Category Archives: Office Space

Wyland Mural on the Bowes Building

Tacoma has one of the 100 Wyland Whaling Wall murals “Washington Orcas” around the world and its on the Bowes Building at 100 South 9th Street in Downtown Tacoma. Currently the main level of the building is occupied by Big Whiskey Saloon, but the building has a long history. The architect was Edward Heath and the building was  constructed in 1908 in white Vermont marble. The property was added to the National Historic Register and the Tacoma Register in 1979. Edward J. Bowes, the original owner, eventually gained a national reputation as an entertainment figure.

Over the years, the occupants have included: Pacific Bldg. & Loan Assoc., M. Schmidt & Son Merchant Tailors, Tacoma Savings & Loan Assoc., All About Travel, Pacific Rim Restaurant, Zeppo Italian Restaurant, and Seven Cities Restaurant.

Wylan started painting his large murals in the 1980s. This was his 21st mural and I remember taking my lunch break from my downtown job at the time to watch him paint. I was fascinated. There were four Whaling Walls in Washington State, but sadly now only the Tacoma one remains.

Legislative Building in Olympia and Year Two

It’s been two years since I’ve started this new place of the day project and as last year I wanted to pick an extra nice new place.  Last year I picked the Pagoda in the Chinese Reconciliation Park and this time we went to the Legislative Building in Olympia, the state capital.

A very cool link that explains the 1928 building can be found here and here Per the website the building is the tallest masonry dome in North America. The granite for the building came from Index, Washington and the sandstone came from Wilkeson, Washington.

Looking back at the second year of this project, I have some new observations:

  • I’ve traveled further this year. 154 of my new places are in Tacoma, compared to last year when 257 of my new places were. Lakewood, with 16 places came in a distant second and University Place with 11 and Puyallup with 9 were after that.
  • This year I’ve added some great faraway places: England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, as well as Texas and California.
  • My most popular type tags are Tacoma, WA, Lakewood, Art, Coffee and Restaurant.
  • I sometimes get spam contents. Almost all of it revolves around my one Eddie Bauer post. I don’t know why.
  • Some of the places I checked out alone, but I often brought my husband, daughter and occasionally dogs along for company. They are good sports about the whole thing. Especially the dogs.
  • I did miss a couple of days. There were a few days that I was sick and the weather was bad and a couple of days that things just got away from me. It’s OK.
  • 30 places were tagged “their future is in question” last year and now that number is up to 57. Most of those that were vacant are still vacant, though a couple of leased to new businesses. The Red Dragon, the Elks Building and the Heidelberg Brewery are demolished, as is the Ruston Tunnel. The Kalakala is still afloat after getting some help. Camp 8 Logging Camp is gone and the old Borders Books space is now Ashley Furniture.  Some, including most of the schools, maintained their use.
  • I went to some unusual places including a mushroom farm, a food truck festival, two lighthouses, on a hunt for the Lock Ness Monster, the Roman Baths, a blueberry park, the church where I was married, the Museum of Flight, a submarine,  rocket ship and yoda statue in San Francisco and a robotics competition in Seattle. We went to see indoor skydiving, Tacoma’s Buffalo Soldiers Museum,  Santa diving in the shark tank and a temporary skating rink. We went to markets: Small, medium, large, Co Ops  German, Russian, Japanese, produce and seafood.
  • I plan to continue until it isn’t fun anymore or I run out of places, whichever comes first 😀

The encouragement that I’ve received along the way has meant the world to me! Thank you.

State Capital

Tacoma Center Building

The Tacoma Center Building at 2367 Tacoma Avenue is available for sale with an asking price of $499,999. The building was built in 1969 and contains 12,960 square feet.

Update June 2013: The property no longer has a for sale sign up and has been repainted. It looks really nice!



First Robotics Competition 2012

Dear Daughter’s Robotics Team was in a competition this Saturday, so we drove up to Centurylink Event Center in Seattle. The space contains 200,000 square feet and was hosting two simultaneous meets with about 50 teams each.  The teams were made up of high school students, mostly from Washington State though there were teams from Mexico and Turkey. Each team is given six weeks to create a robot to perform in a match.  This year the criteria was that each robot had to be able to shot baskets and balance on a teeter totter style bridge. The teams are given some basic supplies, but they have to add to those supplies and create the robots by themselves with the help of adult mentors.

I’m pleased to say that out of all those teams, my daughter’s team, the SOTA Bots won! It was pretty exciting 🙂

Info on the event center can be found here

Info on the First Competition can be found here

Learning About Ebooks

Today I took an interesting class in ebooks (the way of the future!) at the Puget Sound Educational Service District at 800 Oakesdale Avenue, Renton, WA 98057. It’s a nice office building with plenty of training and conference rooms. They do good work there.

No, I don’t think ebooks will completely take over, but what a great option. I once lifted my dear daughter’s backpack to discover it must have weighed 50 lbs! Putting all of her text books on an ebook reader would have brought that weight down to something much more reasonable. Another plus is that library patrons can read their library books from anywhere.

The website for the PSESD is


Community Health Care at Eastside Medical Clinic

The Community Health Care Center is located at 1708 East 44th Street, Tacoma, WA 9840 in the Salishan Housing Development. Per their website “Community Health Care is a private, non-profit organization created in 1987 when the clinical system moved from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department after several years of operation by that organization.” I toured the building and was very impressed with the building and the doctors and other staff that I meant. Community Health Care provides medical and dental services, as well as a pharmacy. The theme that I heard repeatedly was quality care with patient dignity.

Their website is here

Jackson Hall was for nursing students

Today I participated in an earthquake drill at Jackson Hall 314 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.  The building had been known as the Tacoma General Hospital Nurses
Quarters / Jackson Hall and was named after Samuel Morley Jackson, banker and long time hospital board member.

The building was the site of a nursing school which was established in 1895 and closed in 1980. In the middle of that time (1945-1947), the original building was demolished and the “new” building constructed. The building became the Tacoma General Medical Office Building in 1980 and is currently being used as hospital space. In fact, the corridors connect under Martin Luther King, Blvd into Tacoma General Hospital!

For images of the nursing school/dorm as it was, go this Tacoma Public Library site

Candy, Tofu, Guitars, Law

The building at 1546 Market Street was constructed in 1928 as the Burton Confectionery (Jean Burton, operator).  I’m sure it had several use. For instance it once housed Tofu Company Food Products and more recently the Vashon Guitar Company.  It appears to be an attorneys office now.

Carr’s Hall

The Connelly Law Office is located in a beautifully restored historic building at the corner of North 30th and North Carr Street (2301 North 30th). I confessed to knowing nothing about the firm except I like their mission statement “Seeking Justice for our Clients by holding Corporations, the Insurance Industry and Government  Agencies Accountable.” Their web address is:

I had several fine meals in the building when it was painted a bright green and was Grazie’s Ristorante. The original name of the building is Carr’s Hall and it was built in 1888 and restored in 1983. A photo of how it looked in 1978 can be found here

Over its life, the building has been Knights of Pythias Temple, Bethel Mission Presbyterian Sunday School, Star Grocery Store, Anton Bush’s Grocery Store, apartments, Grazie Caffe Italiano in Aug. 1983 and now a law center.