The railroad's offices were housed in buildings
at Ninth and C Streets, the center of what
is now the Tacoma Theater District but what
was, at the time, a sparse hillside. It was
while working in that office that Hosmer envisioned
a grand theater for his newly-‐adopted city,
one befitting the thriving metropolis he believed
it would surely become.
Even as his health began to fail and he stepped
down from his position with the railroad, Hosmer
worked to ensure that the land was not sold
while he gathered a group of investors.
In 1888 the Tacoma Opera House Company
was incorporated, funded by $10,000 donations
from each of 11 prominent Tacoma citizens:
John S. Baker, Allen C. Mason, W.B. Blackwell,
W.H. Fife, W.D. Tyler, George Browne,
Nelson Bennett, General J.W. Sprague,
C.P. Masterson, and C.B. Zabriskie.
The building lot Hosmer championed
has an odd shape and, as is common in
downtown Tacoma, sits on a hill,
giving the building somewhat
67 feet along the front façade on Ninth;
120 feet along the back façade;
174 feet on the largest side, facing Broadway;
and 165 feet on the alley side, now Opera Court.
The architectural style was described as
Modern Romanesque, but true to the style of
J.M. Wood and his team, there were so
many unique elements to the structure
that it defied an exact definition.