Introducing the NEW Tacoma-Pierce County Buildings Index in ORCA

The Northwest Room has recently made our NEW Tacoma-Pierce County Buildings Index available in ORCA. Previously the index was only searchable by address or block. Now, users have the ability to browse and search by city, town, area, block, street, and address!

The Buildings Index contains information on Tacoma and Pierce County buildings found in Tacoma papers, local and national magazines, clipping files, and in over 200 books on local history and architecture. Sources cited in the index are available to view in the Northwest Room.

Records in this index are organized according to city/town/area, block, street, and address. Each record can include information on the year built, style of construction (where the literature can agree), dates of occupation of individuals and businesses, whether the building has been demolished, and whether it appears on any local, state, or national register of historic places, links to images of the structure, and more! Architects, builders, and contractors are listed, when known. The location of any building plans known to exist is also provided. The Tacoma-Pierce County Buildings Index does not cover parks, bridges, dams, docks, and other infrastructures.

Abbreviations used:

Abbreviation Full Name
TNT Tacoma News Tribune (aka Morning News Tribune, The News Tribune, & Morning News Tribune)
TDL Tacoma Daily Ledger
TDN Tacoma Daily News
TNL Tacoma News Ledger
T. Times Tacoma Times
T. Weekly Tacoma Weekly

The abbreviation (il) following a citation indicates that a photo or illustration accompanies the article cited.

Tips for navigating the new Buildings Index

The Building Index in ORCA is now organized in a nested fashion with towns, cities, and areas as the first layer.

Once you open any town, city, or area, you will see that it is organized first by street, then by block, and finally by individual address.

When you click on an individual address you will scroll down to see information related to that building.

To search for a specific address or a keyword like "Bowling alley" use the Quick search function on the left.

We hope you enjoy this new layout. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us! Please note that with the introduction of the new Buildings Index the old Buildings Index will not be updated or maintained. Please update your bookmarks!

For assistance in conducting historic building research, please reference the Northwest Room's Tacoma and Pierce County Home and Buildings Research Guide or contact us at or (253) 280-2814.

Click here for access to the NEW Tacoma-Pierce County Buildings Index!