The Spanish Steps next to the building have always been the property of the City of Tacoma and have been maintained well. However, the building, purchased by an out of state investor who refused all offers to purchase the building was sorely neglected. What was once a gem has, over the last 30 years, lost most of it's sparkle.
In the fall, a temporary fence, festooned with signs construction banners was erected and much debris filled dumpsters. One sometimes sees lights in an upstairs window but few other signs of progress are visible. Hopefully the structure can be saved.
Enter Heroes Portland-based McMenamins to save the day and rehab the building in their own artful way. I greatly admire the sensitivity with which they treat historic buildings and look forward to watching the rebirth of this once grand building. See an interesting article and a video of the interior here and another video here.
Love this pediment ornament over a side door! Someone has a sense of humor.
Just across the street is Tacoma's old city hall. McMenamins is interested in creating a hotel in this space but must first find sufficient funds for the Elk's Lodge project.
Another grand building that desperately needs help.
Let's hope time doesn't run out for either of these beauties.
In the same hood is this building. Luckily, I see all of them on the way to and from work every day.
More nifty buildings that have been saved.
Tacoma's Pantages Theater was beautifully renovated not too many years ago. For interior images, look here. I've been delighted to experience both sides of the stage here.
Following the success of the Pantages renovation, the Rialto, just up the street was restored a few years later. I directed a choral group that was part of the re-opening week of performances here.