KFnet in T-Town

Dec. 7, 2007 at 9:17am

Heidelberg Brewery Demolition Looming (update 2)

Preservation or progress?

A squirrel in my attic tells me that there is a permit for complete demolition of the Heidelberg Brewery in the hands of the City of Tacoma. I confirmed with a City staffer but couldn't get anymore details. It's supposedly under SEPA review but no information about timeline or more specific plans for the spot are available. A June 29, 2006 article from the News Tribune harks to development firm Strand Investors, LLC of Gig Harbor selling the property to create a retail and residential project. County records show the old brewery still in Strand's name. I have a few calls and emails in so more details as they arise.

Should this structure be somehow saved for historic preservation or is it merely a vacant blight and eyesore holding up progress in the area?

Update 1 (11:35am)
Looks like the Landmarks Preservation Commission will receive a briefing from the developer at their meeting on the 12th at 5pm in Room 16 of the Tacoma Municipal Building North.

Update 2 (1:07pm)
Had a chat with Reuben McKnight of the Landmarks Preservation Commission about Heidelberg. He said that although the area around the plant has been previously discussed as possibly becoming the "Brewery Historic District" it's currently a conservation district. This area acts somewhat as a buffer around the Union core historic area. That sort of designation doesn't carry with it the same regulations but still requires review to make sure what's going on there doesn't clash too badly with the neighboring historic areas.

The future doesn't look bright for preservation of Heidelberg however. Reuben mentioned a 2003 study done that determined the historic character of the building was lost from various work and retrofits of the facility over the years.

Nevertheless, as mentioned above, more of the developer's plans may surface at next Wednesday's meeting. Though it's a briefing and not a hearing and public comment isn't required, there may be a chance to air your opinions.

Thanks for your time Reuben and I look forward to learning more as this progresses.

comments [7]  |  posted under demolition, development, heidelberg brewery, tacoma

Comments

by jenyum on 12/7/2007 @ 10:12am
It's too bad, it is kind of iconic. But, it's hard to say without knowing if the building is really salvageable. Maybe someone could "rescue" that brew tower?

by Erik on 12/7/2007 @ 11:43am
Does anyone have a picture of it?

by KevinFreitas on 12/7/2007 @ 11:44am
Of the tower or what the developer is proposing to put there?

by Erik on 12/7/2007 @ 12:20pm
I think I know generally what it is but not the whole building.

by KevinFreitas on 12/7/2007 @ 12:49pm
I'll probably try and attend the commission meeting I mentioned above to see if any drawings present themselves.

by Melanie on 12/9/2007 @ 2:06pm
Here's a picture I took of the brewery a couple of years ago...
utah.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30049557...

by KevinFreitas on 12/10/2007 @ 7:06am
That's a beauty Melanie. There's a group in town called the Tacoma Photo Gang who went out early this year to snap photos of the area of the brewery. Might have to go out again to focus just on Heidelberg tho to get some more good preservation shots. Even if it's lost the memory of it certainly doesn't need to be.

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