Ocryx and Joe

Ocryx and Joe in "Luzon Tree, oh Luzon Tree"

It takes a green thumb to make a parking lot...
posted Apr 13, 2011
The Luzon Tree has work yet to do
Sizes:   web  |  email  |  print

<< >>
Walked past Old City Hall the other day, looked up- AND THERE WAS THE LUZON TREE LOOKING DOWN AT US!

by KevinFreitas on 4/13/2011 @ 7:01am
The butterfly bushes growing out of the (RIP) Luzon:

Here's a view from inside Old City Hall:

I loved photographing those beauties.

by KevinFreitas on 4/13/2011 @ 7:05am
And a couple more from the Luzon:

by ixia on 4/13/2011 @ 7:29am
Old City Hall.....now THAT"S a great location for surface parking. Surely would be revenue creating as well.

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 8:07am
any companies threatening to move to Federal Way in need of free parking lots?

by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 4/13/2011 @ 8:33am
ouch. this comic hurts.

for what it's worth, old city hall has a cousin in seattle's capitol hill neighborhood: the former marion apartments at pine and bellevue, owned by the same group that owns old city hall. it's kind of a creepy building now because, well, take it away, capitol hill seattle (chs) blog . . .

"But in addition to the graffiti, the old apartment building has a gaping, charred hole on its northwest corner from the October 2008 fire that ripped through part of the building as its final tenants were being moved out. Investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set by 89-year-old Ed Jackson who had served as the apartment manager and the neighborhood's de facto nightwatchman. Jackson died in the blaze."


"Ed Jackson took his own life with one shot from a .38 revolver as the apartment building he called home for more than 40 years burned. No coincidence in the timing of the sad event. He was going to be evicted on Tuesday."

more links here . . .

Ed Jackson Park (10/29/08) -- www.capitolhillseattle.com/2008/10/29/ed...

Taggers' paradise at Bellevue and Pine serves as reminder of Hill's stalled development (07/21/10) -- www.capitolhillseattle.com/2010/07/21/ta...

Charred, tagged and empty, Bellevue/Pine apartments to be torn down for redevelopment (03/06/11) -- www.capitolhillseattle.com/2011/03/06/ch...

by Jesse on 4/13/2011 @ 9:19am
Add a streetcar network circulator for upper downtown, put more parking garages on the outskirts, and you won't need parking in the core. Besides, the land is too hard to dig down very far for underground parking anyways.

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 9:54am
High minimum wage rate> insufficient number of businesses and employment levels > high commercial vacancy rates > building owners can't afford to maintain property > building demolition by neglect > parking lot becomes only affordable resolution > declining civic prosperity > pressure to increase minimum wage rate

by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 4/13/2011 @ 10:21am
my favorite luzon photos/memories . . .

Luzon Unlocked

Downtown's Lost Block

by Erik on 4/13/2011 @ 10:37am
A tree growing out of a building is a precursor to demolition. Always bad.

by cisserosmiley on 4/13/2011 @ 10:43am
i grew up here and have many memories of dt and its previous colorful life...basically i am not going to forgive tacomanians over the age of about 55 because these folks 55-85 years old sat on the pot while the whole thing went to crap. when i was a teenager i just thought every city was dirty and dangerous through and through. i have been lucky to see many others and now know it was tacomanians that did this. now, lets hold them responsible. maybe a people's initiative making it illegal for owners to be over 55 and force eminant domain sales to the highest bidders of a reasonable age.

by The Jinxmedic on 4/13/2011 @ 11:08am
Demolishing the Luzon right when Glintz and others were fighting to keep it was tragic. Losing Old City Hall after learning nothing from the Luzon would be unconscionable.

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 11:11am
"maybe a people's initiative making it illegal for owners to be over 55 and force eminant domain sales to the highest bidders of a reasonable age."'

Hey wait a minute cissero, I'm a commercial property owner over age 55. I thought we were buddies?

How about an initiative which removes the minimum wage law so that property owners could afford to have people maintain the property and so that new businesses could afford to open up shop in all those vacant spaces? More people working, a cleaner city, less vacant spaces, less parking lots, that's what I call a win win win win.

by The Jinxmedic on 4/13/2011 @ 11:40am
An Ode to the Luzon Tree:


by cisserosmiley on 4/13/2011 @ 11:44am
@fredo where were you when i was a teenager and all the junk property abounded? did you live here? did you and your friends talk about the conditions? i am seriously curious because it really is not fair to blame an age group, but did you guys think the older generation had let the whole place go? or was everyone thinking "ya, lets go on down to the town pump tavern, get stabbed, have a prostitute call 911, then read about it on monday morning in the tnt police blotter?

by cisserosmiley on 4/13/2011 @ 11:51am
a found memory of the luzon...my older bro would let me ride the #11 downton to the pawn shops where he would sell something? then we would get $1.00 noodles from the basement of the luzon

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 12:17pm
The New Takhoman tells a story about how Bill Baarsma lost his virginity to a prostitute he met at the Luzon as a lad.

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 12:25pm
I don't know when you were a teenager cissero, so I have no idea what I was doing during those years. But I do think your suggestion that old people have trashed Tacoma and young people are wonderful stewards of our city is completely bogus. The main reason Tacoma is declining IMO, is the loss of blue collar jobs. Other states and countries have offered to provide labor at more reasonable prices and the jobs have left. What remains is the shell of a once prosperous city. Tacoma is now dependent on government and non-profit jobs. How long until people refer to Tacoma as Little Detroit or Little Bell?

by cisserosmiley on 4/13/2011 @ 1:02pm
i agree with you fredo, written above..."it really is not fair to blame an age group" i was remembering the early eighties and tacoma was a little weird already. i was just curious to hear older folks perspectives on the real time evolution...or was tacoma always what it was in 1982?

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 1:32pm
Let's look at a case study:

South Tacoma used to be a pretty prosperous strip. There were a lot of blue collar workers down there at the railroad shops and nalley valley manufacturing. The jobs are gone but look at what's left. Lots of derelict buildings with businesses that are breathing on fumes or for lease signs in the window. It's one thing to talk about the wonder of family wage jobs but to try to legislate it is just stupid. If you tell businesses that they will have to pay a certain wage level or vacate the area, don't be surprised take you up on the offer. I think the blame for the downward spiral needs to rest with the voters who have refused to acquaint themselves with basic principles of economics.

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 1:46pm
walk down broadway... all those empty storefronts are now artist display areas thanks to Spaceworks! Who needs blue collar workers? Lowering minimum wage to create jobs? UNREAL

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 1:54pm
also new KOP neon looks good.

by Jesse on 4/13/2011 @ 1:58pm
Jobs are created because an employer has a need. That's it.

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 2:13pm
Jesse, so your advice to the thousands of people in Tacoma who are unemployed is to wait until an employer has a need or until an employer moves to Tacoma? There isn't anything proactive that unemployed people can do?

by The Jinxmedic on 4/13/2011 @ 2:19pm
We moved our blue-collar production jobs to Nevada. We're hiring down there.

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 2:32pm
Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Unemployment for Tacoma Washington

February 2008 5.2%
February 2011 10.6%

Looks like the strategy of waiting for the recession to end isn't working.

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 3:07pm
boy are you guys out of touch. the secret to jobs in Tacoma is free parking lots from the government. Just imagine how many jobs we'd have if the government also provided free healthcare! Instead companies lose good people because business owners are stingy tyrants in a race to the bottom.

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 3:55pm
Always lots of helpful employment advice here at feedtacoma from people who've never written a payroll check in their lives. What a shame that liberals will never actually establish a business and operate it with the wonderful utopian pay and benefits plans they so easily recommend for stingy business owners. I guess a ghost town full of abandoned buildings and empty parking lots is preferable to a bustling city full of underpaid but usefully employed citizens.

by The Jinxmedic on 4/13/2011 @ 4:05pm

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 4:11pm
In Nevada they call the underpaid but usefully employed citizens prostitutes

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 4:33pm
Prostitutes have a purpose in life...unemployed people, not so much.

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 4:34pm
self employed

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 4:37pm
hey are the bush tax cuts still creating jobs?

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 4:47pm
hey is the obama job stimulus money still creating jobs?

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 5:02pm
there was a stimulus? heh. Guess I could say the same for the bush tax cuts... there were tax cuts? ha ha! < gallows humor

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 4/13/2011 @ 5:09pm
I'm confused, do prostitutes in Nevada get a bush tax cut?

by Jesse on 4/13/2011 @ 5:18pm
"Always lots of helpful employment advice here at feedtacoma from people who've never written a payroll check in their lives." -fredo

I planned the six million dollar budget for my last employer who had 40 employees - for which I was 3rd in charge.

I helped run my families business from the age of 17 to 23 and managed up to 14 workers.

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 5:57pm
With your extensive experience in payroll jesse, maybe you could tell us what would improve employment prospects for Tacomans.

by cisserosmiley on 4/13/2011 @ 6:01pm
what deflection older crowd...i just wanted an explanation of how it felt to watch tacoma decline and instead we debate minimum wage bush taxes n obama...im going to book face world friends with this one cause it is for real interesting...over 55 people: was tacoma awesome and then got worse? and if so how did that feel? - or - was tacoma essentially always the same?

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 6:26pm
all the sucky old people moved to University Place.

by fredo on 4/13/2011 @ 7:35pm
I got here in 1978. DT was much more robust with lots more people. The west side of Pacific Ave from the Luzon south to Bimbos was a bunch of honky tonks. Across the street was the Greyhound station with a popular cocktail lounge. You could take the train from Union Station all the way to LA. I did! There was big Woolworths with a lunch counter and Sears and Rhoads Department store. There weren't too many vacancies but the place did look like it had seen better days. the moving sidewalks that took people from Pacific Avenue uphill were kind of grimy and perhaps broken. The art museum was just north of Wells Fargo. It was in a cool old bank building. Also the camera shop downtown was a frequent haunt of mine.

As I've said, when you create a social environment highlighted by high and persistant unemployment levels you do your society a horrible injustice. This manifests itself (among other ways) in a decaying infrastructure. The places which still look good: Glass Museum, the city waterway, Dome, Art Museum, History Museum, U of Wash campus, the cable-stay bridge, the Convention Center give Tacoma the appearance of prosperity. But its sort of a facade. These places are all dependent on the public sector or non-profits. Remove all this and you would see clearly how little real prosperity exists here. Maybe Gritz and Shifty could do a production where they knock down their backdrop as an illustration.

by jenyum on 4/13/2011 @ 9:06pm
Couldn't you say the decline began with the opening of the Tacoma Mall in 1965? Seems like there are still plenty of entry level service jobs there.

by cisserosmiley on 4/13/2011 @ 9:24pm
maybe it was I-5. before I-5 everyone had to drive through pacific/south tacoma way/puyallup ave. area on old 99...now I-5 is elevated and tacoma is a suburb with great freeway access.

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 11:04pm
Gritz and Shifty visit the Northwest Detention Center to see what suckling on the government teet really looks like

by NineInchNachos on 4/13/2011 @ 11:06pm

by Erik on 4/14/2011 @ 12:26am
From what I can gather, downtown Tacoma was in it's worst shape in the late 1970s. Almost complete disinvestment and abandonment.

Check out these:

Speaking of Sauro:

MM Bridge and Old City Hall was in better shape though:

Unfortunate that Tacoma lost this cool looking building after 1979:


by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 4/14/2011 @ 12:31am
Many of the buildings featured in the Cysewski photos I'd like to have back.

by cisserosmiley on 4/14/2011 @ 12:47am
the pic of the 11th street bridge makes me remember how easy it was to get to ne tacoma

by Jesse on 4/14/2011 @ 8:20am
I would have liked to see Tacoma in the 1970's. In fact, I'd like to have seen Tacoma in about 1890-1910 even more.

Tacoma has seemed to have many huge setbacks for which the 1970's seemed to be the culmination of most of these setbacks. If I had a magic wand, here are the top things I would have changed about the history of Tacoma:

1. 1897 Klondike Gold Rush and Seattle's successful marketing of it as being the jumping off point to Alaska.
2. 1893 RR goes kaput. Gets taken over.
3. 1910 Seattle World's Fair puts NW emphasis even more on Seattle
4. 1910 Railroad moves to Seattle
5. 1938 Paper Mill stank start.
6. 1938 Streetcar removal
7. 1938 Fort Lewis opens leading to a highly transient society
8. 1940's Major corruption in local gov't leads to #9
9. 1952 City Manager gov't style adopted
10. 1950's I-5 (or was that the 1960's?)
11. 1950's "Urban Renewal" knocking down old buildings and replacing them with nothing. Suburban style codes for city too; see also parking, etc.
12. 1964 Tacoma Maul opens and cannibalizes DT shopping
13. 1971 Weyerhauser Moves to Federal Way
14. 1980's-1990's Gangs
15. 2010 Russell leaves for Seattle

by ixia on 4/14/2011 @ 8:26am
14. 2011 Sound Transit berms the Dome District and cuts the neighborhood in two for a hundred years.

by Jesse on 4/14/2011 @ 8:38am
...and before all that was the adoption of the plat for Tacoma that doesn't overlook Commencement Bay but rather the Thea Foss puddle and the port. Should have went with Fredrick Law Olmstead's plan.

by The Jinxmedic on 4/14/2011 @ 9:27am
His streets were all wiggly, though.

by Jesse on 4/14/2011 @ 9:45am
Eh, I think Olmstead was just progressive for his day and the people creating Tacoma at the RR probably weren't. Besides that, the economy wasn't so hot when all this was going down and Olmstead's plan was a bit spendy and complicated compared to what we have today.

by The Jinxmedic on 4/14/2011 @ 10:39am
Isn't one progressive RR in Tacoma enough?

by NineInchNachos on 4/14/2011 @ 10:47am
oi !

by Mofo from the Hood on 4/14/2011 @ 10:53am
The coercive power of government should not be underestimated in terms of its control over the economic activity of individuals. Its basis of authority is simple: Law = Force.

Where does the money come from to operate a coercive agency? Your pocket and mine, based on financial schemes and fluctuating bank interest rates decreed by private bankers AKA The Federal Reserve.

Governments borrow money when the average citizen cannot, and they make good clients for bankers because their loans are guaranteed by coercive force to collect taxes from the citizenry.

Does that explanation help to make sense of Tacoma's downtown economic structure since the beginning of the last century? Shift doesn't just happen.

by NineInchNachos on 4/14/2011 @ 12:22pm
the government is people!

by Mofo from the Hood on 4/14/2011 @ 12:45pm
Special message bro: There's a distinction between the governor's and the governed.

by NineInchNachos on 4/14/2011 @ 12:51pm
Freedom isn't free Mofo.

by Mofo from the Hood on 4/14/2011 @ 12:59pm
Okay. Freedom isn't free. Public schools used to teach U.S. history and I remember reading that Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death." There's a man who knows what he would die for, therefore he knows what he would live for---individual freedom.

by cisserosmiley on 4/14/2011 @ 1:00pm
if there were just a way to get people and dollars to tacoma...maybe a cruise ship terminal in old town. plenty of dock space, great transpo from hotels and airport, and the biz owners in old town and on the waterfront could bank on a 1000 extra people in town spending, and it would be cool to look out from 30th street hill and see the love boat parked next to the CRP ting

by Mofo from the Hood on 4/14/2011 @ 1:05pm
Plant the Luzon Tree on the CRP ting.

by The Jinxmedic on 4/14/2011 @ 1:34pm
The Ting Tree is a good idea. You could squeeze it periodically to produce a supply of Ting Tree Oil.
But for cruise ships, Old Town residents don't like ships. Or airplanes. Or trains. Or industry of any type.

by cisserosmiley on 4/14/2011 @ 1:43pm
that is really the most important social organizational issue to face tacoma...is a small sliver of the north end of tacoma worth more than the rest of all of pierce county?

by The Jinxmedic on 4/14/2011 @ 2:17pm

by NineInchNachos on 4/14/2011 @ 4:10pm
www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/bibles-bur... does this help?

by The Jinxmedic on 4/15/2011 @ 2:13pm
Okay- I have thought about that link all day- and for the life of me, I still fail to find a connection with that link and this thread...

by ixia on 4/15/2011 @ 3:19pm
As connected as minimum-wage is too damn high guy. Pops up where you’d never expect!

by NineInchNachos on 4/15/2011 @ 3:45pm
it was for mofo and all bible originalists: EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG!

by The Jinxmedic on 4/15/2011 @ 3:49pm
Oh. Sure, whatever.

by Mofo from the Hood on 4/15/2011 @ 8:00pm
Just want to say thanks for posting the link to the film on archeology. I watched the whole program last night.

At some point in the future a group of curious scholars may try to answer the question: Why does Tacoma, Washington have so many civic center vacant lots in proximity to commercial buildings? Would an archeological dig at the flat sights unearth any tangible evidence that would correspond with photography and written records describing a populated downtown Tacoma?

Perhaps the most satisfying explanation for downtown Tacoma fits into the category of myth---Recorded history follows a recurrent theme of exile and return with regards to retail development.

Ongoing subject to revision scientific data and speculation may reveal that the best explanation to account for downtown Tacoma is that it is the invention of a nomadic population who define themselves and their place by imaginative and entertaining stories. There was never a downtown Tacoma with a thriving civic center---Flat vacant lots are self-existent, eternal entities.

However, if it is true that the matter of downtown Tacoma cannot be decided, then it is not irrational to have faith in the possibility of a thriving civic center. That is the significant and enduring legacy that downtown Tacoma and its population has given to humanity.

by NineInchNachos on 4/15/2011 @ 8:05pm
and thats why I post links for mofo to digest.

by NineInchNachos on 5/11/2011 @ 1:44pm
water shut off notice again.

by The Jinxmedic on 5/11/2011 @ 1:59pm
It's time again to revisit our Ode to the Luzon tree:


by L.S.Erhardt on 5/11/2011 @ 2:07pm
We all knew about the Luzon Tree.
If you look at City Hall, there's a tree on it too.
We've been alerted to the OCH Tree.

Now I'm sounding the alarm on the nascent Washington Building Tree:

by NineInchNachos on 6/6/2011 @ 8:52pm

Update on interior of Old City Hall
Several HT board members and other interested citizens were given a tour of the interior spaces of Old City Hall on May 16 by David Morton, Stratford Company property manager. The historic building suffered a major blow when a sprinkler system pipe burst in the solarium on the roof, thoroughly soaking the interior, top to bottom last November.
After some delay, asbestos abatement and a $1M mitigation effort were completed with much of the

Old City Hall on a recent spring afternoon
interior stripped of ceiling and wall sheetrock. Many floor surfaces were also removed leaving sub floors and some original floors that are damaged by water. In addition to removing the sheet rock, some partition walls and mezzanines have been removed, opening up some spectacular large spaces. Where the mezzanines have been removed the ceilings are 20 ft high with grand brick arches connecting large spacious interior spaces. The windows are tall and elegant and appear to be in very good condition. Moisture meter readings throughout the building indicate it is essentially dry (8 to 15%) but not as dry as a heated occupied building. The most damp place was in the foundation wall in the old jail area reading 92%.
Old City Hall is an iconic historic building that has the potential to be the showcase of Tacoma. Intelligent, thoughtful design on the rehabilitation of the interior will make Old City Hall the premier historic building in Tacoma.
-- Roger Johnson, Board member

Read more: blog.thenewstribune.com/politics/2011/06...

by The Jinxmedic on 6/7/2011 @ 10:54am
What Stratford needs is some good old fashioned PR, so that they can demonstrate that they are actually doing something- because it sure doesn't look like it from outside. No signs, no nothing. I'm sure the mayor can work out a deal with Jay Ray.

by NineInchNachos on 6/7/2011 @ 11:01am
they really don't give a flying saucer f-bomb what people who live here thinks. If they can just hold on till elks gets going... then OCH will be worth something!

by The Jinxmedic on 7/12/2011 @ 7:16pm
Umm... ...it looks like Eric Anderson now will have plenty of time to water the little Luzon trees throughout the city.

Citizens! Remain vigilant!

by Jesse on 7/12/2011 @ 7:43pm
The Luzon gets it's revenge on Anderson tonight.

by NineInchNachos on 7/12/2011 @ 8:28pm
nice work toonists

by low bar on 7/12/2011 @ 10:57pm
I think you have to worry when shit doesn't grow on shit. That is when you are really fucked. Come on people, life and the world is not just a smelly pulp mill city called Tacoma. I mean, the main reason you like living in Tacoma are the people you know. Its the people. So that means you like people. Well news flash, there are people everywhere. Fuck buildings.

by NineInchNachos on 7/12/2011 @ 11:10pm
talk about chafing... naw naw naw

by low bar on 7/13/2011 @ 1:34am
naw naw naw what RR? you guys are making a big fucking stink about buildings that chased off the tribes. Alright? People who knew a thing or two about living. People who didn't get all fucking bent because a fucking branch started growing out of something. So wake the fuck up and look at yourselves. If Tacoma crumbles to the fucking ground, which it will, it'll be sweet sweet karma, not to mention the way things go. Nothing is forever.

by The Jinxmedic on 7/13/2011 @ 5:54am
Is that you, Mr. former city manager? I think I can recognize that hate for the city pretty much anywhere.

by low bar on 7/13/2011 @ 7:48am
You've all brainwashed yourselves. I mean, I can see the logic in saving old buildings and reusing them instead of building new crap, but that's about it. Trust me, you'd be much happier not living in boxes:) And yes, I live in a fucking box just like the rest of you, but I don't go around freaking out about the box coming apart at the seams.

by NineInchNachos on 7/13/2011 @ 8:13am
Sex with a building: It's got you covered, but things just don't fit.

We should live in tee pees. Because they're better in a lot of ways.

by The Jinxmedic on 7/13/2011 @ 8:32am
I rather prefer yurts made from goat hair and yak wool. Renewable, fashionable, portable, and has served the needs of Mongols for over a thousand years. What's to lose?

by jenyum on 7/13/2011 @ 8:56am
The real crime is that we ever left the oceans. The whales, they never had to do that, did they? Those are some people who know what life is really all about.

by low bar on 7/13/2011 @ 10:09am
Shamu would kick all your asses, if he had arms and legs. It rains enough in Tacoma for him to survive out of water.

by NineInchNachos on 7/13/2011 @ 10:54am
evolution people, whales went back into the ocean.