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Condition of downtown Tacoma’s Old City Hall on council’s Tuesday study session agenda

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Nov. 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm with 12 Comments »
November 29, 2010 12:51 pm
Robert Moore with Halo Construction, a tenant in Old City Hall, watches water flow from a broken water pipe from the green house at the top floor of the old Tacoma City Hall on Wednesday. The third floor was mostly flooded with extensive water damaged to the building. (Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer)

Several Tacoma city council members have asked for an update on the condition of Old City Hall and what response the city might have to damage done by a burst pipe last week.

The city doesn’t own the building but could use enforcement of building codes as a way to force the owner to take action. That owner, George Webb of the Stratford Co., said he is assessing the damage and developing a response. Meanwhile it is without heat or power and two remaining tenants in the once-full building cannot use their space.

The building showed signs of neglect even before the flooding caused by frozen pipes.

In an e-mail to City Manager Eric Anderson, council member David Boe cited the loss of the historic Luzon Building a year ago.

“Unless we want another Luzon on our hands, I think some immediate dangerous building/code enforcement review is necessary as well as contacting the building ownership about the status of the building,” Boe wrote.

Councilman Marty Campbell requested the briefing Tuesday so council members can understand what actions the city could take, if necessary, to prevent deterioration of the iconic building.

Anderson was mindful of the legacy of the Luzon as well in his response to residents asking for city intervention in Old City Hall.

“I have no desire to place some future City Council and City Manager in the position we found ourselves in with the Luzon, in which the actions of others over thirty years forced me to take an action I was loath to take,” Anderson wrote.

“We are documenting tenants and preparing to take any and all actions that we are permitted to take under the law.”

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. But what can we as civilians do to help?

  2. tacomajoe says:

    Mr. Anderson, you deserve another raise for this great performance.

  3. t_Johnson says:

    Why is the city wasting time and resources on this issue? It’s none of their business! download this http://www.juntosociety.com/patriotism/inytg.html

  4. kevin22262 says:

    Not only not another Luzon … but also not another Elks building being left to rot, while the out of state owner tried all he could to let it rot so he could tear it down.
    … No More BS! Take Action NOW!

  5. Kevindot1 says:

    Because, t_Johnson, the majority of the citizens of this city WANT them to. This is what I want my local government to do; save our history!! The Luzon will haunt us for a very long time – lets not let that happen again. We are getting lucky with The Elk’s lodge…30 some years later. Maybe McMenamin’s will mix the Old City Hall into the plans for their establishment???

  6. Q: What would Dino Rossi do?
    A: Wait till property is in foreclosure and flip ASAP… then run a lackluster campaign for dog catcher and lose.

  7. crenshawsepulveda says:

    To another woman.

  8. t_Johnson says:

    Dear Kevin & 9″ person – At least I’m not afraid to give my name. You nameless whiners should at least have the guts to reveal who you are…. Government should stay out of private property management. The Luzon is/was hardly comparable to Old City Hall. There are more pressing issues like homelessness and the poor state of our educational system that our “out of touch” government officials should be worrying about.

  9. t_Johnson says:

    Kevindot1, The electorate certainly does not want government ignoring the real issues of the day and wasting time on empty building inspections. Come on, Tacoma is getting a bad reputation with developers and you know it. Government needs to “get over” the petty water leaks and get back to the real work of the public servant.

  10. Dear Beautiful Mutants, look for my cartoon Tuesday morning. Also, is called a handle. deal with it.

  11. and who are you calling nameless!? I am a famous self-published author using Tacoma arts commission (read: your) funds!

  12. I just finished reading an article describing another round of cuts to the State budget that is being proposed by the Governor. Many poor people will lose access to Health Care, etc.
    Frankly, I don’t give a flying crow’s flatus about Old City Hall, the Luzon building or any other property owned by any private citizen or corporation. No more so, in fact than they care about mine. Why are they so pent up in saving a building and then turn around and discuss raising utility rates so they can raise the salaries of upper management? TPU’s Director is one of the highest paid people State-wide. Has anyone ever seen the man actually WORK? You know, something requiring perspiration!
    As for the little article about “Colonel Crockett”, I’ll believe that pile of moose do-do as much as I believe that he “kilt him a bahr when he was only three.”
    If the building is in THAT poor shape, than the owner should fix it, sell it, or demolish it. WITHOUT the assistance of the people.

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