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Tacoma, Washington State

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Tacoma in Washington State.

 

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Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city in and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Seattle, 31 miles (50 km) northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and 58 miles (93 km) northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to the 2010 census. Tacoma is the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area and the third largest in the state.

Parks

Parks and recreation services in and around Tacoma are governed by Metro Parks Tacoma, a municipal corporation established as a separate entity from the city government in 1907. Metro Parks maintains over fifty parks and open spaces in Tacoma.

Point Defiance Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country (at 700 acres), is located in Tacoma. Scenic Five Mile Drive allows access to many of the park's attractions, such as Owen Beach, Camp Six, Fort Nisqually, and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. There are many historic structures within the park, including the Pagoda, which was originally built as a streetcar waiting room. It was restored in 1988, and now serves as a rental facility for weddings and private parties.

Ruston Way is a waterfront area along Commencement Bay north of downtown Tacoma that hosts several public parks connected by a multi-use trail and interspersed with restaurants and other businesses. Public parks along Ruston Way include Jack Hyde Park, Old Town Dock, Hamilton Park, Dickman Mill Park, Les Davis Pier, Marine Park and Cummings Park.[37] The trail is popular with walkers, runners, cyclists and other recreationalists. There are several beaches along Ruston Way with public access, some of which are also popular for scuba diving.

Another large park in Tacoma is Wapato Park, which has a lake and walking trails that circle the lake. Wapato is located in the south end of Tacoma, at Sheridan and 72nd St.

Titlow Beach, located at the end of 6th Avenue, is a popular scuba diving area.

Wright Park, located near downtown, is a large, English-style park designed in the late 19th century by E.O. Schwagerl and Ebenezer Rhys Roberts. It contains Wright Park Arboretum and the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. This beautiful historic park is also the home of local festivals such as Ethnic Fest, Out in the Park, Tacoma's Gay Pride festival and the Tacoma Hempfest.

Jefferson Park in North Tacoma is the location of a new sprayground; an area designed to be a safe and unique play area where water is sprayed from structures or ground sprays and then drained away before it can accumulate.

Frost Park in downtown Tacoma is often utilized for sidewalk chalk contests.

In response to the Tacoma area's growing dog population, Dog parks have become a natural addition to the city. Rogers off-leash Dog Park is a metro public park established in 1949 Tacoma.

Architecture

Tacoma includes several landmarks and was home to some prolific architects including Everett Phipps Babcock, Frederick Heath, Ambrose J. Russell, and Silas E. Nelsen.

Two suspension bridges currently span a narrow section of the Salish Sea called the Tacoma Narrows. The Tacoma Narrows Bridges link Tacoma to Gig Harbor and the Olympic Peninsula. The failure of the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which was the third longest suspension bridge in the world, is a famous case study in architecture textbooks.

Historic landmarks

Engine House No. 9 is a fire station built in 1907. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Currently, the building houses a pub which brews its own beer.

Stadium High School and the Stadium Bowl, part of the Tacoma School District. The school provided a setting for the movie 10 Things I Hate About You starring Heath Ledger.

Fireboat No. 1 was built in 1929 for the Port of Tacoma by the Coastline Shipbuilding Company. After 54 years of service in waterfront fire protection, harbor security patrols, search and rescue missions, and water pollution control, Fireboat No. 1 was put up on a permanent dry berth at a public beach near Tacoma’s Old Town neighborhood. She is one of only five fireboats designated as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors are able to walk around her exterior, but her interior is closed to the public.

Murray Morgan Bridge - 1911 steel lift bridge across the Thea Foss Waterway; it is currently closed to all automobile traffic due to its deteriorating condition, but may be rebuilt in the future. It is still open to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Other notable buildings include the National Realty Building, Lincoln High School (Tacoma, Washington), Rhodes House (Tacoma), Pythian Temple (Tacoma, Washington), Perkins Building, Tacoma Dome, Rhodesleigh, Engine House No. 9 (Tacoma, Washington), and the Nihon Go Gakko (Tacoma) school building. The Luzon Building was demolished. University of Puget Sound, Cushman Dam No. 1, Cushman Dam No. 2, Rialto Theater (Tacoma, Washington), the MV Kalakala, and Tacoma Union Station are also noteworthy.

Cultural attractions

The Museum of Glass boasts an iconic structure standing near the Thea Foss Waterway; the steel cone of the hot shop is one of the most recognizable structures in the city.

Tacoma Art Museum was founded in 1935 and reopened in 2003 in a new building on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma - now one of three organizations forming the "museum district" (others are Museum of Glass and Washington State History Museum). It is considered a model for mid-sized regional museums.

The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts is the home to three theaters, two of which are on the National Historic Register. Performing within the three theaters are several performing arts organizations, including the Tacoma Opera, Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Sinfionetta, Tacoma City Ballet, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Philharmonic, Tacoma Youth Symphony, Theatre Northwest, and Puget Sound Revels, one of ten Revels organizations nationwide.

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2009. Their motto is "taking the fear out of Shakespeare".They offer both educational opportunities and inspired theater in and around Tacoma.

Tacoma hosts part of the annual four-part Daffodil Parade, which takes place every April in Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting.

The downtown Tacoma farmers' market runs every Thursday, from May through September, in the Theatre District. There are also seasonal farmers markets in the Proctor District, along Sixth Avenue, and in South Tacoma.

Fort Nisqually is a prominent local attraction featuring historical reenactments.

The Tacoma Police Department is the site of a public memorial for officers, dominated by the sculptures "Memories in Blue" and "For All They Gave", by James Kelsey.

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