Clock Tower Tacoma, WA

Clock Tower

The Old City Hall in Tacoma, Washington is an iconic five-story building that was formerly the city hall. Built in the Italian Villa style, the southeast corner of the building boasts a ten-story clocktower, which faces the intersection of Pacific Avenue and S 7th Street. The foundation of the structure is made of local Wilkeson stone, while the walls are eight feet thick at the base, tapering to six feet at street level, and feature a façade of red brick faced with yellow Roman brick. The clocktower, a freestanding masonry structure, has a clock on each face and four bells, weighing a massive 8,000 pounds, cast by the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, the same company that cast the Liberty Bell.

The building’s design incorporates masonry bearing walls with many windows. The second and third-floor windows are of equal size, the fourth-floor windows are arched at the top, and the fifth-floor windows are smaller and narrower. The building is a trapezoid in plan, and small round windows can be seen below the corner line, while three large round windows are below the corner on the tower. The tower’s entablature and other areas feature terra cotta decorations, enhancing its beauty.

Completed on April 23, 1893, at a cost of $257,965, the Old City Hall served as the city hall until 1957. The building reflects the exuberance of Tacoma in the late 19th century, combining the romanticism of fifteenth-century Florence with the mercantile spirit of nineteenth-century America. Businessmen from the Midwest brought this culture to Tacoma, which served as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

The Old City Hall is an excellent example of the late 19th-century American architectural style, demonstrating the attention to detail and craftsmanship that was typical of the era. The building is an important part of Tacoma’s history and has been designated as a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Although no longer used as the city hall, the building has served several purposes, including as a courthouse, and currently houses a museum and apartments.

Tacoma residents take pride in their city’s heritage and often visit the Old City Hall to admire its grandeur and beauty. The clocktower remains a popular landmark and is a favorite of photographers, who often capture its grandeur and intricate details in their work. The Old City Hall is not only a historical monument but also a testament to the vision and determination of Tacoma’s founding fathers, who worked tirelessly to build a thriving city in the Pacific Northwest.

In conclusion, the Old City Hall in Tacoma, Washington, is a magnificent architectural wonder that reflects the city’s rich history and heritage. The building’s unique design and attention to detail make it a cherished landmark and a must-visit destination for tourists and residents alike. Its clocktower is an iconic symbol of the city and represents the hard work and dedication of Tacoma’s founders. The Old City Hall is a true gem that continues to inspire and captivate people from all over the world.

Visit another Tacoma, WA Landmark: Karpeles Manuscript Museum