Point Ruston’s transformation from polluted smelter site to waterfront destination

Photo of two people walking along the paved path that leads from Point Defiance Park down to Point Ruston. Mount Rainier is in the background.

Ruston, near Tacoma, was the location for a massive copper and arsenic-producing smelter operation for almost 100 years. Ruston and the northeast part of Tacoma were shaped by the smelter and its pollution, and the subsequent cleanup and redevelopment of the area have transformed Point Ruston into a bustling destination for folks throughout the South Sound.