How are you, Sweet-n-low? Has the weather changed for you there, as it has here in the Pacific Northwest? We’ve had freezing temperatures and days with low fog. So beautiful. Especially when walking and running. Running? Yup. Or, better yet, I should say, ‘rugging’—my more accurate combo for my running/jogging. I am again trying to get back into the running swing. It’s free, I feel free, and it realIy gets my heart pumping, all while managing to checking out my surroundings. My mantra: slow and easy= no injuries…or heart attacks. But a couple of days ago it was balmy, with wind. Now, nonstop rain. Who knows? Anywhos do!
Need some really exciting news? What could possibly be that exciting, you ask? Well, get ready, because it’s big. Big excitement. McMenamins, that robust Portland based hospitality company, is finally starting their rehab project on the old Tacoma Elks Temple building.
‘The Elks Temple was built in 1915-16 when fraternal organizations were an important part of the community and had the money to build beautiful buildings such as this one. It was designed by É. Frère Champney, a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts, in the second Renaissance Revival style.
Adjacent to the building is a stairway called the “Spanish Steps” that winds up the hillside adjacent to the building. These steps, modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome, were rehabilitated in 2011 by a grant from WSDOT and the Federal Highway Transportation Enhancements program’
This is the same building that has been vacant and leaky since I was a kid. In fact, I don’t remember a time when it was actually a functioning club. And, more recently, it sat even longer after the McMenamins bought it—I think it has been something like 6 years or so. 6 years is a long time for a structure to sit, allowing it to continuing to ponder its years of neglect. Like so many buildings in Tacoma, while driving or walking by, you could swear you could hear it moaning a low despair.
Here is McMenamins’ new footage about their project: