The bathhouse was originally built more than 110 years ago, and likely catered to loggers from Turkey, Russia and Sweden looking for an opportunity to “literally soak the dirt out of every pore.”
Later, the Turkish bathhouse developed a more checkered history. According to Michael Sullivan, local historian and principal of Artifacts Consulting, the bathhouse was owned during different generations by two of Tacoma's most notorious vice kingpins - Peter Sandberg and Vito Cuttone. Sandberg ran Tacoma's prostitution business at the turn of the century and Vito Cuttone, ran the Italian mob in Tacoma after the Second World War.
Dan Voelpel wrote a great article in the News Tribune about the Turkish bath back in December 2008. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on the TNT’s site, so you’ll have to read it from the Seattle Times.)
Here’s what the bathhouse looks like today: