Tacoma Urbanist

Jan. 12, 2008 at 12:10am

Photo Tour of Graffiti Parking Garage on Broadway

There has been a discussion about whether graffiti should count as art, a crime, or both.  I won't go into that here.  Wikipedia has a pretty detailed discussion about graffiti.  However, I did take some pictures outside the parking garage on Broadway downtown.

Here, the pedestrian is greeted with a continual parking garage entrance.  I suppose the potted tree helps a little.

Blight on blight.  Yet, this is "Broadway," one of Tacoma;s main streets.  The posts look to be stucco placed on a chicken wire which is now broken through.  The graffiti tags painted over with various colors of paint.

Here, the sidewalk appeared to be delaminating.  The patch itself seems to be falling apart.  I assume there is a large empty space under the sidewalk to fall into should it give way.

Graffiti on a broken brick wall over a surface level parking lot with weeds growing out.  (Is it art?)  Bizzare is so many ways.  I am leaning over a fence to take this picture.  I think the reminents of this brick wall may be holding up the retaining wall.  Who knows.

Down below next to the parking lot is a collapsed bridge or road of some sort.  The debris looks to have sat there for year. Will it just continue to sit there?  Hmm.

Commerce side of the garage.   A perfect background for Madd Maxx from Thunderdome III.  Another dead zone in downtown Tacoma.  Hopefully, there will be turned into apartments in the near future as planned to bring some life into the area.

comments [5]  |  posted under tacoma, washington


by Jake on 1/12/2008 @ 2:22am
I don't think I would park my car in the building.

by KevinFreitas on 1/12/2008 @ 9:27am
It's a shame it's so darn ugly from the Commerce side of things. The graffiti art at least lent some charm to the building. Now it just needs to be torn down.

by Erik on 1/12/2008 @ 10:17am
I don't think I would park my car in the building.

Most of Tacoma's parking garages are pretty scary.

Here's what recent won the Congress for New Urbanism Award in parking garages in (yes) Portland in a mixed use development for parking.

The 15th and Pearl Mixed-Use Structure combines parking space with retail and office space. It has sparked renewal of a six block section of Pearl Street, the primary shopping street in Boulder, CO, not only by supplying much-needed parking, but by creating an active new retail block. It connects a downtown pedestrian street with the East End neighborhood, a revitalized district featuring retail, restaurants, offices, and condominiums.

The two primary purposes of the structure are to accommodate automobiles and to encourage pedestrians to walk between a downtown pedestrian area called the Pearl Street Mall, and the East End neighborhood. This unique combination of parking, retail and office space has created a parking area for 700 cars and a block-long retail environment that links the open-air mall and the burgeoning mixed-use retail and entertainment area to the east.

One of the most important features of this building is the pedestrian-friendly street front. The enhanced pedestrian presence has created an environment for further retail and restaurants.

Instead of a blank, uninviting parking block, 15th and Pearl has created a lively block of retail street frontages that light up the block. The new shops give pedestrians, shoppers, and diners a feeling of security as they stroll the street.

by Jake on 1/12/2008 @ 1:14pm
What really sucks is Lorig won't have any retail along Broadway. Right now it appears they are trying to get around some design standards:


by Erik on 1/12/2008 @ 3:23pm
Right now it appears they are trying to get around some design standards:

Its hard to to know exactly. Some of the design stardards of the city are good. Some are antiquated and actually harmful.

When we addressed the Safeway in Proctor, we wanted them to have glass on the mainstreet as required. But then the city also required "open space" for the building which have created a detrimental set back on the "main street" of Proctor. Essentially a city strip mall type requirement.

Open spaces can be great. But they have to be done right or they are disasters.

So it was sort of hit and miss.