Old Elks Lodge: New McMenamin’s Hotel

Take a look at this place!

The current McMenamin’s project is staggering. Downtown On The Go put on a tour of the site last night for 100 lucky folks. It was pretty dark in there so please excuse that the photos are a bit noisy and blurry.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
There is a whole lotta scaffolding in this place to access and repair the ceilings, plaster and crown moldings.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
The intricate details found here are from another time and place. This will be the premier event space in Tacoma as soon as it opens.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
My first thought was that this space could rival the market Showbox in Seattle.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
Much of the building is hard to comprehend at the moment. Multiple bars and restaurants are slated to exist here within the next 2 years.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
Syringes and human waste are long gone but a robust collection of graffiti remains to remind us of a recent, dark past.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
The brothers McMenamin will be revered for taking on this project. In addition to the Elks Lodge, they are also up to the challenge of the Old City Hall Building.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
Sitting on a steep hillside, the building spans several stories from Broadway down to Stadium Way.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
The city owns the Spanish Steps adjacent to the old Elks Lodge and current plans are incorporating them into the renovation project. There will be a bar/restaurant entrance on the landing area midway down the staircase between Broadway and Stadium Way.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
A look inside the walls. There are currently a few areas inside the building where you can see up or down hundreds of feet.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
Nothing better than oversized columns to serve as goalposts for future mosh pits.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
From what I gather, this entire site has been thoroughly sandblasted. Years in, an unfathomable quantity of restoration work needs to be wrapped up before re-finishing can begin.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
The ornamental details in the wood and plaster here will put the California Bank building on Pacific to shame.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
As dangerous as this site is now, it was far more dangerous 10 years ago. What the hell was it like in here when graffiti-happy punks and homeless addicts wandered these halls?
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
How did everyone used to get in here when it was “vacant”? I realize skate punks with spray paint can penetrate anything, but I’d like to know just how easy the access was. Clearly, hundreds of unwanted guests logged time here.

The ceilings are quite a project. If you’ve done much painting or drywall work, you know working on ceilings is always an extra challenge.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma
I’m envisioning private suites or luxury boxes around the perimeter of this event space. 22-year-olds could be overspending on bottle service at bad pop shows before we know it.
McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma

Knapp’s Lounge

Right here in the Proctor District of Tacoma lies an old world community staple. It is a place where legends go to die, and rock stars are born. Or something like that. Just as a mission provideth shelter, a judge provideth order, and a teacher provideth knowledge, Knapp’s doth provide as well. Not unlike any other public trust, Knapp’s is there for any of us to use whenever we should need it. However, we try to use it as infrequently as possible, for the sake of appearances, logistics, etc. The comparisons could certainly go on.

How many of you out there have never been to Knapp’s Lounge after dark? If this is you, please get it in gear and get down there. Watch a little TV, dial up the jukebox, have a couple see-throughs (if you please) and just relax. It’s dark. It’s clean. The bathrooms are nice. What more do you want?

Tacoma residents, I summon thee to partake of the essence. Having been in there a couple times per year for several years, I always expect to see more people. The Proctor area is pretty good size and full of people, so I will be expecting to see more of you out after midnight in support of your best neighborhood lounge scene.

Just my opinion. Let’s hear yours..

KNAPP’S RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
2707 North Proctor
Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 759-9009