Tacoma Urbanist

Apr. 23, 2008 at 12:31am

Tacoma Rallies Preparing for Kunstler Event


James Kunstler in Tacoma Today

The last few days have been pretty interesting seeing the growing excitement around the James Kunstler presentation today the Theater on the Square. 

I don't think I have seen an event in recent past which has had such grass roots support or at least mention in Tacoma.  The Tacoma Blogosphere certainly had a lot to do with it as well as the growing interest in rebuilding and restoring the city.

Here are just a few of the groups, entities, articles and posts which have mentioned or discussed it.  I have linked to the Kunstler post when possible.

Local Kunstler Links

University of Puget Sound

Tacoma Daily Index

Broadway Center for Performing Arts

New Tacoma Neighborhood (by email)

Downtown Merchant Association (by emai)

Exit 133 (sponsor)

Local Life Tacoma (sponsor)

Weekly Volcano (Kunstler's Interview with Daniel Blue)

King's Books


Tacoma Mamma

Holistic Force Works

Tacoma News Tribune (Inside the Editorial Page Blog)

Funkarama Villiage


Tacoma Organizer

Feed Tacoma's Tacomic

Feed Tacoma Calendar

Tacoma Urbanist

(I am sure I missed a number of links, please feel free to add to it)


Kunstler's writing and and video have hit a nerve in Tacoma.  "Is this a place worth caring about?" Kunstler asks.

There is an increasing awareness in Tacoma that something is fundamentally broken in the process in which buildings and public spaces in the city are being designed and built. 

Kunstler's statement that "we need to do better" rings true for many Tacomans.  Many believe Tacoma can do better.  Much better when they examine what has been built in Tacoma in the last 40 years in relation as to what has been built in the last 120 years.

Tacoma is lucky that it it has some well designed and walkable areas of the city which were nearly all built before 1940.  Other cities have no such reference. Perhaps that is a curse we have in Tacoma is that Tacomans actually know how a neighborhood and a downtown can be designed like.

There are still a few Kunstler tickets available for tonights event at 7:00.

For more information and tickets, contact the Broadway Center Box Office by phone at 253.591.5894, visit in person at 9th & Broadway or any time online at www.broadwaycenter.org. You must call the BCPA Box Office to receive student pricing.

comments [16]  |  posted under tacoma


by NineInchNachos on 4/23/2008 @ 9:03am
so much Kunstler.. I am overwhelmed! Kunstler all over my face, in my ears and up my nose! Kunstler freakout!!!!

by intacoma on 4/23/2008 @ 10:00am
Wow this is getting crazy!


by NineInchNachos on 4/23/2008 @ 10:19am
oh lordy

by thriceallamerican on 4/23/2008 @ 10:48am
Ooh, one more!

by oldbrickhousefarm on 4/23/2008 @ 11:39am
Alrighty, the mighty mouse silhouette put me over the top. Ticket purchased.

by jenyum on 4/23/2008 @ 11:57am

Just, don't go to the "do you have epilepsy?" part of that site. My brain is still tingling. Bad. Very Bad. Could not see to hit little red square and make it stop.

by Erik on 4/23/2008 @ 12:07pm
Ooh, one more!

Wow this is getting crazy!


Wow. I might even reach my Kunstler tolerance level here if this continues. Crazy.

so much Kunstler.. I am overwhelmed! Kunstler all over my face, in my ears and up my nose! Kunstler freakout!!!!

True. However, afterwards there will always be long discussion sessions on what kind of hanging baskets the city should place on the streets.

by Erik on 4/23/2008 @ 12:25pm
Here's a note from a Seattle blog. Yes, about the Kunstler event but also about the Tacoma blogosphere:

Got a note from Derek down at Exit133.com, Tacoma’s local community blog that leaves most of us Seattle bloggers to shame. (They write well and don’t spend their time in pissy political catfights with each other, which puts them light years ahead of some blog that dropped us from their Enemies List this week.)

They’re bringing in James Howard Kunstler to speak tonight down there. Kunstler is one of those doom-and-gloom sorts who writes about the world post-oil in The Long Emergency. He’d easily pack out Town Hall with our cadres of earnest Prius-driving liberals. Instead, though, they got him to come to Tacoma. If you’re in the south end, it’s worth your time to go hear this guy.


by thriceallamerican on 4/23/2008 @ 1:00pm
So, in a related note, what's with the TNT freezeout of this event? An online search on their site only links to a Puyallup Herald article. Their events calendar in today's Soundlife includes the Pink Floyd Experience, but no Kunstler.

(The Soundlife schedule does mention a lecture by former PLU football coach Frosty Westering...well and good, but he doesn't exactly share the same national renown as JHK... Wonder if he'll be doing the nut in the jar, red/blue car, or maybe even both...the Lutes know what I'm talkin' bout. Attaway!)

Is this an intentional slight of the event because of its association with Exit133 and other "online media", or did BCPA just not push the event via the TNT? Seems like a lot of people not active in the online world might be interested in the event, yet little mainstream mention elsewhere...

by thriceallamerican on 4/23/2008 @ 1:08pm
Seattle Metblogs: He’d easily pack out Town Hall with our cadres of earnest Prius-driving liberals. Instead, though, they got him to come to Tacoma.

Interestingly, I see via Seattlest that Kunstler did an appearance at the (Seattle) University Bookstore last night...for free. Granted it was probably more of a reading/signing sort of event than the lecture in store for here, but ability to do multiple events probably helped out in the bid to bring him to Tacoma.

by NineInchNachos on 4/23/2008 @ 1:33pm
The [Tacoma] News Tribune is busy building it's pet name database and cannot be distracted from this important mission.

by thriceallamerican on 4/23/2008 @ 1:39pm
Excellent point, NiN. That pet database could save lives.

Don't forget their efforts to pummel online readers with pop-under ads.

by NineInchNachos on 4/23/2008 @ 1:44pm
the dang thing doesn't even work

by Jake on 4/23/2008 @ 2:33pm
Saw a Komo4news truck on Broadway . Are they here for Kunstler ??/

by oldbrickhousefarm on 4/23/2008 @ 2:38pm
Perhaps Frank Gehry & Rem Koolhaas scared him away from Seattle.

Kunstler is like the Cartman-Dali-Lama for urban compassion. Tacoma needs his humor & inspiration more than most.

by intacoma on 4/23/2008 @ 3:32pm