This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.
For years, the deteriorating Union Station was the all-too-visible symbol of downtown Tacoma’s decline.
Today, a century after it first opened at the height of the rail era, Union Station symbolizes something else entirely: downtown’s renaissance.
The iconic building’s metamorphosis from an abandoned rail station into a bustling federal courthouse in 1992 triggered a cascade of development nearby, including the Washington State History Museum, The University of Washington Tacoma, the Museum of Glass and the new Tacoma Art Museum.
Anyone who was here in the 1980s can testify to the depressing atmosphere of downtown Tacoma back then, especially the warehouse district on Pacific Avenue. Old buildings were being torn down in hopes of urban renewal, and the shuttered Union Station was on the hit list. Historic preservation wasn’t on many people’s radar screens back then, but the Save Our Station citizens group was trying to change that. Read more »