• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma OpenData

Celebrate “People Saving Places” During Historic Preservation Month

Celebrate “People Saving Places” During Historic Preservation Month


April 28, 2023



Amy Clancy, Media and Communications, aclancy@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152
Megan Snow, Media and Communications,
msnow@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 219-7083


Celebrate “People Saving Places” During Historic Preservation Month

This year “People Saving Places” is the focus of historic preservation month. The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected this year’s theme to recognize the people who work to save and preserve historic landmarks across America.

The City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office is partnering with community groups to celebrate during the month of May. Events will be happening throughout the month beginning May 2 with a City Council Proclamation.

“This year’s theme is a great reminder that preserving landmarks is about people,” said Historic Preservation Coordinator Susan Johnson. “We are excited to be partnering to bring a full schedule of events to Tacoma, so that people can learn more about historic preservation and its importance. This year’s theme is incredibly fitting given that the City will host the annual Preservation Awards on May 25 to shine a light on the people and projects working to keep Tacoma's history alive, whether that's by renovating a historic building or boosting lesser known stories of our shared past.”

There is still time to submit a nomination for the Historic Preservation Awards. Nominations can be submitted using Google Forms through May 3.

City of Tacoma Sponsored Events include:

  • May 1-31 Tacoma History Quest is returning with a new set of clues to solve.
  • May 2: City Council Proclamation
  • May 4: Free public workshop/demonstration at Earthwise Architectural Salvage on reclaimed/salvaged lumber, 1:00-3:00pm. 628 East 60th Street. (see below)
  • May 6: Community Archives Center will host Hilltop Story Fest, 11am-3pm, at Tacoma Community House, 1314 South L St.
  • May 17: Walk Lincoln District with Downtown on the Go, 12pm-1pm. See Downtown on the Go’s website and social media platforms for details in the coming weeks.
  • May 18: Sustainability, Preservation and Infill: walking tour of University of Washington/Tacoma campus
  • May 25: Annual Historic Preservation Awards ceremony

Other events are being organized by community partners. Please check the online events calendar for updates and new additions.

For more information about Historic Preservation Month and the City’s Historic Preservation Office including our more than 100 city landmarks, visit us at cityoftacoma.org/historicpreservation.

Event Information:

Tacoma History Quest

May 1-31


The first Tacoma History Quest was such a hit in 2022 that we have brought it back for Historic Preservation Month 2023. Use the clues provided to find the answers among Tacoma’s historic sites. Participants with the most correct answers will be entered for a chance to win some Tacoma Historic Preservation swag.

More information will be posted to the Tacoma Culture and Tacoma Historic Preservation social media channels in May.   


Processing Reclaimed Lumber Demonstration

1-3 p.m. May 4 at Earthwise Architectural Salvage (628 East 60th Street)


Come learn about reclaimed lumber and architectural salvage as part of Historic Preservation Month 2023. A free, public demonstration and Q&A with Earthwise Architectural Salvage’s Director of Operations Aaron Blanchard will show some of the steps in processing reclaimed lumber. See firsthand how the crew works through de-nailing, milling, planning and more. Hear about the different sources and types of lumber, from former gymnasium bleacher benches to submerged logs. Bring your questions and curiosity, take a tour of the salvage yard, and get ideas for your next remodeling project. The City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Program and the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability will have additional information available.

This will be an outdoor event in the milling yard. Be aware there is no weather cover, and the ground is gravel surface. Please dress accordingly.

If you have any questions, please email Susan Johnson, Historic Preservation Coordinator, at sjohnson7@cityoftacoma.org or call at (253) 281-7445.


The Community Archives Center at Tacoma Public Library Hilltop Story Fest

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 6 at Tacoma Community House (1314 S L St)


This event will celebrate, share and document stories from the Hilltop Community. Like Salishan Story Fest held in August 2022, the event will include a digitization station, an oral history recording booth, and a "make your own comic book" activity for kids. The oral histories and digitized items gathered at the event will be made available in the Northwest ORCA digital archive. The event will also feature stories from local residents and presentations by the City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office, the Association of Colored Women's Clubs, the Hilltop Action Coalition, and Hilltop Artists. Local performer Kenya Adams will be debuting her piece "Armed: A DanCe Demonstration," inspired by stories of Hilltop. Lunch will be provided by Boss Mama's Kitchen.

More information about Hilltop Story Fest is available on the event page and a flyer is included with this packet. More upcoming Community Archives Center events are listed here.


Walk Lincoln District with Downtown on the Go

12-1 p.m. May 17 at Lincoln Park (801 S 37th St.)


Join Downtown on the Go to learn about the architectural elements that dot Tacoma’s historical and vibrant Lincoln District on the next in-person tour of the 2023 Walk Tacoma series. Historic Preservationist, Susan Johnson will lead the 1.2 mile walk.

The Walk Tacoma series, sponsored by MultiCare, is a five-event walking series. The fun, themed walks, now in their fourteenth year, encourage people to enjoy Tacoma on foot by introducing new walking routes and sharing information about the community and its history through guided tours. For more information on the full 2023 Walk Tacoma Series visit downtownonthego.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The Annual City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Awards

6-8 PM on Thursday, May 25 – Location details to be coming soon


The annual Preservation Awards recognize the people and projects working to keep Tacoma's history alive, whether that's by renovating a historic building or boosting lesser known stories of our shared past. This year, new categories have been added, including:

  • Sustainability (new category as of 2023)
  • Housing (new category as of 2023)
  • Broadening Perspectives (Awareness of under-documented or represented historical narratives)
  • Commercial Renovation
  • Community Engagement
  • Heritage/Legacy Business
  • Innovation in Preservation and Outreach
  • Landmark Nomination
  • Leadership in Preservation
  • Partnerships in Preservation
  • Residential Renovation

More details available at cityoftacoma.org/historicpreservation.

For more information, contact Historic Preservation Coordinator Susan Johnson at sjohnson7@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 281-7445.