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Preliminary Reconnaissance in Tacoma

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

We went to Tacoma to check out a couple of sites of interest as we ramp up to studying Tacoma in more depth.

We wanted to see what murals were located around MLK Jr. Way in the Hilltop neighborhood. We have a lot more to learn about these murals, but they seem to be important cultural markers.

Photos: left—a mural at 1012 S 11th Street, center—a mural fronting People's Park, right—a mural across the street from People's Park.

We are also learning about the important work of the Tacoma City Association of Colored Women's Club. We had the great good fortune to run into Cynthia Tucker, the president and historian, who graciously invited us in and shared some of her knowledge and enthusiasm. She explained that the Nettie Asberry House was donated to The Tacoma City Association of Colored Women's Clubs. Ms. Tucker explained that " It now is our responsibility to take care of it, restore it and maintain the historical property thru eternity. The home is 130 years old."

We had an update on the Nettie Asberry house from Nicholas Carr at Tacoma Housing. He wrote to correct our statement above regarding the ownership and financing of the property:

"CWC was awarded a state legislative appropriation in 2021 that fully funded the purchase. The Governor included the project in his budget under his 2021 DEI Budget policy package: "

Nicholas mentioned that the funding reflected the generosity of the State of Washington and that Forterra NW worked with the CWC to complete the acquisition.

The Nettie Asberry house is already an important City Landmark and is being listed on the National Register. Click here to read an article by KIRO news and a press release by Forterra about the work the Tacoma City Association of Colored Women's Club is doing.

Photo above: The Nettie Asberry house, Tacoma City Landmark.

We are also interested in the history and architecture of the headquarters building for the club. The club was organized in 1944 and rehabilitated their clubhouse between 1969 and 1970. (Read more about the history of the club here.) The building has some interesting markers of the mid-century style, and we look forward to learning more about how the club has shaped the building and the history of the building itself. The Tacoma City Association of Colored Women's Club has been an important force in Tacoma's history.

Photo above: the headquarters building of the Tacoma City Association of Colored Women's Club.

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