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A three-part lecture series focused on Tacoma's built environment: past, present, and future, presented by Conversations RE: Tacoma, An Ad Hoc Group. Tacoma's urban architectural environment has a long and mixed history. In a series of three lectures we begin a conversation about the City's recent past, including the  makeover of the 1980's and 1990's; the present by looking at the elements for creation of vibrant neighborhoods; and the future, as represented by the Center for Urban Waters. The goal of this three part lecture series is to provoke thought, to inform the public, and to stimulate conversation, as upcoming changes to the City’s Comprehensive Plan provide the opportunity for community-wide discussion of the city’s design future.  • (ALREADY OCCURRED) The first lecture is entitled “The City: Urban Tacoma's Recent Past,” was held on Thursday, September 17, 2009, at the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. In the 1980's and 1990's, the entire south end of downtown Tacoma and the adjoining waterfront witnessed a complete make-over, which even now generates discussion and controversy. Three of the principals involved in this transformation will explain the personal, institutional, political, and business circumstances and alignments which led to this remarkable transformation of an urban core. Speakers: David Allen, formerly with Cornerstone Development Corporation and past executive director of the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma; Bruno Freschi, architect and lead designer for Expo '86 in Vancouver, and consultant to the Washington State History Museum and the Executive Council; and Michael Sullivan, Artifacts, Inc. and former Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Tacoma. Moderated by David Nicandri, Director, Washington State History Museum. • The second lecture is entitled “Neighborhood: Creating Vibrant Communities,” and will be held at 6:30 PM on Thursday, October, 22, 2009 at New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th, Tacoma. For the past 50 years America has been designing public spaces around the needs of automobiles. This deference to the car has significantly impacted our culture and our day-to-day life, often in negative ways. The speakers will discuss how this auto-centered model is beginning to change, and how well-designed neighborhoods provide key ingredients for healthy communities, with examples of vibrant places which are being planned, built and programmed by the residents themselves.  Speakers: Eric O. Jacobsen, Author, lecturer, and Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church In Tacoma; and Jim Diers, Author, Lecturer at University of Washington and faculty member, Asset-Based Community Development Institute, and first director of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods.  • The third and final lecture of this year's series is entitled “The Building: Center for Urban Waters,” and will be held at 6:30 PM on Thursday, November 12, 2009, at UW Tacoma, Carwein Hall, in the Keystone Building. The Center for Urban Waters is an office and laboratory to be constructed on the east side of the Thea Foss Waterway. The Center has been designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest available of the USGBC. The project design and development team will help us explore and envision Tacoma's future built environment through the lens of this ground-breaking project. Speakers: Jim Parvey, PE, LEED AP, Assistant Public Works Director/City Engineer, City of Tacoma; Dan Seng, AIA, LEED AP, CDT – Senior Associate, Perkins + Will; Tom Fitzsimmons, Chief Operating Officer, Lorig Associates; Jim Goldman, LEED AP, Project Executive, Turner Construction; Moderated by J.J. McCament, Moderator, Executive Director of the Urban Waters Board. Information about the Organization: Title: Conversations RE: Tacoma, an Ad Hoc Group Conversations RE: Tacoma is an informal group sponsored by various community organizations and institutions, which has gathered to design and present an annual lecture series exploring urban design issues.  See for more information and to purchase tickets. Sponsors: AIA, Southwest Washington Chapter; City Club of Tacoma; Emerging Leaders; The Harris Architectural Trust; New Frontier Lounge; Washington State History Museum; Historic Tacoma; City of Tacoma; and University of Washington Tacoma.