Captain George Vancouver Julia Butler Hansen Carlos Bulosan Ernestine Anderson Kurt Cobain Bill Gates & Paul Allen Home
Search Encyclopedia
Advanced Search
Featured Essay
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
7100 essays now available      
Donation system not supported by Safari     Donate Subscribe


Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search


Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Salishan Housing Project in Tacoma opens for war workers on May 1, 1943. Essay 5474 : Printer-Friendly Format

On May 1, 1943, the Salishan Housing Project in Tacoma accepts 10 families, the first to occupy the 2,000-unit development. The Tacoma Housing Authority is building the development with federal monies to provide housing for the tens of thousands of people who are moving to Tacoma to work in war industries. After the war, the project will be converted to serve low-income families.

When the U.S. entered World War II in December 1941, Tacoma became a critical area for military activities. Fort Lewis, McChord Field, the Mount Rainier Ordnance Depot, and Commencement Bay shipyards attracted tens of thousands of new residents. After the Great Depression (1929-1939), decent housing was in short supply. The vacancy rate for rental units dropped to zero and rents rose 14 percent. The Tacoma Housing Authority laid plans to accommodate the new residents.

Salishan was first planned for a hill above the Hylebos Waterway, but the project shifted to approximately 400 acres owned by Pierce County and some private landowners on Portland Avenue at E 38th Street. The entire project was originally planned as temporary, to be demolished when the war ended. But planners foresaw the continuing need for housing and 1,600 of the homes were build as permanent. Another 400 temporary homes were built of canvas over wooden frames.

The project was formally dedicated on February 20, 1944, after all the units were completed.

Amy Loelle Adams, "Historic American Building Survey: Salishan Housing District, Tacoma," Tacoma Housing Authority, (HABS No. WA-219).

Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Buildings | Cities & Towns | War & Peace |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

This essay made possible by:
Tacoma Housing Authority

First residents arrive at Salishan, May 1, 1943
Courtesy Tacoma Housing Authority

Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM) is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email