Judge Jack Tanner Park features barbeques and areas for families to enjoy views of Puget Sound and the surrounding vistas. Come for a picnic or just to relax, or take Ruston Way -- the hard-surface trail running through the middle of the park -- for a longer stroll along the waterfront.
Judge Jack Tanner was the Pacific Northwest's first Black man to be a district court judge on the federal bench. He set down deep roots in his community. After serving in the Army, worked his way through college at the University of Puget Sound (then known as the College of Puget Sound) by working as a longshoreman. He went on to the UW Law School and after passing the bar, established a criminal-defense law practice in Tacoma. He was an active member of the NAAP in Tacoma, and did pro bono law work for African-Americans and Native Americans. Jack Tanner understood representation is important. When he was eligible for retirement, he decided to remain on the bench until another Black judge was available to replace him.
The City of Tacoma renamed Judge Jack Tanner in 2018 to honor Jack Tanner's contribution to his community. The choice to name a waterfront park after him was intentional -- an echo back to his connection to the longshoremen and his longstanding connection to this waterfront city.