Historic Photographs

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Tacoma

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Tacoma Rhodes Tower, 740 Saint Helens Avenue, Tacoma, Pierce County, WA



B&W Photos

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Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
740 Saint Helens Avenue, Tacoma, WA

Find maps of Tacoma, WA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS WA-173
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-28).
Building/structure dates: 1931 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1968 subsequent work
Significance: During the late 1920's, Tacoma had no single building where the city's physicians could have their offices. The construction of the Medical Arts Building met this need and continued to do so until the late 1970's when the City purchased the structure for its new city government center. The Medical Arts Building was built during depths of the Depression and is sometimes referred to as the "Spirit of 1931." In the years 1930-1931, this construction gave jobs to 750 men and cost close to $2 million. This allowed Tacoma to be represented by a high percentage of new construction for this time period when compared with other west coast cities with populations of 100,000 or more. The construction of the Medical Arts Building in 1931 was viewed as a significant step in revitalizing the city's central business district. It was centrally located and its existence attracted many visitors and shoppers to downtown Tacoma. With the City's purchase of the building in 1977 to house its municipal offices, the Medical Arts Building is again being viewed as a catalyst in the revitalization of Tacoma's central business district. Architecturally, the Medical Arts Building has always been a predominant figure in Tacoma's sky-line. Noted for its exterior and interior Art Deco styling, the building was designed to take advantage of the latest construction technology. The residents of Tacoma have always been proud of the Medical Arts Building, even more so when it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in December, 1978. Its proud existence will continue when it takes on its new role as the City of Tacoma's new city hall.

Subjects
Municipal Government
City & Town Halls
Medical Offices


Related Names
Heath,Gove & Bell
Graham, John


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. View from the northeast on St. Helens Avenue
2. View from the southeast on St. Helens Avenue
3. View from the southwest, Market Street elevation
4. Main entrance on St. Helens Avenue
5. Detail above the entrance
6. Upper story detailing
7. Bronze detailing insite Market Street foyer
8. Bronze detailing on elevator doors
9. Lobby ceiling decoration and cornice
10. Detail of lobby ceiling decoration and cornice
11. Foyer showing cornice and marble walls
12. Looking down stairwell
13. Stairwell showing landing and lamp
14. Looking up stairwell
15. Detail of medallion of stairwell lamp


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