AKA: Washington Building #1, Downtown, Tacoma, WA; Bankers Trust Building, Downtown, Tacoma, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Lea, Pearson, and Richards, Architects (firm); Lundberg and Mahon, Architects (firm); Proctor and Dennis, Architects (firm); Twichell, Luther, Architect (firm); Oliver Perry Dennis (architect); Charles Winthrop Lea Jr. (architect); C. F.W. Lundberg (architect); Mahon (architect); Charles Theodore Pearson (architect); John Gardiner Proctor (architect); John Greenway Richards (architect); Luther Twichell (architect)

Dates: constructed 1889-1890, demolished 1956

6 stories

1109 Pacific Avenue
Downtown, Tacoma, WA 98402

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The Barlow-Catlin Building occupied 1109-1113 Pacific Avenue.


This notable Richardsonian Romanesque office block underwent four name changes and lasted from 1890 until 1956. It served as war-time housing during World War II.

Building History

Two developers, C.S. Barlow and Charles Catlin, provided the capital to erect this stately, six-story building in 1889-1890. In 1889, they commissioned the architectural firm of Proctor and Dennis to design it, who completed their work by 01/1890.

The building was known as the "Washington Building" by about 1905, and renamed the "Arcade Building" by 1906. It became the "Bankers Trust Building" by 1907, and was known as this until its demolition in 1956.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Buildings Database has noted that the building was occupied by the Steel, Steel and Steel, Incorporated, a real estate firm by 08/1932, and, five years later, in 02/1937, they closed off its upper four floors from use to save money during the Depression. In 1943, the building became converted to serve as war housing. It functioned as a dormitory until 06/1944, when it was put up for sale; it was sold by 01/1946.

Building Notes

The Olympic Hotel operated in the Barlow-Catlin Building by 1895.

In 1905, architect George Trust maintained his practice in Offices #311-312 in the Washington Building.


The building underwent many remodelings during its 66-year lifespan. The Olympic Hotel made interior changes when it opened in 03/1895. New owners directed remodeling of some parts of the interior in 1905.

A new front facade was desgined for a bank tenant in 1914 by the firm of Lundberg and Mahon, Architects.

After 1915, new owners commissioned an even larger remodeling effort of the building, including a new entrance facade by architect Luther Twichell.

The Tacoma architectural firm of Lea, Pearson and Richards, supervised remodeling of the Bankers Trust Building into a dormitory for war workers in Tacoma. This work was announced in 02/1943.


According to the remarkable Tacoma-Pierce County Buildings Database, "It was demolished in 1956 to make way for an annex to the Peoples Store, located left 1101-07 Pacific Ave." (See Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma-Pierce County Buildings Database, "Richards Studio A4020-1," accessed 03/21/2018.)

PCAD id: 21859