What better way to celebrate Christmas Eve then to take a family photo in front of Tacoma Elf Storage at 2602 South Holgate Street Tacoma, WA 98402. Eleven months of the year, this facility is known as Tacoma Self Storage, but in December they darken the S and make it a handy spot for Santa to store the toys and one assumes, elves. Their link is here http://www.tacoma-selfstorage.com/
The legend goes that a bird shorted out the letter S during the holiday season in 2007 when the business was new. It was so popular that the owners have purposefully recreated the dimming each year.
The building was originally Tacoma Ice & Refrigerating Co. and A.W. Sterrett was the architect. It was constructed in 1923. In 2000 it was known as Alpine cold storage. In November of 2006 it opened as its current use, a self storage facility.
The property began its existence as the George H. Russell Horse Market / Star Stables in 1906. It was also the Lauritzen Tonic Co., John W. Brady Horse Market, Depot Saloon, Efaw Livery, Ingle Garage (which burned in 1923), Square Deal Transfer Co.
(Garford Truck Co.), a storage plant and in 1962 it was approved as a fallout shelter. I went into the building in the 1990s when it was being converted into mini storage and remember the owner saying that it has been used as a house of ill repute. Apparently it was a popular place with the sailors who had shore leave in Tacoma.