Metro Parks pursues restoration plans, emergency remediation for historic pagoda

Metro Parks Tacoma announced Wednesday that Belfor Property Restoration continues emergency remediation work which began late Friday afternoon to stabilize the nearly century old Pagoda at Point Defiance Park. Metro Parks Executive Director Jack Wilson issued an emergency declaration which enabled the restoration specialists to begin smoke and water damage mitigation on Friday after Tacoma Fire completed its arson investigation.

As part of the emergency remediation, Belfor has temporarily secured the roof to reduce chances of damage from natural elements while a comprehensive assessment of the structure is completed.

Crews are working with the park district’s cultural assets manager and park superintendents to identify all salvageable historic building features. Approximately two-thirds of the roof’s distinctive tiles are thought to be salvageable; however, structural damage and smoke trapped beneath the tiles will require hand removal for repair and clean up to occur.  Although the entry doors were irreparably damaged to gain access when fighting the fire, it may be possible to reuse the original brass fixtures. The historic ceramic floor tiles are intact, however the condition of the subfloor is unknown at this time. Smoke has been cleaned from the floor as well as the marble walls in located in the stairwell.

The Pagoda is insured through Washington Cities Insurance Authority (WCIA).  The policy carries a $5,000 deductible. Belfor will prepare an estimate of damages and needed repairs, as well as identify upgrades required to bring the historic structure within current building codes. The district is conducting a properly informed approach for restoration of the building, completing a comprehensive assessment of damages.

“We are highly committed to restoring the Pagoda in a manner that maximizes its value and use to the community” said Wilson. “As we do so, our focus and priority will be to ensure that its historical integrity remains intact.”

It is anticipated that determining repair and renovation costs and developing a timeline will take between 6-8 weeks.

Thirty-three reservations had been scheduled at the Pagoda through the end of the year, and staff members are working with customers to relocate their events to alternative Metro Parks’ venues.

“We’re very excited about the renovations at Titlow Lodge that will soon be completed as part of the 2005 Park Improvement Bond” said Administration Supervisor Phedra Redifer. The century-old lodge is undergoing a host of updates, including replacement of the veranda which provides guests with scenic park and Puget Sound views, and is one of four Metro Parks rental venues where staff hope to accommodate rentals displaced while the Pagoda is restored.