Harmon Furniture, 2022

Tacoma’s Union Station/Warehouse Historic District

The warehouse district around Union Station is a rich biography of the city told in cut stone, red brick, and heavy timber. It is a narrative to walk through, and at nearly every turn, another short story or early episode is explained.

Tacoma is a Western city born of the railroad. In its earliest years, the cutting back of the forests barely kept pace with the population and city building that seemed to pour from the railhead. By the late I880s, the city had shaped itself into the contours of the hillside above Commencement Bay. At the point where the railroad arrived, at the southern edge of the city, a tightly packed assemblage of warehouses were built to house goods coming in and organize the passengers and products being shipped out.

Warehouse districts were common in most cities along the great rail lines of the West, but few have survived in the remarkably intact form of Tacoma’s. The Union Station warehouse historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Tacoma Special Review District. Along the Romanesque facades of the buildings and in the cobblestone and iron-railed streets of the district, the story of railroads and cities is told. We hope you enjoy the history at trackside.

Tour Stops

17

Tioga Building

1901 Jefferson Avenue

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18

Swiss Hall

1902 Jefferson Avenue

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20

Dougan Block

1721 and 1725 Jefferson Avenue

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22

Carlton Hotel

1552 Jefferson Avenue

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24

Union Station

1717 Pacific Avenue

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