A Review of Pretty Gritty Tours: Stadium High
Walking around Tacoma you'll spot this gorgeous old castle-esque building and wonder what it is. Though it wasn't mean to be, it is actually a public high school! Stadium High School is most recognized by its role in the 1999 hit movie "10 Things I Hate About You" with Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger. We got to go inside the school and explore the attics, basement, and hear the history. Here's what we thought about our Stadium High Tour with Pretty Gritty Tours!
First off, I wore wedges because Travis and I were on a date night but I would not suggest heels. You'll be walking on a lot of stairs and random things in the attic so wear close toed flat shoes for sure!
I would suggest the Keira Sandals ($45) because they are stunning and still comfy for lots of walking! It was a bit chilly on certain parts of the tour so Im glad I wore jeans. I grabbed our brand new Karen KanCan Jeans ($50) which have the perfect amount of distress. As always, we offer FREE shipping!
So this tour isn't exactly kid friendly. Children under 10 years old are not allowed up in the attics so I suggest grabbing a babysitter for this one. Tickets are $25 per adult and you can rent a EMF Detector for $5 if you want. This tour is new and I'm not sure how long they will keep it going. Right now it's being offered on certain Saturdays over the summer. For the schedule find "Pretty Gritty Tours" on Facebook or visit prettygrittytours.com
You will meet your tour guide on the "S" outside the front of the school then you'll head inside. The golden Tiger is the school's mascot and is inside the main doors. On the wall you can find some notable alumni of Stafium High like renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.
Our tour guide told us some history of the school. This French chateau style building was built to be a luxury hotel. In the financial scare of 1893 construction halted and it sat unoccupied for many years. It finally became a high school in 1904. Our tour guide also told us some interesting tales.
Supposedly the stadium bowl (football field) was built overtop houses on an area called Old Woman's Gulch. These houses were occupied by widows of men that never returned from sea. It's been said that you can see women of the 1900's era on occasion. Full disclosure, we did not see or experience anything paranormal on the tour. The school really does look and feel like something straight out of Harry Potter though.
A lot of the places we went on the tour is where students, even faculty, are not allowed to go. We got to walk out on the front balcony and up inside the attics.
We got to see quite a few places where the movie was filmed including the cafeteria and the principals office. There are sections of the tour that is done by flashlight so you may not want to go on this venture if you're afraid of the dark. Our guide told us tales of a little girl who's been seen wondering the dark hallways at night. We also went inside a school bathroom that is said to be haunted by a student that committed suicide inside. Very, very sad.
It it was really cool to see old photos, newspapers, and diplomas in the school's basement. There are yearbooks dating back to 1906 when the school opened and tons of old photos.
The best part to explore were the multiple levels of the attic. It's a tradition to sign your name, and you can anywhere. Students that attend the school aren't even allowed to go up here unless they are on honor roll as a senior.
Travis and I both both wrote our names inside and at the entry of the upper attic in the circular room. If you go, see if you can find it! Supposedly Heath Ledger also wrote his name somewhere.
Many students have also left behind thier student IDs, even drivers permits up here. There's plenty of chalk on the floor in the attic so don't worry about bringing any but it would be cool to leave a photo behind.
We enjoyed our tour of Stadium High. It's a unique part of Tacoma's History and you usually wouldn't be able to see the inside.
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Love, Liv & Rory