Tag Archives: tile

The Coolest Basement at Casablanca Apartments

8486085817_f4d0cd6cce_zThe Casablanca Apartment at 720 North 2nd, Tacoma was originally constructed in 1890, but was significantly remodeled or rebuilt in 1944 by Ray Gamble. The building’s original name was the Lincoln Apartments. During the 18 year (yes, 18 years!) remodel, Mr. Gamble designed the basement level of the building based on tiles he had collected on his international travels. The three story building has 30 units. In the 1960s Mr. Gamble turned over the income from the property to the University of Puget Sound for use as scholarship money.

Tacoma Public Library’s Page on the property includes additional information and photos.




Retail Stand Alone


The freestanding building at 602 North Pearl use to be where I dropped off film (remember film?) to be developed. Flash One Hour Photo had the nicest people working there and one hour development. I think it was bright yellow. Of course their business declined as we all went to digital and I’m guessing that is why they closed.

Later it was a home design store (Tacoma Interior Market) , a check cashing place and most recently a spot to get new counter tops. Now it has some furniture in it, but it looks vacant.

Projecting Drop



In December 2010, Tacoma received a new piece of public art known as the Projecting Drop by artist Jill Anholt. It’s located at 1250 Pacific Avenue and is part of the South Park Plaza Garage, a green facility. The art stands 25′ high and I appreciated it even more when I got close enough to really study it. I love the ripples!

Spaceworks Tacoma says it best, “The soaring wall is covered in 1″ hexagonal, blue and green tiles that cascade from top to base, then ripple outward toward the street. Embedded in the sidewalk tilework is a quote from an 1891 edition of the Tacoma Ledger : “From amidst a sombre forest of firs a city has arisen as by a stroke of an enchanter’s wand. Tacoma looks forth like a new Venice over the glassy waters and prepares to handle the commerce of the world.” The art was installed on the site of a Turkish Bathhouse! For the full story, go here: