Lincoln High School (Tacoma, Wash.)

Tacoma, Washington

  • FIRM

    DLR Group


    Tacoma School District

  • AREA

    280,334 sq.ft.





Steeped in history, Lincoln High School was constructed in 1913 and organized in a traditional hierarchical layout. The design team was challenged with preserving the building’s historic character while adapting it to foster a new small-schools program.

Creative planning with light spatial adjustments recast the building’s apparent challenges ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMTCF ArchitectureCAPACITY1,800COST PER SQ FT$264.68FEATURED IN2008 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation strengths. The renovated school now is highly adaptable to change; it can support up to six distinct academies and currently operates with three, demonstrating the design’s remarkable flexibility. Central to the academies is the multi-function Student Learning Center, which includes a “living room,” teacher planning center and technology resource center. The academies function autonomously within the building, and shared resources promote schoolwide unity.

Architectural details and materials, including large windows, stained-glass skylights, original chalkboards and the iconic clock tower, were repaired and preserved, restoring the school’s pride for the historic community while fulfilling a sustainable mission to minimize waste.

Lincoln High School’s revitalization demonstrates that old and new are not mutually exclusive. When combined, the result is a dynamic, forward-thinking school enriched by a historic heritage.