Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:00am
industrial, but abandoned
Not every dilapidating building in Tacoma is on a historical register, nor necessarily highly visible. Today, I'm addressing the property at 501 E. 11th Street. Formerly occupied and owned by a company called "Bees Industry", this pair of four-story tall warehouses has been sitting vacant for at least 5 years, as my sources tell me. Although, it looks like it hasn't been painted in 30 years.
With easy access to downtown cut off by the 11th Street Bridge being out of service and the building's location being very much industrial, it has slipped under many people's radar. However, it's location is prime with easy access to the City Waterway and also being directly in the path of those who will be commuting to their jobs at Urban Waters once finished.
What could be done with this structure? Here are a few pictures to help you think.
From the bridge deck of the 11th street bridge
Detail of the space between the attached warehouses
Notice of abandonment.
It's neighbor across the street, in the shadow of the high-rises of downtown. They're hiring, and I inquired within. Apparently they are not in need of the skills provided by a Brick. They need fitters and welders, neither of which I can do. If you have those skills, the phone number they painted on the wall is 253-396-1400
While I was in the neighborhood, I thought I'd also address another decaying property on my list. Be sure to look next week for my posting on the 11th Street Bridge.
Nov. 13, 2009 at 9:55pm
Sad sad sad
I'm sorry that I've been absent a while. I recently found that it was harder to cross the 11th Street Bridge than I thought. I was accosted by some young hooligans who thought it would be entertaining to throw me in the City Waterway. I finally managed to crawl out of the water and mud. Never fear, gentle reader, for no wanton acts of cruelty will keep me from my mission.I promise a couple new posts soon!
Oct. 21, 2009 at 7:30am
Empty for at least a decade
Greetings, all. Today I wish to share with you a three-story building on MLK, built sometime around 1920. Of course, in those days it was South K Street, seems not a lot of people remember that. Anyway, this building was supposed to be re-modeled into "Allen Place", but the developers have been in foreclosure since November 2007, owing nearly $632,000 to the bank. That is a heafty sum, even in today's worthless fiat dollar.
As far as I know, and anyone I've talked to knows, this building has sat idle for somewhere about 10 years. Rotting away. Take a look at this building and think about what it was like back in the 20s, and what it gem it <i>could</i> be.
The Front on MLK:
Yours Truly. And yes, Mr Anderson, I'll look at the camera next time. I promise. Also, here is the notice of foreclosure and the concpet of what might have been.
Perhaps a theater or club was here once?
The roof. Seems to have easy enough access for vandals?
The Building's sole inhabitant:
Pay attention to this one. If you look, you can see damage in the upper floors. I am not certain how close to becoming a parking lot this building is, but it certainly has to be on the short list.
Oct. 9, 2009 at 8:31pm
All alone in my thoughts.
It's almost completely gone.
And it seems that I'm the last Brick Standing.
Or at least the only one out in the wild. I have reports of a nicely stacked pallet of nicer bricks than myself sitting off in a corner. Hard to say what fate my brethren will come to, most likely paperweights or perhaps a brick barbecue in the Honorable Erik Anderson's back yard. It's hard to say.
Now that I've had time to rest and reflect, I feel that it is time to start my mission. Beginning today, I'll be using my celebrity status along with modern technology to help bring awareness to other decaying properties around Tacoma.
There are a few obvious items on my list, notably the Alt Heidelberg Brewery, the 11th Street Bridge and quite a few others I've noticed.
However, I would like some help. You see, Bricks aren't terribly mobile and it takes me quite a long time to get anywhere. I would like anyone who knows of a dilapidating property in town to send me a tip at my new electronic mail address. I'll be certain to investigate and report what I find here.
You see, this is quite thrilling! I feel like a reporter for the Ledger!
You may contact me via:
luzonbrick at gmail dot com
Sep. 29, 2009 at 5:41pm
Rescued from the rubble.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls of all ages! Direct your attention to the center ring!
Oh, wait a moment. My apologies, I was unable to shove off my sordid past in the Fun Circus. Please, allow me a proper introduction.
I am the Luzon Brick. Yes, that is I in the photograph below. It is not quite as good as a portrait done by George Elmer Fisher, but I do find the photograph flattering.
I would like to take the time to point out that I am, indeed the genuine article, the real McCoy. A true piece of history, I am one of the thousands of bricks that once made up the towering facade of the Luzon building. I was rescued from certain doom by a passer-by, and for that I am grateful.
I've seen a lot happen in this town during my 12 decades of duty. I remember the wild conversations and all the gossip that happened in the walls I helped form. Oh, the scandals! I remember when J. E. Chilberg's bank failed, leaving it's new skyscraper half finished for half a decade! You should have heard the tongues wag!
But as the years passed, I heard fewer and fewer voices. And one day, they ceased completely. I tell you, it it mighty lonely sitting in the company of other bricks for a generation or two. We seldom have much to say to each other that the rest of us did not already know.
Now that my job no longer exists, I wondered what I would do with my time. I managed to keep my charge through the Panic of 1893, the Great Depression, through two world wars, through a red scare and through the recessions of the nineteen-seventies and nineteen-eighties. Now I find myself at a severe disadvantage in the workforce. What opportunities are there for a 120 year-old? Not many, I'm afraid.
I discussed this employment issue with the person who saved me, and they suggested I use all your new-fangled computer technology and my own experience to bring awareness to all the other dillapidated buildings left in Tacoma. I thought that was jim-dandy idea, and I'll be devoting my free time to help keep more history from being lost to the wrecking ball. And of course, to help keep thousands of good, honest hard-working bricks like myself meaningfully employed.
I'm a now unemployed Brick. My old job at the Luzon was unexpectedly ended, and I find myself a 120 year-old looking for work is a very bad economy.
So, I've decided to devote my time to bringing awareness to other dilapidating structures, in hope that they too don't get razed and left as yet more parking.
As one of the Oldest Citizens of Tacoma and as a piece of history itself, I say it is high time we worked harder to save our history.