A Peaceful Scene at Pugnetti Park

This week marks the 25th anniversary of Pugnetti Park — a half-acre parcel of land at the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 21st Street in downtown Tacoma and the site of much activity since last fall.

The park is owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and named after civic leader Donald A. Pugnetti.

In October, Occupy Wall Street members began a four-month stay camped out in the park. They were peacefully evicted in February and the park re-opened to the public last week. WSDOT officials have said they want to sell the park and are working with businesses, the public, and elected officials to determine the future of the property. It has also been approached by concerned citizens who believe that the City should lead an effort to save Pugnetti Park.

The City of Tacoma was approached by WSDOT regarding purchase of the property, which is estimated to be appraised at approximately $500,000. It is also estimated that ongoing maintenance of the property would cost up to $20,000 per year. Last month, however, City officials announced it had no interest in purchasing the park, citing budget issues and a plan to transition many of its park properties to Metro Parks Tacoma.

A visit to the park on Thursday showed it had been carefully restored and is now open to the public. New signs were installed to announce “Pugnetti Park Rules,” which now include “no shelters, no tents, and no overnight stays.”

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Downtown Tacoma’s Pugnetti Park reopens today (04/13/12) — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2147131&more=0

City will not purchase Pugnetti Park (03/20/12) — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2134266&more=0