Monday, December 24, 2012

Pics: Downtown Tacoma

View Larger Map

A set of photos from downtown Tacoma, WA, which is full of old, historic, and often empty buildings. I took these photos several years ago and uploaded the set a while back, but never got around to creating a post around them. In large part this is because I don't know anything about any of the buildings you see here. I actually spent much of my childhood in Federal Way, just north of Tacoma, but as far as I can recall we never went anywhere near Tacoma's downtown. Nor do I recall going there at any point between then and the day I showed up with a digital camera. Nothing looked remotely familiar when I stopped by, which is actually a pretty reliable indicator. In any case, the first couple of links above have some info about the city's historic buildings, so you might want to follow those if you see anything interesting in the slideshow here.

There's one other structure I'd like to mention here, which isn't pictured because the city never managed to build it. Back in the mid-1990s, a pair of Russian "paper architects" were asked to design a pedestrian bridge connecting downtown Tacoma with the waterfront, far below. They came up with a fanciful wooden pier-like structure that quickly became a cause celebré in town. Which, unfortunately, was not the same thing as having actual funding for the project. It was around this time that the Portland Art Museum hosted a show of their designs, Brodsky & Utkin: Paper Architecture in a Real World. Based on those designs it's hard to say how realistic, by which I mean buildable under the usual laws of physics, their Tacoma proposal may have been. Was still a cool idea though.

No comments :