Tacoma Urbanist

Dec. 31, 2007 at 12:08am

From Demolition to Restoration : First United Methodist Church To Dedicate New Building in May 2008

This year, we witnessed the razing of the First United Methodist Church which was a tremendous loss for Tacoma in many respects.

Original Church

Mostly demolished.  Then the snow fell.

All gone but the arch.  Great picture by the way Kevin, the visual contrasts here are pretty incredible.

Here is the Benkins Building being renovated for the new church on Tacoma Avenue.  Here, windows are being cut out of the concrete.

Windows being put in.  Picture taken from the Grand Theater parking lot.

The destruction of the historical Methodist Church will be a permanent loss for the city of Tacoma.  I won't rehash the issue here. 

Fortunately, FUMC has decided to stay downtown on Tacoma Avenue, an area which could use some new life to the area.  Perhaps the first church built downtown in 70 years.  Churches have been moving out of the city for decades and often consolidating into mega churches at the outskirts of town.  The new FUMC will be an exception to that trend.

Rendition of new church designed by Architect David Boe:

First United Methodist Church of Tacoma
Tacoma, WA

The renovation of the existing "Bekins Moving and Storage Warehouse" into a new church facility for FUMC's urban ministries. The scope of work includes the complete structural retrofit of the existing c. 1930 and c. 1950 concrete structures and the "opening up" of the interior, to create sacred space within the concrete shell. Completion spring 2008.


From the FUMC website:

New Church Dedication May 18th, 2008 at 5:00 pm.  We will be dedicating our new church on May 18th, 2008.  Save the date.

Until May, we wait.  For a new urban church,

(FUMC pictures courtesy of Kevin Freitas.)
(FUMC Newsletter on new building.)

comments [4]  |  posted under tacoma, Washington


by NineInchNachos on 12/31/2007 @ 9:46am
you know I like the new church location and design, but when compared side by side ad in this post, I become enraged at what we've all lost when an old building like this is lost. They sure don't makem like that anymore. Intensely Bad karma.

by NineInchNachos on 12/31/2007 @ 9:48am
tacoma must never forget the loss of the original church

by Erik on 12/31/2007 @ 4:38pm
Yeah. The second and third are pretty painful pictures to see. I am not going to conclude it was all for the best. Very few would.

Yet, here we are now.

by Erik on 1/1/2008 @ 9:07am
Today, the TNT picks up the story. But without the pictures:

A year after historic First United Methodist Church in Tacoma was torn down, Harriet Huffman is looking forward to her congregation moving into another building a few blocks away.