Hope Heights

Tree MuralThe Hope Heights mural at 6323 McKinley Avenue is glorious! It has vibrant colors and  plethora of images including skulls, fish, a raven  and a dragon. The combined cultures are illustrated together around a ginormous tree. The mural had an art team of Joni Joachims and artists Yvette Simone, Chelsea O’Sullivan, Kate Cendejas, Brian Hutcheson, and Janice Lee Warren. To learn more, visit this blog http://tacomaarts.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/murals-project-update-hope-heights-mural-is-complete/

Although the building’s address is on McKinley, the mural fronts on 63rd. The brick building was constructed in 1925 and was owner occupied by the Grote Pharmacy, which included a U.S. Postal Substation. More recently it was occupied by A. A. Wedding Supplies, but it is now vacant (at least the lower level) and available for rent.

 

 

Any movie buffs recognize this house?

8435970655_f6e8128315_zThis lovely home at 808 North Yakima, Tacoma was used in the 1992 thriller movie, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hand_That_Rocks_the_Cradle_%28film%29. Our family had watched the movie a couple of months earlier and it has held up pretty well.

I found an interesting blog called I Am Not A Stalker, that has a very nice write up here http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/11/09/the-hand-that-rocks-the-cradle-house/

Also of interest, is that Tacoma Public Library indicates that President McKinley visited the house, then they go on to say that it might actually may have been President Wm. Howard Taft.

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Jesus’s Custom Muffler and Dual Exhaust Shop

8300939791_68642fd04c_oJesus’s Custom Muffler and Dual Exhaust Shop at 4003 McKinley Avenue is a cheerful yellow with red trim and has some great muffler art! The property started it life in 1925 as Mac’s Super Service Station and there was an addition in 1949.

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The VFW on Veteran’s Day

On Veteran’s Day it seemed appropriate to stop at the The Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Ladies Auxiliary, Eric G. Sandstrom, Post 969 (3510 McKinley Avenue East Tacoma, Washington 98404). There is a splendid mural on the building featuring a multicultural selection of men and women that have served in the US military.

http://www.vfw969.org/

 

 

Goats at McKinley Park

McKinley Park at 800 Park Street East sets above the downtown and dome districts of Tacoma.  The park has a relatively steep terrain and is prone to being overrun with Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy and Scotch Broom. Several times a year, the Park’s Department rents about 230 goats from Healing Hooves to clear out this unwanted, invasive vegetation.  The goats must arrive hungry because they set right to work! They are contained inside an electric fence and each day of their six day stay, the fence line moves.

The park continues approximately 25 acres and the majority of it is undeveloped. There is a trail along the upper ridge of the park and some picnic tables. And there is also a rather nice play area for the kids and a skateboard park.

http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/news.php?id=221

 

We went back a couple of days later to see the work of the goats and they had gotten a great deal done. When we went back they were mostly on a coffee break! We also discovered the skate board park the second time.

H.F. Hunt Middle School, a potentially repurposed school

H.F. Hunt Middle School by Gexydaf
H.F. Hunt Middle School a photo by Gexydaf on Flickr.

A little while back I had photographed each of the schools that Tacoma has on the list to potentially close. They included Franklin, Lyon, Roosevelt, Stanley, McKinley, Wainwright, Geiger and Foss. While not written in stone, the general plan now is to close McKinley, Wainwright and Franklin. Another proposal has been made to move the middle school Montessori program now housed at Bryant and the fledgling K-5 Montessori program at Geiger to the vacant Hunt Middle School Buillding. The timing on the move is unclear, but either 2011 or 2012. Thus, the now vacant Hunt Middle School would be the new site of the K-8 Geiger Montessori Program.  There is talk of building a new building for Geiger Montessori, but again the timing is uncertain.  The K-5 students currently at the Bryant Building would move to Franklin. The Franklin students would have the option of attending their current school and receiving a Montessori education, or attending an alternate neighborhood school, most likely Stanley or DeLong. Of course, that tentative plan might all change!

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/03/10/1579446/tacoma-district-leans-toward-closing.html

It was in the early spring 2010 that the Tacoma School District decided to close H.F. Hunt Middle School because of federal rules targeting schools that perform poorly on state tests. At the time of closure, Hunt had 346 students and had been following the International Baccalaureate, or IB, model. Their mascot was the Scottie and their colors were green, white and gold. The IB program was switched to Giaudrone in the Fall of 2010.

The school building was constructed in 1958 and was named after Henry F. Hunt, a Tacoma educator for 34 years. At its height, the student population was well over 1,000 students.

Top of Tacoma Bar

Top of Tacoma Bar by Gexydaf
Top of Tacoma Bar a photo by Gexydaf on Flickr.

After a long work week I was glad to meet my friend for a quick happy hour glass of wine at the Top of Tacoma. We shared the delicious chicken nachos and really there was enough there for a couple more people! The food there is not the fried food I typically associate with bars, but instead is pretty darned tasty.

During nicer weather, there is outside patio seating. I love their ornate metal fence which features tops!

http://www.topoftacoma.com/

Foss High School

Tacoma Public School has announced that it may close schools in order to save money. Foss is the high school they are considering and elementary schools with less than 300 students are also possibilities. These elementary schools are Franklin, Lyon, Roosevelt, Stanley, McKinley, Wainwright and Geiger. Geiger has had a program change and has been taken off the table.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/01/26/1517312/school-cuts-worry-parents.html

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/01/27/1840221/tacoma-school-board-urged-to-reconsider.html

Today’s school is Foss High School at 2112 S. Tyler. Their mascot is the falcon and the school opened in 1973.  Foss is the first school in Washington State and the second school west of the Rocky Mountains to offer the international baccalaureate diploma program, which began in 1982.  The school is named after Henry Foss, the son of the founders of the Foss Launch and Tug Company, making it the first school named after a Tacoma native.   With the exception of the School of the Arts and the Science and Math Institute, Foss is the smallest Tacoma High School. The Foss website can be found here.  http://www0.tacoma.k12.wa.us/schools/hsx/foss/

A student created website names 101 Reasons Why Foss is the Boss can be found here. http://101savehfhs.webs.com/

 

Wainwright School, under 300 students

Tacoma Public School has announced that it may close schools in order to save money. Foss is the high school they are considering and elementary schools with less than 300 students are also possibilities. These elementary schools are Franklin, Lyon, Roosevelt, Stanley, McKinley, Wainwright and Geiger. Geiger has had a program change and has been taken off the table. Wainwright, in Fircrest, is the last of the elementary schools that I am writing about.

Read more about possible school closures at : http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/01/19/1509242/foss-students-fret-over-possible.html#ixzz1Bn2OnEp6

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/01/26/1517312/school-cuts-worry-parents.html

Today’s school is Wainwright Elementary at 130 Alameda Avenue. Their mascot is the wildcat. The original school opened in 1911 and was called Regents Park. There was one teacher, Mrs. C.D. Bangs and she taught 1st through 3rd grades there. The one room school closed in 1914 because of lack of students. But it reopened in 1915. It almost closed in 1917, when there were 13 students. A new school opened there in 1924 and was named FIrcrest. In 1948 the school wa added on to and renamed Wainwright after a famous general in World War II. General Wainwright traveled from Texas to Fircrest to be at the school’s dedication. The school was again added on to in 1957 adn remodeling was done in 1971. In 1984 the school had a student population of 292 students and the Citizen’s Committee for School Facilities Planning recommends that Wainwright be closed.

To see the school as it appeared in 1924, see this link from the Tacoma Public Library.
http://search.tacomapubliclibrary.org/buildings/bldg1image.asp?j=1&o=1&n=10532&i=4838#text

Stanley Elementary, Under 300 students

Tacoma Public School has announced that it may close schools in order to save money. Foss is the high school they are considering and elementary schools with less than 300 students are also possibilities. These elementary schools are Franklin, Lyon, Roosevelt, Stanley, McKinley, Wainwright and Geiger. Geiger has had a program change and has been taken off the table. I thought over the next week or so, I’d take photographs of the mentioned schools and use them as my new places of the day.

Read more about possible school closures at : http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/01/19/1509242/foss-students-fret-over-possible.html#ixzz1Bn2OnEp6

Today’s school is Stanley Elementary at 1712 South 17th Street.  Their mascot is the cougar. The original school opened in November of 1925 and was designed to hold upwards of 480 students. It was named after George A. Stanley, a popular Tacoma Schools Administrator, who had died suddenly that same year. Additions were constructed in 1949, 1955, 1967 and 1973. In 1983 the main part of the building was declared unsafe in the event of an earthquake and it was closed and eventually demolished. The current building was constructed in 1986 and includes some decorative architectural elements from the original school (see photo below).

In 1970 Stanley became a “technologically advanced elementary [manet] school” and later it became a science magnet. It currently functions as a neighborhood school to a diverse student population.