Seminarreflectionpapernov 25

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Seminar reflectionHistorical events have shaped Tacoma. Tacoma’s warehouse district, the current location of University of Washington Tacoma, flourished in the 1890s, following the extension of the Northern Pacific Railroad. This led to a boom in manufacturing and trade, which necessitated the construction of warehouses. Some of the historic warehouses, currently occupied by UW Tacoma, include the Garretson Woodruff Pratt which was constructed in 1890 and was a warehouse for dry goods wholesaler (Marie & Anderson, n.d.). However, during the mid-1890s depression, the company collapsed. The West Coast Grocery was another warehouse constructed in 1891 which housed tons of foodstuffs. Snoqualmie Falls Power Company Transformer House was constructed in 1902 as a transformer house and converted into a warehouse in 1958, housed infrastructure for moving heavy equipment (Marie & Anderson, n.d.). These are, but a few of the warehouses constructed in the 1890s and early 1900s in Tacoma’s warehouse district to house incoming goods and organized goods being shipped out and these buildings are now housing UW Tacoma. The flourishing of Tacoma’s warehouse district indicated the rapid growth of commerce in downtown Tacoma in the late 19th century and early 20th century.  The ground contamination and air pollution covered in this class point to the historic contamination in Tacoma by the ASARCO copper smelter. In 1890, Tacoma Smelters began operating on the Commencement Bay shores in Ruston in Tacoma, Washington (Gilbert, n.d.). The company was to extract lead from melted metal ores. Tacoma Smelters in 1902 switched to copper extraction and ASARCO in 1905 purchased Tacoma Smelters and continued to operate as copper smelter until closure in 1986. This company also extracted arsenic and lead from ore, and some were used as pesticides in fruit orchards in Tacoma. The historical contamination by the company was from its 562-food smokestack. The smelter’s smokestack speared arsenic, lead and other contaminants into the surrounding communities in Tacoma and even if it was demolished in 1993, its legacy remained; elevated arsenic and lead levels in soils in large areas of Tacoma (Gilbert, n.d.).UW Tacoma’s cleanup activity points to historic contamination ASARCO causes to the community. UW Tacoma site is located on a 50-acre land in south downtown Tacoma. This part of downtown has a long legacy of industrial activity, many of which contaminated the ground and groundwater with chemicals (Coughlan, n.d.). UW Tacoma is working to clean up soil and groundwater at the site. The cleanup process encompasses remedial investigation which entails demarcating contamination boundaries; interim action which includes particle cleanup activities; remedial investigation report which entails findings from the investigation; feasibility study report encompassing comparing and selecting solutions for cleaning up the site; cleanup action plan which entails planning the cleanup; cleanup implementation which entails implementing the cleanup action plan; and finally monitoring which comprise of evaluating the effectiveness of the cleanup (Coughlan, n.d.). This cleanup is to remedy soil and groundwater contamination dating back to the 1900s. In conclusion, historical events in Tacoma have shaped today’s Tacoma. The rapid growth of commerce in the late 1800s and early 1990s in Tacoma’s warehouse district contributed to Tacoma’s flourish. Also, the historical contamination by ASARCO copper smelter left a legacy of soil and ground contamination which exist till data and the UW Tacoma is engaging in a cleanup to amend the mess.ReferencesCoughlan, S. (n.d.). University of Washington Tacoma cleanup site. Retrieved from, S. (n.d.). Tacoma Smelter: A Toxic Legacy of Lead and Arsenic Contamination. Retrieved from, T., & Anderson, E. (n.d.). Tacoma’s Union Station Historic District. Retrieved from