Saturday, September 26, 2009

Memories, line the corners of my mind

Luzon Building

Address: 1302 Pacific Avenue
Construction date: 1891


Daniel Burnham and John Root.

Architectural/Historic Significance:

Built in 1890-91, the building’s significance stems from its breakthrough design and from the fame of the Chicago architects who designed it, Daniel Burnham and John Root, considered among the fathers of the American skyscraper. The Luzon was a transition building for the firm because it incorporated a relatively light steel framework along with traditional masonry construction. Before the Luzon era, major buildings were limited in height because all of their weight was borne by their thick masonry walls. Once Burnham and Root substituted steel framework for the heavy masonry, taller buildings became a possibility. The Luzon was one of two Burnham and Root buildings in Tacoma, the other, the 12 story Fidelity Building at South 11th and Broadway, was torn down in the early 1950s
The six-story building, which has housed a bank, a Chinese restaurant, an arcade and other businesses during its tenure, is one of two Burnham & Root structures remaining on the West Coast. Its internal metal structure was an early precursor to modern skyscraper construction methods

Last Tuesday I drove by the building and took a picture of it

I loved to look at the reflection of the building in the glass building behind it, it was kind of spooky, much like looking into a pool and seeing a reflection. Because of the squares of glass it seemed to be moving. Today the building was torn down. It had to be. It was left in such disrepair for so many years that it was a danger.
So I went to say good bye (of course)

All rubble now

This building, as far back as I remember it was an adult theater and then the Fun Circus. The bus station was right across the street. As a young person my sisters and I used to take the bus from Sumner to Tacoma and be dropped off right in front of here. There were always seedy people outside, you averted your eyes and headed to the right straight down to downtown. We heard of many things that went on in the place, heck we heard there were 'peep shows' after that was described to us we were terrified! Later when as a teen and in the safety of a car we would glance out of the corner of our eyes at the place, still you never turned your head. You didn't want to be caught looking!

Although sad to say goodbye to a part of Tacoma's history we raise a glass and shout

Cheers to Happy !!


  1. oh my thanks for the memories!

  2. That was a great account of the building. Thanks for a fun story! Cheers to the many who passed through and past this bit of history; us included. I am proud to say, I never saw the inside!