You are here

Pinkerton Building

-A A +A
Pinkerton; Massasoit Hotel
1889, Proctor and Dennis; 1982 renovation, Berry and Berry; 2002–2003 rehabilitation, Merritt Architects. 1702 Broadway.
  • (Photograph by Julie Nicoletta)

Colonel John Pinkerton erected this brick building as the Massasoit Hotel in 1889 as an addition to a wood-frame building he had constructed two years earlier on the corner of Broadway and 17th Street. The building initially contained businesses on the street level accessed via Broadway, whereas the hotel annex occupied the upper floors accessed via Commerce Street. Although the wood hotel was destroyed in 1934, the brick building continued on for decades as a hotel and boarding house. The “Pinkerton” survives as one of only two original hotel buildings, along with the Carlton Hotel (now Carleton Center), built quickly in the late nineteenth century to capitalize on the many travelers arriving at Tacoma’s Northern Pacific depot. It also has the distinction of being the oldest structure on any of the three University of Washington campuses.

Despite its rather ornate Italianate facade characterized by repeating arched hood moldings, cast-iron details, terra-cotta panels, and a prominent cornice and central parapet, the Pinkerton did not last long as the Massasoit Hotel, but came to serve long-term residents as a boarding house. In the early twentieth century, the area around the hotel became the heart of the Japanese neighborhood in Tacoma. The hotel was managed for many years by a Japanese family until the family members were forced to leave Tacoma in 1942 along with other Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.

In 1982, the accounting firm Moss Adams hired the architectural firm Berry and Berry to remodel the Pinkerton into office space. In 2001, the university acquired the building, renamed it, and remodeled it as part of Phase 2a of campus development to house the new Institute of Technology. Today, the Pinkerton provides space for the Urban Studies Program.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Julie Nicoletta
Coordinator: 
J. Philip Gruen
Robert R. Franklin
×

Data

Timeline

  • 1889

    Design and construction
  • 1982

    Remodel
  • 2002

    Rehabilitation for UW Tacoma

What's Nearby

Citation

Julie Nicoletta, "Pinkerton Building", [Tacoma, Washington], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WA-01-053-0056-19.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,