residence of one family: the Alvin C. McIlvaines. McIlvaine, a contractor, arrived in Tacoma from Pennsylvania in 1893. He owned small parcels throughout Tacoma, and, in 1906, hired architect John P. Larkins to design an apartment building at 920 So. 9th St., near a streetcar line and the “K Street” Business District. In 1995, McIlvaine’s apartment building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

“I’ve lived in this particular house longer than I’ve lived in any other place in my life — almost 24 years,” she said. “There were some times I thought of moving, but it’s really nice to live in the central part of town. I’m close to just about everything I need. Especially as I get older, I wouldn’t feel comfortable living out in the country. My needs are pretty much met in this part of town.”

In September Winthrop resident and neighborhood activist Glenn Grigsby accepted the Safe Streets Superstar Award for Outstanding Block Leader or Strategic Partner. His mother, Mary Court, was on-hand to see him receive the honor.

Also in September BLRB Architects Associate Ben Ferguson gave the Index a tour of Pacific Plaza’s new green roof. Above downtown Tacoma, bees darted in and out of tall purple flowers that thrived under ample sunlight, a unique irrigation system, and a new Tagro product specifically designed for the green roof. “Our goal is for as little water as possible to make its way into the stormwater system,” he said.

Finally, in July, the Index spoke with Tacoma Historical Society (THS) Director Mary Bowlby and THS volunteer Heather Straub about an exhibit that paid homage to Tacoma’s old and celebrated downtown buildings. “If we are to save historic buildings, it’s going to take energy and people who care,” said Straub.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

For earlier Tacoma Daily Index coverage of these people, click on the following links:

A house in the city, a home to neighborhood history —

Winthrop resident accepts Safe Streets award —

Outside Pacific Plaza: A garden grows high above downtown Tacoma —

Building History: THS exhibit celebrates downtown Tacoma’s architectural icons —