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Old City Hall Historic District Design Guidelines 

Project Timeline:  2018-2019

Project Description

This project will create a new set of design guidelines for the Old City Hall Historic District, located in the north end of downtown between South 9th Street, the 705 Stadium exit, A Street and Broadway.  Tacoma's first established historic district, created in 1978, Old City Hall Historic District is listed on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places, the Washington State Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

Old City Hall Historic DistrictConsisting of approximately 40 buildings, the district represents some of Tacoma's earliest and most important surviving historic buildings, including the Northern Pacific Headquarters (1888), Old City Hall (1892) and the Elks Lodge (1915).

Within the district, development projects that affect the exterior appearance of buildings or public spaces require design approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, a volunteer citizen commission appointed by City Council to oversee historic preservation issues in Tacoma.  The Commission uses adopted historic standards and guidelines to determine whether projects are appropriate and in-keeping with the character of the area.  The Tacoma Municipal Code requires that, when a new historic district is established, a set of design guidelines be adopted to guide the design review process.  However, because the Old City Hall Historic District was created before this requirement was established, no guidelines have ever been formally adopted.  This project seeks to remedy this issue.


The draft guidelines are currently under review by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.  Expected adoption is June 2019.


Public Review Draft

Staff Contact
Reuben McKnight, Historic Preservation Officer
(253) 591-5220