The original buildings at Brewery Blocks and the businesses they housed hold historical significance and are associated with a period of robust growth for the City of Tacoma (source).
When the Northern Pacific Railway announced they were making Tacoma their farthest western terminal, land was quickly acquired on both sides of the rail lines. To make the most of this, wholesale businesses were constructed - some of these buildings are still standing today in what is now known as Brewery Blocks and throughout other neighborhoods in Tacoma.
Pacific Avenue is the main thoroughfare of Tacoma's downtown corridor and home to Brewery Blocks' first phase of development.
The former Hunt-Mottet Warehouse, located between the 21st and 22nd blocks of Pacific Avenue, was originally constructed in 1907 and noted as "one of Tacoma's leading businesses in the 20th century" (source). Previously, this warehouse was occupied by the Hunt-Mottet Hardware Company, a wholesale hardware distributor serving the local logging/mining/farming organizations (source), and is now the location of Hunt Mottet Lofts.
Alongside the Hunt-Mottet building housed Tacoma Grocery Company, a wholesale grocer supplying groceries from Montana to Alaska until the year 1893 when West Coast Grocery took over the space. West Coast had their own line of products called "Amocat", which cleverly is Tacoma spelled backwards (source).
The fire in the 1800's that destroyed a lot of Seattle, brick architecture was preferred construction during this time. Due to its' significance to the area and overall aesthetics, developer Mike Bartlett went to great lengths to preserve and enhance the brick found in the original construction of these buildings.
In 1910, a 3-story building was constructed on C street for J.E. Aubry Wagon and Auto Works, a company that serviced wagons and carriages. Later, this business expanded to repair automobiles as wagons as carriages declined in popularity. Using his vision for restoration, Mike Bartlett took this 3-story abandoned warehouse, added four stories and is now known as Brewery Lofts.
Construction included adaptive reuse of the heavy timber wood beams in excess of 100 years old to keep with the design of the first 3 floors. To maintain the historical feel of the building, Bartlett was also able to keep the floating dock and some of the original awnings from the warehouse era pictured below.
A human researched and wrote the content on this page and therefore some of the information might be incomplete. While we did our best to conduct thorough research, this is a summary of details as we know them. Photos are curtesy of the Tacoma Public Library.