1922 Articles of Incorporation were written to form a new company. Included as incorporators were representative women of Chapter C of PEO (an international women’s charitable sorority). Under their leadership, a new idea emerged. They set out to fulfill member Virginia Mason’s dream of establishing a community in which retired people could live in pleasant surroundings with all the comforts of home, but without the burdens of home ownership.
The company was to be known as the “Old People’s Home of Tacoma (Restholme). The dream was attained when the group rented the old Danaher home at 424 North D Street in downtown Tacoma. The 22-room home was accepted enthusiastically, and the need for an even larger home became apparent.
On July 5, 1923, Mrs. Franke Tobey Jones, wife of Charles Jones, who had significant holdings in the Tacoma Lumber Company, expanded the vision by donating a building site and $150,000 for the erection of a permanent home for the elderly. Mrs. Jones’ gift provided the entire sum needed to build the home on a four-acre site with views of Commencement Bay and Mt. Rainier.
The cornerstone of the Tobey Jones building was laid. Eight months later, the Home was ready.
The Franke Tobey Jones Home opened in February 1925, with accommodations for 65 residents, each with one room and a bathroom shared with a neighbor. At the time of opening, it was only the second home for the elderly in the state, and soon was recognized as one of the most outstanding facilities in the nation. The beauty of the English Tudor architecture and skillful planning brought compliments from expert builders and architects as well.
By the end of World War II, the popularity of the Home was so great that there was a waiting list of six years’ duration.
Due to the ever-growing waiting list, more property was acquired and, in 1962, ground was broken for another building (now known as Lillian Pratt Hall), which filled the long-standing need. This new addition increased living accommodations, added a skilled nursing facility and enhanced the overall living conditions of current and future residents.
The Tobey Jones building underwent renovations, enlarging the individual apartments, making necessary improvements and highlighting the fine detail, craftsmanship and attention to detail that has always been at the heart of the warm, home-like campus.
Sixteen individual retirement homes (the Duplexes) were built.
The City of Tacoma chose Franke Tobey Jones to operate the neighboring Pt. Defiance~Ruston Senior Center. This was the beginning of Franke Tobey Jones’ constantly growing community programming.
An antiquated exercise program was replaced with our Senior Wellness program for residents as well as community members.
Six more Duplexes were completed, making a total of 22 individual retirement homes.
Ground was broken on the largest-scale building project in Franke Tobey Jones’ history. Simultaneously, the campus gained a 6,000 square foot Wellness Center, a 31-unit condo-style apartment building and a renovation and expansion to both the Health Care Center and “Our Place,” the Alzheimer’s and dementia care unit.
April 16th marked the day the Wellness Center was dedicated to the MJ Wicks Family as a thank you for their incredibly generous gift to Franke Tobey Jones. It was a grand celebration. The Center has since been continuously busy with residents and community seniors.
In August, residents moved into the new Garden Apartments, the new “Our Place” unit and the new extended wing of the Health Care Center.
On October 16th, a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to inaugurate the new Garden Apartments.
Franke Tobey Jones embarked on a cultural and education Renaissance on campus – Senior University. Franke Tobey Jones offers lifelong learning opportunities to seniors in the community and to campus residents.
Franke Tobey Jones’ Senior University program organized the first annual juried Senior Art Show which showcases recent creations of artists 55 or older and awards cash prizes.
Phase I of a campus expansion starts with the building of a new Healthcare Center (skilled nursing) and memory care building. Also, Phase I will consist of a 16 unit independent living apartment building and one more duplex. All are expected to be complete in early 2019.