Old Parkland School
Status: Most Endangered Places
Year Listed: 2022
Location: Tacoma, Pierce County
Constructed circa 1908, the Parkland School building at 214 121St Street S, in unincorporated Tacoma, Pierce County has retained its integrity of location, setting, design, material, workmanship, and feeling, as much of the building is intact, and the 1920 and 1937 additions have gained significance of their own. When the current owners Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) sought to delist the building from the Pierce County Register of Historic Places and ultimately apply for its demolition permit as a part of a sale agreement to developers in 2022, community members began to mobilize to show that not only does the building matter for its century-long record as an educational institution but that in its current conditions still yields major adaptive reuse potential including a community space if not retail, offices, and housing.
As the de-listing and demolition were recommended against by Pierce County Landmark and Historic Preservation Commission, PLU also recognized the community’s needs and efforts towards giving Parkland School a chance at preservation by renegotiating the sale agreement to exclude the parcel with the building and providing “up to twelve months [from August 2022] for the community to develop a viable option and purchase the east parcel, including the school building, from PLU” for a minimum purchase price of $2.85 million.
At this time, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is amplifying the efforts of the Save Parkland School community group, a committee of the Parkland Community Association, to raise funds towards acquiring a conditions assessment and preservation plan from which they can provide to potential partners in the purchase and redevelopment of the beloved Old Parkland School. Follow Save Parkland School at SaveParklandSchool.org and Facebook.