TACOMA – Metro Parks Tacoma has restricted access to the concrete section of the 1925 Pavilion at Point Defiance Marina, which is colloquially referred to as the “Old Boathouse,” due to safety concerns which included spalling concrete.
The closure does not affect the general public. The recently renovated wooden frame portion of the building remains open for fishing and rental boat operations. The private boat locker tenants have been notified of the change and have the option to store their vessels at the new boathouse for the remainder of their contracts.
The boathouse was constructed in 1921 and opened in 1925. The concrete section of the building has experienced wear and tear over time, further exacerbated by king tides.
A facilities conditions analysis of the marina complex was conducted in 2016 and indicated that Metro Parks Tacoma should consider developing an approach for the future of the remaining pavilion structure within the next 10 to 20 years. It did not recommend a need to restrict use of the building at that time.
The future of the concrete portion of the old boathouse is contingent upon a feasibility study to determine what repairs or replacement options are permissible. The structure falls under city, state and federal shoreline permitting jurisdictions.
At this time, funding has not been identified to support a feasibility study.
Two projects using the last of funds designated for the Point Defiance Marina complex from the 2014 bond were recently completed. In January 2019, more than $1 million in improvements were made to the marina’s three boat elevators. In January 2023, another $3.54 million was invested in public safety and longevity improvements. Those updates included pile replacement and repairs, removal of an irreparably damaged pedestrian bridge, utility and fire suppression system upgrades, new decking and drainage and painting throughout the complex.