This residential neighborhood covers 228 acres and contains over 1200 homes, making it one of the largest historic districts west of the Mississippi. Starting in the 1880s, the area was settled as a streetcar suburb and includes a wide variety of architectural styles on its tree-lined streets.
In the 1880s, those working in nearby iron works, furniture factories, lumber mills, a salmon cannery and the railroad sought affordable housing on the Hilltop. This growing immigrant population was supported by numerous small shops, churches, civic buildings and schools. Post-war suburban development caused many to leave the Hilltop, but since 2000, young families, new immigrants and long-time residents began revitalizing the solidly built wood frame buildings. Featured as Historic Tacoma’s 2008 Walking Tour.
In 1890, the Northern Pacific Railway ushered in the birth of what would become the South Tacoma Business District by moving its railway shops from downtown Tacoma to the south of the city. The South Tacoma Business District and neighborhoods sprang up in the ensuing years. The working-class community supported additional development, including churches, schools, clubs and recreational activities. Substantial growth also occurred during the automobile era, since South Tacoma Way was Federal Highway 99 and the neighborhood still has a number of automotive related businesses. Featured as Historic Tacoma’s 2011 Walking Tour.
Bounded by 6th Avenue, Division Street, and “L,” the neighborhood includes homes built from the late 1890s through the early 1930s by such prominent architects as Andrew Larsen, Frank Hill and Silas Nelsen. Early in the 20th century, the Wedge was a very desirable area due to the close proximity to schools, churches and the hospital. The streetcars lines ran on the 3 boundaries of the Wedge district and residents could easily get to any location in Tacoma. Pivotal structures are the Titlow Mansion (410 S. Sheridan), J.C. Todd House (502 S. Sheridan), Tweeden House (514 S. Sheridan), and the Nelsen House (405 S. Sheridan). Featured as Historic Tacoma’s 2009 Walking Tour.