Cushman Commons

Welcome to the North End Neighborhood Council’s Cushman Commons page.

Tacomans should get ready for a unique opportunity to decide the future use of two historic buildings: The Cushman and Adams substations on North 21st Street.

Tacoma Public Utilities no longer needs the buildings. And the City of Tacoma plans to hold a formal public process to hear the community’s ideas for the future of the sites. [These public meetings will be scheduled once the COVID-19 social-distancing requirements are suspended.]

The North End Neighborhood Council proposes a community center and park space, “Cushman Commons.”

The 6-minute video below gives a brief overview of the buildings, provides info on the planned public process, and explains why our vision is a great fit for the site.

We’d love your support!

Use the link below to sign up for more information and to get updates on the schedule for the public process.

Cushman Interest List: Sign up for updates

What’s the status of the Cushman Substation?

In 2018, Tacoma Public Utilities replaced the old electric towers on North 21st Street with monopoles and disconnected the Cushman Substation from the electrical system. In the near future, TPU will move its remaining equipment out of Cushman, and the building will be surplussed.

Community members along with the North End Neighborhood Council encouraged the City to hold a public process to hear the community’s ideas for future use of the substations and the surrounding properties. The City hired Northwest firm Otak to lead the process. Otak plans to hold “visioning workshops” followed by “scenario workshops” to create two or three different plans for repurposing the site.

Originally scheduled for May 2020, the “visioning workshops” have been postponed due to the COVID-19 social-distancing requirements. The City currently intends to reschedule them once public meetings can resume.


How can I stay informed?

We’ll use this list to share news about the Cushman site and updates on the public process as well as any future Cushman-related events put on by the City or the NENC. You can also check this website and the NENC on Facebook for updates.

We’re looking for volunteers to help with events and communications. So, if you’re interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities, please sign up for the Interest List.


Why is the Cushman-Adams site important?

Learn more about the historic significance of the Cushman-Adams sites from the Historic Register Nomination. In 2017, the exteriors of both Cushman and Adams substations and the surrounding sites were placed on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places.

See also:

Past posts related to the Cushman-Adams site on this website can be viewed here.