Moving forward on Spanish Steps rehab

Visitors to downtown Tacoma’s Old City Hall Historic district will probably notice work is under way to rehabilitate the historic Spanish Steps. After years of preparation, Tacoma City Council awarded a $394,992 contract to Pease Construction, Inc. in May for the project, which will repair, restore, or replace the urns, baluster, newels, post, railing and streetlights along the staircase, and install pedestrian furnishings, signage, and a new retaining wall to support the steps. The project is expected to be completed by year’s end. Located near South Seventh Street and Broadway, Spanish Steps was built in 1916 and connects Commerce Street to Broadway. Shoddy patchwork, deferred maintenance, and vandalism have contributed to its decline over the past 60 years. Decorative urns have been toppled and smashed. Several years ago, a driver lost control of his vehicle and drove down the steps. And police officers have long complained the steps serve as an entry point for homeless people seeking shelter inside the adjacent and abandoned Elks Temple building.