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McKinley Hill Historic Resource Inventory

This inventory project is led by the City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office, in partnership with Historic Tacoma, in an effort to update the city’s inventory of historic and cultural resources. One goal of the inventory is to include thorough public outreach so that we better understand what is important to the community. This project reflects our dedication to equity and antiracism and the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented.

Support for this project is also provided by Tacoma Creates, the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, and the National Park Service.


Learn more!


We want to hear the stories behind the places. Whether it's an old family story or a recent reminiscence, tell us about the places in McKinley matter to you, and most importantly, why they matter to you.


Take the Survey


Have any historic photos, memorabilia, or documents related to the history of the McKinley neighborhood? We'd love for you to email them to us at info@historictacoma.org.


Historic Tacoma will be hosting a series of virtual workshops to talk about the neighborhood and why historic preservation is important. The workshops are free and open to the public, and we welcome questions ahead of time! Just email us at info@historictacoma.org.

Virtual Workshop Schedule

  • February 26, 2021 - Project Kickoff and Virtual Tour with Pretty Gritty Tours
  • March 22, 2021 - How to do historical research, espeically in a pandemic!
  • April 2021 - What is a historic survey and why does it matter?
  • May 2021 - All the details on what it means to be a landmark.
  • June 2021 - Project wrap-up and overview of historic survey.


Staff Contact

Reuben McKnight, Historic Preservation Officer


(253) 591-5220


Past Projects

Old City Hall Historic District Design Guidelines

Project Description

During 2018-19, the City of Tacoma created 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.


Adopted.  Please see Old City Hall Historic District in the Historic Districts link to the left for more information.


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