About the Dome Business District

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As an emerging urban neighborhood located in the heart of the city's transportation center, the Dome District has a thriving business district. Best known for its convenience to downtown, proximity to freeways and waterfront, it is a regional transportation hub and is a Transit Oriented District (TOD). It is bordered by Downtown Tacoma, the Thea Foss Waterway, I-5 freeway, and the Port of Tacoma.

In the Dome District you will find a variety of services, shopping, restaurants and activities to explore. We invite you to explore this highly walk-able and bike friendly neighborhood. Enjoy your visit!


Earning its name
Most of the Dome District was originally called East School neighborhood in the 1880s, for the large elementary school built here.

Dome District History 1

In 1889 the school and the neighborhood were renamed Hawthorne. The name stuck until the demolition of the neighborhood during the early '60s – for the construction of Interstate 5 – and again in 1981, for the Tacoma Dome.

Shaped by transportation
Another defining element of the Dome District was the Milwaukee-St Paul Railroad Station and freight house, built around 1910. The building that Alfred's Café is located in was moved down to Puyallup Avenue to make room for the freight building now known as Freighthouse Square.

By the '20s cars and delivery trucks were changing the look of the district. Automotive-related buildings such as gas stations, showrooms, repair and manufacturing shops began to appear.

Dome District History 2

Contemporary revitalization
The Tacoma Dome brought hope to the district, breathing life to buildings like Freighthouse Square, Fire Engine House #4 and Hawthorne House.

In 1991, the Dome Business District was established to encourage more development in the underutilized buildings and lots of the area.

A transit hub
In 1995 Pierce Transit and the city developed a Dome District Area Plan creating yet another defining element: the Transit Oriented District. Over the last ten years, a very successful multi-modal transit hub has developed.

There have been two updates to the plan:

  1. 2001 – Link light rail was added connecting downtown to the transit hub
  2. 2009 – Lemay Car Museum and parking lots were added

Creating a vibrant community
The Dome Business District continues to work on making the district a vibrant urban neighborhood by advocating for commercial and residential development that compliments transit and downtown connections.

Dome Business District

The Dome District was one of the business districts organized in 1991 through the city's Neighborhood Business District Revitalization Program. With roots in Tacoma's historic past, we're committed to the ongoing economic revitalization of the district and continue to work to make it Tacoma's transportation, retail, dining and entertainment destination.

We are a 501(c) (6) nonprofit mutual business organization with the State of Washington.



Dome District Development GroupIf you would like to have your business listed on the website, please download the PDF form below and return it to us. We will add you to the directory, at no charge.

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