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historic preservation

The North Slope Historic District

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About the District

History

Tacoma boasts one of the largest neighborhood historic districts in the country with the North Slope Historic Special Review district, which is listed on the Tacoma (1994, expanded in 1996 and 1999), Washington State, and National Registers of Historic Places (2003). The North Slope Historic District encompasses more than 950 properties.

This district was created in response to an initiative from residents who value the atmosphere these historic homes create in the neighborhood. Few homes in the district are high style; instead the neighborhood is composed primarily of middle class Victorian, Craftsman, Colonial Revival and Foursquare style houses, representing a fine collection of Pacific Northwest versions of the residential architecture popular in the United States prior to World War II.

Residents today take great pride in their historic homes, beautiful streets, and enjoy the experience of living a traditional neighborhood lifestyle. Street signs mark the extent of the North Slope Historic District, which extends from North I Street to North Grant Avenue, and between Division Avenue and Steele Street, in the angle where Tacoma's street grid adjusts to follow the shoreline and link Old Town, developed in the 1870s, with New Tacoma which was built to meet the railroad line in the 1890s.

North Slope Historic Special Review District Requirements

What Gets Reviewed?

If your house is located within the boundaries of the historic district (download map), then changes to the exterior of your property may require design review by the Historic Preservation Officer and the Landmarks Preservation Commission if permits are required, as required in TMC 13.07.360. This includes changes to windows, siding, additions, chimneys, porches and decks.

Your project will require Landmarks Preservation Commission review, if:

…It is a new construction project or demolition; or
…It involves a contributing historic structure, AND
…It involves exterior work, AND
…It requires a building permit.

Projects are exempt from Landmarks Commission review, if:

…The project involves a non-contributing structure, but does not involve demolition; or
…The project does not require a permit; or
…The project does not involve any exterior work; or
…The project involves plumbing, sewer, electrical, or landscaping work.

What is the Process?

The Landmarks Preservation Commission reviews applications for changes during their regular meetings.

Applications are available on this site in the Design Review section, or by clicking the Quick Links menu on the top right of this page.

Design Guidelines

Wedge Neighborhood and North Slope Historic District Design Guidelines

Financial Incentives

Houses undergoing substantial rehabilitation may qualify for the Special Tax Valuation program, a property tax incentive which can reduce your property tax assessment.

External Links

The North Slope Historic District Organization