Russell T. Joy

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Russell T. Joy Building

Physical address

1718 Pacific Avenue [map]

Do not send mail to this address. The mailing address for all UW Tacoma offices is 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA 98402-3100.

Building hours

Classrooms and academic space
Space Room
Classroom JOY 001
Computer Classroom JOY 009
Classroom JOY 104
Classroom JOY 105
Classroom JOY 106
Classroom JOY 109
Classroom JOY 110
Classroom JOY 113
Classroom JOY 114
Classroom JOY 117
Computer Classroom JOY 205
Classroom JOY 206
Classroom JOY 207
Classroom JOY 210
Classroom JOY 211
Classroom JOY 215
Meeting and event space
Space Room
Conference Room JOY 201


Built 1892 / Renovated 1904, 2010

Local realtor and developer Russell T. Joy bought 200 feet of property on Pacific Avenue and hired the prominent architects Pickles & Sutton to design this large brick, “flatiron” building with eight storefronts. Newspaper accounts at the time stated that the building was — as near as possible — fireproof. But the wooden interior and contents of several tenants’ storage space was destroyed by fire in 1903 as firemen from four stations battled the fire with all the most modern equipment. 

They managed to keep the blaze from spreading to the adjacent West Coast Grocery building, but were unable to save the inventory and equipment of four tenants, the Wiegel and Stardiamond candy companies, H.N. Richmond Paper, and the Great Western Stove Company. A few months later, architects Russell and Babcock designed renovations to the building to improve and strengthen it for heavy machinery. Four elevators were added, as well as a third story. 

Over the years, the building has housed a glove manufacturer, a seed store, a coffee company, a machinery distributor, and a dealer in industrial and logging supplies. Several automobile dealerships were located here early in the 20th century, including the Oldsmobile agency and West Coast Motor Company, which sold Empire and Elcar models. 

Several artifacts from the building were salvaged and re-installed as reminders of the building’s past. At the top of the main stairwell visitors will notice the hoist used to lift heavy loads to the top floors. Two metal fire doors were also restored.

Remodeling of the building for the University of Washington Tacoma was designed by THA Architects.