Tacoma (/təˈkoʊmə/ tə-KOH-mə) is a midsized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Seattle (of which it is the largest satellite city), 31 miles (50 km) northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and 58 miles (93 km) northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to the 2010 census. Tacoma is the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area and the third-largest in the state. Tacoma also serves as the center of business activity for the South Sound region, which has a population around 1 million.
Tacoma adopted its name after the nearby Mount Rainier, originally called Takhoma or Tahoma. It is locally known as the "City of Destiny" because the area was chosen to be the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 19th century. The decision of the railroad was influenced by Tacoma's neighboring deep-water harbor, Commencement Bay. By connecting the bay with the railroad, Tacoma's motto became "When rails meet sails". Commencement Bay serves the Port of Tacoma, a center of international trade on the Pacific Coast and Washington's largest port.
Like most central cities, Tacoma suffered a prolonged decline in the mid-20th century as a result of suburbanization and divestment. Since the 1990s, developments in the downtown core include the University of Washington Tacoma; Tacoma Link, the first modern electric light rail service in the state; the state's highest density of art and history museums; and a restored urban waterfront, the Thea Foss Waterway. Neighborhoods such as the 6th Avenue District have been revitalized. With over $1 billion having been invested in downtown Tacoma alone, private investment has surpassed public investment by a ratio of almost 4:1.
Tacoma has been named one of the most livable areas in the United States. In 2006, Tacoma was listed as one of the "most walkable" cities in the country. That same year, the women's magazine Self named Tacoma the "Most Sexually Healthy City" in the United States.
Tacoma gained notoriety in 1940 for the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which earned the nickname "Galloping Gertie".
|City of Tacoma|
City of Destiny, Grit City
Location of Tacoma in
Pierce County and Washington State
Location in the United States
|Incorporated||November 12, 1875|
|• Mayor||Victoria Woodards since 2018|
|• City||62.42 sq mi (161.66 km2)|
|• Land||49.72 sq mi (128.78 km2)|
|• Water||12.70 sq mi (32.88 km2)|
|Elevation||243 ft (74 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||US: 102th|
|• Density||4,292.14/sq mi (1,657.21/km2)|
|• Metro||3,939,363 (US: 15th)|
|Demonym(s)||Tacoman (plural: Tacomans)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1512713|
In 1852, a Swede named Nicolas Delin built a water-powered sawmill on a creek near the head of Commencement Bay, but the small settlement that grew around it was abandoned during the Indian War of 1855–56. In 1864, pioneer and postmaster Job Carr, a Civil War veteran and land speculator, built a cabin (which also served as Tacoma's first post office; a replica was built in 2000 near the original site in "Old Town"). Carr hoped to profit from the selection of Commencement Bay as the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad, and sold most of his claim to developer Morton M. McCarver (1807–1875), who named his project Tacoma City, derived from the indigenous name for the mountain.
Tacoma was incorporated on November 12, 1875, following its selection in 1873 as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad due to lobbying by McCarver, future mayor John Wilson Sprague, and others. However, the railroad built its depot on New Tacoma, two miles (3 km) south of the Carr–McCarver development. The two communities grew together and joined, merging on January 7, 1884. The transcontinental link was effected in 1887, and the population grew from 1,098 in 1880 to 36,006 in 1890. Rudyard Kipling visited Tacoma in 1889 and said it was "literally staggering under a boom of the boomiest".
George Francis Train was a resident for a few years in the late 19th century. In 1890, he staged a global circumnavigation starting and ending in Tacoma to promote the city. A plaque in downtown Tacoma marks the start and finish line.
In November 1885, white citizens led by then-mayor Jacob Weisbach expelled several hundred Chinese residents peacefully living in the city. As described by the account prepared by the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation, on the morning of November 3, "several hundred men, led by the mayor and other city officials, evicted the Chinese from their homes, corralled them at 7th Street and Pacific Avenue, marched them to the railway station at Lakeview and forced them aboard the morning train to Portland, Oregon. The next day two Chinese settlements were burned to the ground."
The discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1898 led to Tacoma's prominence in the region being eclipsed by the development of Seattle.
A major tragedy marred the end of the 19th century, when a streetcar accident resulted in significant loss of life on July 4, 1900.
From May to August 1907, the city was the site of a smelter workers' strike organized by Local 545 of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), with the goal of a fifty-cent per day pay raise. The strike was strongly opposed by the local business community, and the smelter owners threatened to blacklist organizers and union officials. The IWW opposed this move by trying to persuade inbound workers to avoid Tacoma during the strike. By August, the strike had ended without meeting its demands.
Tacoma was briefly (1915–1922) a major destination for big-time automobile racing, with one of the nation's top-rated racing venues just outside the city limits, at the site of today's Clover Park Technical College.
In 1924, Tacoma's first movie studio, H. C. Weaver Studio, was sited at present-day Titlow Beach. At the time, it was the third-largest freestanding film production space in America, with the two larger facilities being located in Hollywood. The studio's importance has undergone a revival with the discovery of one of its most famous lost films, Eyes of the Totem.
The 1929 crash of the stock market, resulting in the Great Depression, was only the first event in a series of misfortunes to hit Tacoma in the winter of 1929–30. In one of the coldest winters on record, Tacoma experienced mass power outages and eventually the shutdown of major power supply dams, leaving the city without sufficient power and heat. During the 30-day power shortage in the winter of 1929 and 1930, the engines of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington provided Tacoma with electricity.
A power grid failure paired with a newly rewritten city constitution – put into place to keep political power away from a single entity such as the railroad – created a standstill in the ability to further the local economy. Local businesses were affected as the sudden stop of loans limited progression of expansion and renewal funds for maintenance, leading to foreclosures. Families across the city experienced the fallout of economic depression as breadwinners sought to provide for their families. Shanty-town politics began to develop as the destitute needed some form of leadership to keep the peace.
|Tacoma Hooverville timeline|
At the intersection of Dock Street EXD and East D Street in the train yard, a shanty town became the solution to the growing scar of the depression. Tacoma's Hooverville grew in 1924 as the homeless community settled on the waterfront. The population boomed in November 1930 through early 1931 as families from the neighboring McKinley and Hilltop areas were evicted.
Collecting scraps of metal and wood from local lumber stores and recycling centers, families began building shanties (shacks) for shelter. Alcoholism and suicide became a common event in the Hooverville that eventually led to its nickname of "Hollywood on the Tide Flats", because of the Hollywood-style crimes and events taking place in the camp. In 1956, the last occupant of "Hollywood" was evicted and the police used fire to level the grounds and make room for industrial growth.
In 1935, Tacoma received national attention when George Weyerhaeuser, the nine-year-old son of prominent lumber industry executive J.P. Weyerhaeuser, was kidnapped while walking home from school. FBI agents from Portland handled the case, in which a ransom of $200,000 secured the release of the victim. Four persons were apprehended and convicted; the last to be released was paroled from McNeil Island in 1963. George Weyerhaeuser went on to become chairman of the board of the Weyerhaeuser Company.
In 1951, an investigation by a state legislative committee revealed widespread corruption in Tacoma's government, which had been organized commission-style since 1910. Voters approved a mayor and city-manager system in 1952.
Downtown Tacoma experienced a long decline through the mid-20th century. Harold Moss, later the city's mayor, characterized late-1970s Tacoma as looking "bombed out" like "downtown Beirut" (a reference to the Lebanese Civil War that occurred at that time); "Streets were abandoned, storefronts were abandoned and City Hall was the headstone and Union Station the footstone" on the grave of downtown.
The first local referendums in the U.S. on computerized voting occurred in Tacoma in 1982 and 1987. On both occasions, voters rejected the computer voting systems that local officials sought to purchase. The campaigns, organized by Eleanora Ballasiotes, a conservative Republican, focused on the vulnerabilities of computers to fraud.
Beginning in the early 1990s, city residents and planners took steps to revitalize Tacoma, particularly its downtown. Among the projects were the federal courthouse in the former Union Station (1991); Save Our Station community group; Merritt+Pardini Architect (1991); Reed & Stem Architects (1911); the adaptation of a group of century-old brick warehouses into a branch campus of the University of Washington; the numerous privately financed renovation projects near the campus; the Washington State History Museum (1996), echoing the architecture of Union Station; the Museum of Glass (2002); the Tacoma Art Museum (2003); and the region's first light-rail line (2003). The glass and steel Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center opened in November 2004. America's Car Museum was completed in late 2011 near the Tacoma Dome.
The Pantages Theater (first opened in 1918) anchors downtown Tacoma's Theatre District. The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts manages the Pantages, the Rialto Theater, and the Theatre on the Square. Tacoma Little Theatre (opened in 1918) bridges the theater district and the hilltop neighborhoods.. Other attractions include the Grand Cinema and the Landmark Temple Theatre.
According to Uniform Crime Report statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2018, there were 950 violent crimes and 5,641 property crimes per 100,000 residents. Of these, the violent crimes consisted of 84 forcible rapes, 7 murders, 257 robberies and 602 aggravated assaults, while 963 burglaries, 3,674 larceny-thefts, 1,004 motor vehicle thefts and 46 instances of arson defined the property offenses.
Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood struggled with crime in the 1980s and early 1990s. Due to its high crime rate, Washington residents nicknamed the city "Tacompton", in reference to Compton, California. The beginning of the 21st century has seen a marked reduction in crime, while neighborhoods have enacted community policing and other policies.
Bill Baarsma (mayor, 2002–2010) was a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bipartisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets."
In 2004, Tacoma was ranked among the top 30 Most Livable Communities in an annual survey conducted by the Partners for Livable Communities.
Tacoma is at  Its official elevation is 381 feet (116 m), varying between sea level and about 500 feet.(47.241371, −122.459389).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 62.34 square miles (161.46 km2), of which 49.72 square miles (128.77 km2) is land and 12.62 square miles (32.69 km2) is water.
Tacoma straddles the neighboring Commencement Bay with several smaller cities surrounding it. Large areas of Tacoma have views of Mount Rainier. In the event of a major eruption of Mount Rainier, the low-lying areas of Tacoma near the Port of Tacoma are at risk from a lahar flowing down the Puyallup River.
According to the Köppen climate classification, Tacoma has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb), because four months of the year have an average precipitation of less than 40 millimeters. The warmest months are July and August; the coldest month is December.
As of 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $37,879, and the median income for a family was $45,567. Males had a median income of $35,820, versus $27,697 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,130. About 11.4% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under the age of 18 and 10.9% of those 65 and older.
As of the census of 2010, there were 198,397 people, 78,541 households, and 45,716 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,864.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,492.2/km2). There were 81,102 housing units at an average density of 1,619.4 per square mile (625.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 64.9% White (60.5% Non-Hispanic White), 12.2% African American, 8.2% Asian (2.1% Vietnamese, 1.6% Cambodian, 1.3% Korean, 1.3% Filipino, 0.4% Chinese, 0.4% Japanese, 0.2% Indian, 0.2% Laotian, 0.1% Thai), 1.8% Native American, 1.2% Pacific Islander (0.7% Samoan, 0.2% Guamanian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian), and 8.1% were from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 11.3% of the population (8.1% Mexican, 1.1% Puerto Rican).
There were 78,541 households of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no spouse present, 5.6% had a male householder with no spouse present, and 41.8% were other families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.10.
The median age in the city was 35.1 years. 23% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.6% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 11.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.4% male and 50.6% female.
The government of the city of Tacoma operates under a council-manager system. The city council consists of an elected mayor (Victoria Woodards) and eight elected council members: five from individual city council districts and three others from the city at-large. All serve four-year terms and are elected in odd-numbered years. The council adopts and amends city laws, approves a two-year budget, establishes city policy, appoints citizens to boards and commissions, and performs other actions. The council also meets in "standing committees", which examine the council's work in more defined areas, such as "Environment & Public Works", "Neighborhoods & Housing", and "Public Safety, Human Services & Education". The council meets as a whole most Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. in the council chambers at 747 Market St. Meetings are open to the public and provide for public input.
Victoria Woodards began her term as mayor of the City of Tacoma on January 2, 2018. She is Tacoma's third African-American mayor and third female mayor, and the second African-American female mayor. She was preceded by Marilyn Strickland, who was elected in 2009, becoming Tacoma's first African-American female mayor.
Normal day-to-day operations of the city government are administered by Tacoma's city manager, who is appointed by the city council. Elizabeth Pauli was appointed Interim City Manager on February 6, 2017. She replaced former manager T.C. Broadnax, who was appointed to the office in January 2012 and left in 2017 to become the city manager of Dallas, Texas.
At the federal level, Tacoma is part of three congressional districts. The western portion of the city is part of the 6th District, represented by Derek Kilmer. The eastern portion is in the 10th District, represented by Denny Heck. Northeastern Tacoma is in the 9th District, represented by Adam Smith. All three are Democrats.
Beginning in the 1930s, the city became known for the "Tacoma Aroma," a distinctive, acrid odor produced by pulp and paper manufacturing on the industrial tide flats. In the late 1990s, Simpson Tacoma Kraft reduced total sulfur emissions by 90%. This largely eliminated the problem; where once the odor was ever-present, it is now only noticeable occasionally downtown, primarily when the wind is coming from the east. The mill produces pulpwood and linerboard products; previously owned by St. Regis Company, the mill was sold to RockTenn in 2014.
An economic setback for the city occurred in September 2009 when Russell Investments, which has been in downtown Tacoma since its inception in 1936, announced it was moving its headquarters to Seattle along with several hundred white-collar jobs. A large regional office for State Farm Insurance now occupies the former Russell building.
Hospitals in Tacoma are operated by MultiCare Health System and Franciscan Health System. Hospitals include MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, MultiCare Allenmore Hospital and St. Joseph Medical Center.
According to Tacoma's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in Pierce County are:
|Rank||Employer||No. of employees|
|1||Joint Base Lewis–McChord||60,100|
|2||MultiCare Health System||7,439|
|3||State of Washington||6,838|
|4||CHI Franciscan Health||6,528|
|5||Tacoma Public Schools||3,541|
|7||Bethel School District||2,566|
|8||City of Tacoma||2,251|
|9||State Farm Insurance||2,150|
|10||Puyallup School District||2,124|
Tacoma's system of transportation is based primarily on the automobile. The majority of the city has a system of gridded streets oriented in relation to A Street (one block east of Pacific Avenue) and 6th Avenue or Division Avenue, both beginning in downtown Tacoma. Within the city, and with a few exceptions, east-to-west streets are numbered and north-to-south streets are given a name or a letter. Some east-to-west streets are also given names, such as S. Center St. and N. Westgate Blvd. Streets are generally labeled "North", "South", "East", or "North East" according to their relationship with 6th Avenue or Division Avenue (west of 'Division Ave', '6th Avenue' is the lowest-numbered street, making it the dividing street between "North" and "South"), 'A Street' (which is the dividing line between "East" and "South"), or 1st Street NE (which is the dividing line between "East" and "North East"). This can lead to confusion, as most named streets intersect streets of the same number in both north and south Tacoma. For example, the intersection of South 11th Street and South Union Avenue is just ten blocks south of North 11th Street and North Union Avenue.
To the east of the Thea Foss waterway and 'A Street', streets are similarly divided into "East" and "Northeast", with 1st Street NE being in-line with the Pierce–King county line. "North East" covers a small wedge of Tacoma and unincorporated Pierce County (around Browns Point and Dash Point) lying on the hill across the tideflats from downtown. Tacoma does have some major roads which do not seem to follow any naming rules. These roads include Schuster Pkwy, Pacific Ave, Puyallup Ave, Tacoma Mall Blvd, Marine View Dr (SR 509), and Northshore Pkwy. Tacoma also has some major roads which appear to change names in different areas (most notable are Tyler St/Stevens St, Oakes St/Pine St/Cedar St/Alder St, and S. 72nd St/S. 74th St). These major arterials actually shift over to align with other roads, which causes them to have the name changed.
This numeric system extends to the furthest reaches of unincorporated Pierce County (with roads outside of the city carrying "East", "West", "North West", and "South West", except on the Key Peninsula, which retains the north-south streets but chooses the Pierce–Kitsap county line as the zero point for east-west streets. Key Peninsula's roads also carry a "KP N" or "KP S" ("Key Peninsula North" or "Key Peninsula South") designation at the end of the street name.
In portions of the city dating back to the Tacoma Streetcar Period (1888–1938), denser mixed-use business districts exist alongside single family homes. Twelve such districts have active, city-recognized business associations and hold "small town"-style parades and other festivals. The Proctor District, Tacoma, Old Town, Dome, 6th Avenue, Stadium, Lincoln Business District, and South Tacoma Business Districts are some of the more prominent of these and coordinate their efforts to redevelop urban villages through the Cross District Association of Tacoma. In newer portions of the city to the west and south, residential culs-de-sac, four-lane collector roads and indoor shopping centers are more commonplace.
The dominant intercity transportation link between Tacoma and other parts of the Puget Sound is Interstate 5, which links Tacoma with Seattle to the north and Portland, Oregon, to the south. State Route 16 runs along a concrete viaduct through Tacoma's Nalley Valley, connecting Interstate 5 with Central and West Tacoma, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and the Kitsap Peninsula. Seattle–Tacoma International Airport lies 22 miles (35 km) north, in the city of SeaTac.
Public transportation in Tacoma includes buses, commuter rail, light rail, and ferries. Public bus service is provided by Pierce Transit, which serves Tacoma and Pierce County. Pierce Transit operates 43 bus routes (five of which through Sound Transit), using a fleet of buses powered by compressed natural gas, diesel, and electric batteries. Bus service operates at 30–60 minute frequencies daily, while three heavily ridden "trunk" routes are mostly served every 20 minutes on weekdays and every half-hour to an hour on weekends as of October 2, 2011. The bus route serving the Pacific Avenue corridor is planned to be upgraded into a bus rapid transit line by 2022, at a cost of $150 million.
Sound Transit, the regional transit authority, provides weekday Sounder Commuter Rail service and daily express bus service to and from Seattle. Sound Transit has also established Tacoma Link light rail, a 1.6-mile (2.6 km) free electric streetcar line linking Tacoma Dome Station with the University of Washington, Tacoma, Tacoma's Museum District, and the Theater District. Expansion of the city's rail transit system is in planning stages by the city of Tacoma and Sound Transit. The line will be extended north along Commerce St/Stadium Way and then west along Division Ave. It will then turn south along Martin Luther King Jr. Way and end near South 19th Street.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Tacoma from Tacoma Dome Station. The Cascades trains, operating as far north as Vancouver, British Columbia and as far south as Eugene, Oregon, serve Tacoma several times daily in both directions. The long-distance Coast Starlight operates daily between Seattle and Los Angeles via the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tacoma's relationship with public utilities extends back to 1893. At that time the city was undergoing a boom in population, causing it to exceed the available amount of fresh water supplied by Charles B. Wright's Tacoma Light & Water Company. In response to both this demand and a growing desire to have local public control over the utility system, the city council put up a public vote to acquire and expand the private utility. The measure passed on July 1, 1893, with 3,195 in favor of acquiring the utility system and 1,956 voting against. Since then, Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) has grown from a small water and light utility to be the largest department in the city's government, employing about 1,200 people.
Tacoma Power, a division of TPU, provides residents of Tacoma and several bordering municipalities with electrical power generated by eight hydroelectric dams on the Skokomish River and elsewhere. Environmentalists, fishermen, and the Skokomish Indian Tribe have criticized TPU's operation of Cushman Dam on the North Fork of the Skokomish River; the tribe's $6 billion claim was denied by the U.S. Supreme court in January 2006. The capacity of Tacoma's hydroelectric system as of 2004 was 713,000 kilowatts, or about 50% of the demand made up by TPU's customers (the rest is purchased from other utilities). According to TPU, hydroelectricity provides about 87% of Tacoma's power; coal 3%; natural gas 1%; nuclear 9%; and biomass and wind at less than 1%. Tacoma Power also operates the Click! Network, a municipally owned cable television and internet service. The residential cost per kilowatt hour of electricity is just over 6 cents.
Tacoma Water provides customers in its service area with water from the Green River Watershed. As of 2004, Tacoma Water provided water services to 93,903 customers. The average annual cost for residential supply was $257.84.
Tacoma Rail, initially a municipally owned street railway line running to the tideflats, was converted to a common-carrier rail switching utility. Tacoma Rail is self-supporting and employs over 90 people.
In addition to municipal garbage collection, Tacoma offers commingled recycling services for paper, cardboard, plastics, and metals.
Parks and recreation services in and around Tacoma are governed by Metro Parks Tacoma, a municipal corporation established as a separate entity from the city government in 1907. Metro Parks maintains over fifty parks and open spaces in Tacoma.
Point Defiance Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country (at 700 acres), is in Tacoma. Scenic Five-Mile Drive allows access to many of the park's attractions, such as Owen Beach, Fort Nisqually, and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA). There are many historic structures within the park, including the Pagoda, which was originally built as a streetcar waiting room. It was restored in 1988 and now serves as a rental facility for weddings and private parties. The Pagoda was nearly destroyed by fire on August 15, 2011. Repair work began immediately after the fire and continued until January 2013, at which time the Pagoda was reopened for public use.
Ruston Way is a waterfront area along Commencement Bay north of downtown Tacoma that hosts several public parks connected by a multi-use trail and interspersed with restaurants and other businesses. Public parks along Ruston Way include Jack Hyde Park, Old Town Dock, Hamilton Park, Dickman Mill Park, Les Davis Pier, Marine Park, and Cummings Park. The trail is used by walkers, runners, cyclists, and other recreationalists. There are several beaches along Ruston Way with public access, some of which are also popular for scuba diving.
Another large park in Tacoma is Wapato Park, which has a lake and walking trails that circle the lake. Wapato is in Tacoma's south end, at Sheridan and 72nd St.
Wright Park, near downtown, is a large, English-style park designed in the late 19th century by Edward Otto Schwagerl and Ebenezer Rhys Roberts. It contains Wright Park Arboretum and the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. This historic park is also the home of local festivals such as Ethnic Fest, Out in the Park (Tacoma's Pride festival), and the Tacoma Hempfest (Tacoma's annual gathering advocating decriminalization of marijuana).
Jefferson Park in North Tacoma is the location of a new sprayground, an area designed to be a safe and unique play area where water is sprayed from structures or ground sprays and then drained away before it can accumulate.
Frost Park in downtown Tacoma is often utilized for sidewalk chalk contests.
In response to the Tacoma area's growing dog population and stricter leash laws in many areas, dog parks have begun to be established. Rogers Off-Leash Dog Park is a metro public park established in 1949.
Two suspension bridges span a narrow section of the Salish Sea called the Tacoma Narrows. The Tacoma Narrows Bridges link Tacoma to Gig Harbor and the Kitsap Peninsula. The failure of the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which was the third-longest suspension bridge in the world, is a famous case study in architecture textbooks.
Tacoma has many properties that are listed on the City of Tacoma Register of Historic Places, the Washington State Heritage Register, and the National Register of Historic Places.
The city of Tacoma has an active municipal historic preservation program, which includes 165 individual city landmarks and over 1,000 historic properties included within five locally regulated historic overlay zones.
Fireboat No. 1 rests on a permanent dry berth at a public beach near Tacoma's Old Town neighborhood. It was built in 1929 for the Port of Tacoma by the Coastline Shipbuilding Company, and served for 54 years in waterfront fire protection, harbor security patrols, search and rescue missions, and water pollution control. It is one of only five fireboats designated as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors are able to walk around her exterior, but her interior is closed to the public.
William Ross Rust House is a home in Colonial/Classic Revival style, built in 1905 by Ambrose J. Russell (architect) and Charles Miller (contractor).
Murray Morgan Bridge is a 1911 steel lift bridge across the Thea Foss Waterway; it closed in 2007 to all automobile traffic due to its deteriorating condition but was reopened in February 2013 to all traffic following a substantial rehabilitation.
Other notable buildings include the National Realty Building, Lincoln High School, Rhodes House, Pythian Temple, Perkins Building, Tacoma Dome, and Rhodesleigh. The Luzon Building and Nihon Go Gakko school house have been demolished, and the MV Kalakala was scrapped in early 2015. University of Puget Sound, Cushman Dam No. 1, Cushman Dam No. 2, Rialto Theater, and Union Station are also noteworthy.
Tacoma's main public school district is Tacoma Public Schools. The district contains 36 elementary schools, eleven middle schools, and 10 high schools, including three non-traditional high schools (SAMi, SOTA, and iDEA) and two alternative high schools (Oakland and Willie Stewart Academy). Tacoma is also home to three charter public schools: SOAR Academy (elementary), Green Dot Destiny (middle) and Summit Olympus (high) school.ref>"Schools". www.tacomaschools.org. Retrieved 2017-10-01.</ref>
Henry Foss High School operates an International Baccalaureate program. Sheridan Elementary School operated three foreign-language immersion programs (Spanish, French, and Japanese). Mount Tahoma High School opened a new building in South Tacoma in the fall of 2004. Stadium High School and Wilson High School were remodeled/refurbished and reopened in September 2006.
Tacoma School of the Arts, opened in 2001 in downtown Tacoma, is an arts-focused high school that serves as a national model for educational innovation. SOTA is a public school, part of the Tacoma Public Schools, and is one of the nation's first schools to implement standards-based instruction, influencing the design of many schools in the nation. SOTA is in multiple venues around Downtown Tacoma and uses Community Museums and Universities for instructional space. In 2009, SOTA's staff expanded to a second, STEM-based high school located in Point Defiance Park, the Science and Math Institute. In 2017, the school district opened a third non-traditional high school in the same vein as SAMI and SOTA, called iDEA (Industrial Design, Engineering, and Art) in south Tacoma. SAMI and SOTA are the only schools in Tacoma to offer University of Washington in the Classroom college credit options from the University of Washington.
Tacoma's institutions of higher learning include the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma Community College, City University of Seattle-Tacoma, Bates Technical College, Corban University School of Ministry/Tacoma Campus, as well as satellite campuses of The Evergreen State College and the University of Washington. Pacific Lutheran University is in Parkland, just south of the city; nearby Lakewood is the home of Clover Park Technical College and Pierce College.
The city's major daily newspaper is The News Tribune, a subsidiary of McClatchy Newspapers since 1986. Its circulation is about 85,000 (100,000 on Sundays), making it the state's third-largest newspaper. A daily newspaper has been in circulation in Tacoma since 1883. Between 1907 and 1918, four dailies were published: The Tacoma Ledger, The News, The Tacoma Tribune, and The Tacoma Times.
Tacoma receives Seattle-area TV and radio stations.
Tacoma is home to KBTC Public Television, a PBS member station serving viewers throughout western Washington. KBTC is housed at the former home of long-time Tacoma broadcaster, KSTW. The property was purchased from KSTW when that station moved to Renton in 2001. It broadcasts on digital channel 27, (28.1, 28.2, MHz Worldview, and 28.3, TVW). KBTC Public Television is a service of Bates Technical College.
University of Washington Tacoma's weekly student-run newspaper The Ledger is also circulated around downtown Tacoma.
Tacoma is also the setting for the American comedy television series Tacoma FD on truTV. Created by members of the Broken Lizard comedy group, the series premiered on March 28, 2019.
|Tacoma Rainiers||Baseball||1960||Pacific Coast League||Cheney Stadium|
|Tacoma Defiance||Soccer||2014||USL Championship||Cheney Stadium|
|Reign FC||Soccer||2012||National Women's Soccer League||Cheney Stadium|
|Seattle Sounders FC U-23||Soccer||2006||USL League Two||Curtis Senior High School|
|Tacoma Stars||Indoor Soccer||2010||Major Arena Soccer League||Tacoma Soccer Center|
|Tacoma Cobras||Football||2009||Professional Developmental Football League||Franklin Pierce Stadium|
The city has struggled to keep a minor league hockey franchise. The Tacoma Rockets of the Western Hockey League moved to Kelowna, British Columbia. The Tacoma Sabercats of the former West Coast Hockey League closed their doors for financial reasons. The Tacoma Dome still hosts traveling sports and other events, such as pro-wrestling, figure-skating tours, and the Harlem Globetrotters. At one point, the Tacoma Dome was home to a professional indoor soccer team, the Tacoma Stars. For the 1994–95 season, the Seattle SuperSonics played in the Tacoma Dome while the Seattle Center Coliseum was renovated (and renamed KeyArena). The Tacoma Dome also hosted the 1988 and 1989 Women's NCAA Final Four. Tacoma is home to the all-female flat track roller derby league Dockyard Derby Dames, which fields an away team. Many golf clubs and courses are located in Tacoma including Lake Spanaway Golf Course.
|City||Division||Country||Year of partnership|
|Gunsan||North Jeolla Province||South Korea||1978|
|Kiryat Motzkin||Haifa District||Israel||1979|
|Ålesund||Møre og Romsdal||Norway||1986|
|Fuzhou||Fujian||People's Republic of China||1994|
|Davao City||none; directly administered||Philippines||1994|
|George||Western Cape||South Africa||1997|
|Taichung||none; directly administered||Taiwan||2000|
|Boca del Río||Veracruz||Mexico||2016|
Fuzhou, a port city and the capital of the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian, lies near the mouth of the Minjiang (i.e., Min River) where it flows into the Straits of Taiwan.
Boca del Rio, located in the center of State of Veracruz, Mexico has become Tacoma's 14th Sister City.
Booth Gardner (August 21, 1936 – March 15, 2013) was an American politician who served as the 19th governor of the U.S. state of Washington between 1985 and 1993. He also served as the ambassador of the GATT. A Democrat, Gardner served in the Washington State Senate and was Pierce County Executive prior to his tenure as governor. His service was notable for advancing standards-based education and environmental protection.Cam Gigandet
Cameron Joslin "Cam" Gigandet (; born August 16, 1982) is an American actor whose credits include a recurring role on The O.C. and appearances in feature films Twilight, Pandorum, Never Back Down, Burlesque, Easy A, The Roommate and Priest. He also starred in the short-lived CBS legal drama series Reckless. From 2016 to 2018, Gigandet starred in the Audience Network drama series Ice.Cheney Stadium
Cheney Stadium is a Minor League Baseball stadium located in Tacoma, Washington. It currently serves as home of the Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, as well as Tacoma Defiance of the USL Championship and Reign FC of the National Women's Soccer League. The stadium opened in 1960 and has a capacity of 6,500. It is next to Henry Foss High School, and the stadium has an agreement with the school to use the school parking lot for parking.Dockyard Derby Dames
The Dockyard Derby Dames (DyDD) is a women's flat track roller derby league based in Tacoma, Washington. Founded in 2005, the league currently consists of three teams, and a mixed team which competes against teams from other leagues, and is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).Fort Nisqually
Fort Nisqually was an important fur trading and farming post of the Hudson's Bay Company in the Puget Sound area, part of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia Department. It was located in what is now DuPont, Washington. Today it is a living history museum located in Tacoma, Washington, USA, within the boundaries of Point Defiance Park. The Fort Nisqually Granary, moved along with the Factor's House from the original site of the second fort to this park, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Built in 1843, the granary is the oldest building in Washington state and one of the only surviving examples of a Hudson's Bay Company "post on sill" structure. The Factor's House and the granary are the only surviving Hudson's Bay Company buildings in the United States.Jo Koy
Joseph Glenn Herbert (born June 2, 1971), known professionally as Jo Koy, is an American stand-up comic. He was a frequent panelist on E!'s late night show Chelsea Lately. Jo has gained a large following of fans lately from his semi-regular appearances on The Adam Carolla Show, where he does numerous impressions from P.F. Chang's greeter to Bung Lu Su.Lincoln High School (Tacoma, Washington)
Lincoln High School is a historic high school located in the south central sector of Tacoma, Washington, adjacent to Lincoln Park. Part of Tacoma Public Schools, it was named for Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. The school was founded in 1913 and built according to an architectural design by Frederick Heath. It celebrated its Centennial Jubilee in 2014.List of tallest buildings in Tacoma, Washington
This list of the tallest buildings in Tacoma, Washington ranks the tallest buildings in Tacoma, Washington by height. The tallest building in Tacoma is the 338-foot (103 m) 1201 Pacific (formerly Wells Fargo Plaza). Tacoma is the 3rd largest city in Washington and part of the Seattle metropolitan area; its buildings rank below those in Seattle and Bellevue. The city has two buildings that are over 240 feet (73 m) in height.Reign FC
Reign FC is an American professional women's soccer team based in Tacoma, Washington. Founded in 2012 as Seattle Reign FC, it was one of eight inaugural members of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). Laura Harvey was the team's first head coach and led the team to two consecutive NWSL Shield wins in 2014 and 2015. Vlatko Andonovski, who won two consecutive NWSL Championships with FC Kansas City over the Reign, is the current head coach.
The Reign play their home matches at Cheney Stadium. The club previously played at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila (2013) and at Memorial Stadium in Seattle (2014–18).Ron Cey
Ronald Charles Cey (; born February 15, 1948) is an American former professional baseball player, a third baseman in the major leagues. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1971–82), Chicago Cubs (1983–86), and Oakland Athletics (1987). Cey batted and threw right-handed; a popular player, he was nicknamed "The Penguin" for his slow waddling running gait by his college coach, Chuck "Bobo" Brayton.Stadium High School
Stadium High School is a public high school in Tacoma, Washington, and a historic landmark. It is part of Tacoma Public Schools, or Tacoma School District No. 10 and is located in the Stadium District, near downtown Tacoma. The original building burned to a shell in 1898 while it was still a partially constructed hotel designed by Hewitt & Hewitt that was being used for storage. It was reconstructed for use as a school beginning in 1906 according to designs by Frederick Heath, and a "bowl" stadium was added later in 1910.Tacoma Defiance
Tacoma Defiance, formerly Seattle Sounders FC 2, is an American professional soccer team based in Tacoma, Washington, U.S. that competes in the USL Championship, the second tier of the national soccer pyramid, as the reserve team of Seattle Sounders FC. The Defiance is operated and managed by Seattle Sounders FC, while 20 percent of the club is fan-owned through the non-profit Sounders Community Trust.The club was established in 2014 as Seattle Sounders FC 2 (S2) and originally played at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Washington. The team moved to Tacoma's Cheney Stadium in 2018 and was rebranded as the Defiance the following season. The Defiance plans to move into a new soccer-specific stadium near Cheney Stadium in the 2020s.Tacoma Dome
The Tacoma Dome is a multi-purpose arena in the northwest United States, located in Tacoma, Washington, approximately thirty miles (50 km) south of Seattle, and adjacent to Interstate 5.Tacoma Mall
The Tacoma Mall is the largest shopping center in Tacoma, Washington. It is owned by Simon Property Group. Anchor tenants include JCPenney (originally two levels, but added a third level in 1986), Macy's (originally The Bon Marche), and Nordstrom with one vacant anchor last occupied by Sears, which opened in 1981. The mall opened on October 13, 1965. Another former anchor was Liberty House, which opened in 1974 (briefly Liberty House/Rhodes, with the Rhodes name later dropped, later Frederick & Nelson, then Mervyn's), which was demoilshed for the current location of Nordstrom, which relocated from an anchor that was originally Nordstrom Best, with the Best name dropped in 1972, and expanded from 55,000 square feet to 134,000 square feet in 1983, in 2008. The former Nordstrom was divided into Sephora, Apple Store, and Forever 21 in 2010. Forever 21 relocated to a smaller location in 2016, and the former location became a Dick's Sporting Goods in 2017.
On May 31, 2018, it was announced that Sears would be closing as part of a plan to close 72 stores nationwide. The store closed on September 2, 2018.Tacoma Trauma
The Tacoma Trauma is an expansion team of the Women's Football Alliance that was set to begin play in 2012. Based in Tacoma, Washington, the Trauma plans to announce its home venue in the coming weeks. However, they never played a game on their 2012 schedule, but will play beginning in 2013.The News Tribune
The News Tribune is a daily newspaper in Tacoma, Washington, in the United States.Vicci Martinez
Vicci Martinez (born September 21, 1984) is an American singer/songwriter and actress from Tacoma, Washington. She came in joint third on NBC's singing competition series The Voice in 2011. She released her 2012 album with Republic Records (Universal Music Group), but self-released her 2015 album.Washington State History Museum
For the Washington State Museum in Seattle see Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
The Washington State History Museum, in downtown Tacoma, Washington, is one of two museums owned and operated by the Washington State Historical Society under the official approval of the Washington State Legislature, the other being the Capitol Museum.The museum maintains three permanent exhibits. One is about the history of Washington State and relation to the Pacific Northwest with artifacts from Women's Suffrage, Industrialization, Native American Tribes and items such as Clovis Points.The top floor of the museum contains the History Lab, where visitors can explore and learn about history in a more hands-on fashion with multiple interactive exhibits.Also on the top floor is the permanent model train layout, said to be the largest in the state at 1,700 sq ft (160 m2), which recreates scenes from Tacoma's Union Station (where the museum is located) and other regional railroads. The museum has an annual Model Train Festival in December.Woodrow Wilson High School (Tacoma, Washington)
Woodrow Wilson High School is a four-year public secondary school in Tacoma, Washington. It is one of five traditional high schools in the Tacoma Public School System and is located at the intersection of Orchard Street and 11th Street. Wilson's current principal is Dan Besett; assistant principals are Shane Silva and Bernadette Ray.
|Climate data for Tacoma, Washington (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1982–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)||66
|Average high °F (°C)||48.4
|Average low °F (°C)||37.1
|Record low °F (°C)||17
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||5.93
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||18.8||14.9||17.3||13.9||10.6||8.2||4.1||4.4||6.6||12.8||19.3||18.5||149.4|
|Source #1: NOAA|
|Source #2: The Weather Channel|
Places adjacent to Tacoma, Washington
Municipalities and communities of Pierce County, Washington, United States
County seat: Tacoma
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties
Mayors of cities with populations exceeding 100,000 in Washington