Vandals hit Tacoma's Chinese Reconciliation Park

Vandals struck the Chinese Reconciliation Park on Tacoma’s waterfront last month, damaging the lattice work around the pavilion, or “ting,” and scratching the paint on one of the park’s benches, according to City of Tacoma public works staff. The damage was discovered on May 18.

“In an effort to deter vandalism, staff is evaluating the benefits of a security camera,” according to Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson, who detailed the vandalism in his June 16 weekly report to City Council. “The cost of installation is estimated to be between $30,000 and $50,000, and anticipated to take about three months to install. This is not a budgeted item. We will keep you (Tacoma City Council) informed as to our progress.”

Anderson added that three of the eight “flares” on the ting’s ridge beams have fallen off the roof. Clements Brothers, a contractor the city hired to build the park, has been asked to repair or replace the lattice, said Anderson. “At this time the City and Clements Brothers are negotiating their repair,” he said.

The Chinese Reconciliation Park is a waterfront park that commemorates the events of Nov. 3, 1885, when a group that included a Tacoma city councilmember, judge, sheriff, and the mayor forced more than 200 Chinese from their homes and businesses. In 2005, more than 100 people gathered for a ceremony to mark the ground-breaking of the four-acre park, which is located on land owned by the city and formerly occupied by the National Guard. Today, visitors to the park will find a garden, 800-foot-long sea wall, winding foot paths, bridge, public art, interpretive displays, and recreation areas. On Oct. 30, 2010, park organizers and members of city council and the general public marched 2.5 miles from downtown Tacoma to the waterfront park to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the event.

In September 2010, the park’s ting arrived unassembled in Tacoma from Fuzhou, China. On Nov. 2, 2010, City Council approved an amendment to its original contract with Clements Brothers that directed an additional $350,000 toward the project. On Feb. 15, 2011, City Council approved another amendment that directed an additional $250,000 to cover cost overruns related to the construction of the ting. Both amendments nearly doubled the amount of the original contract, which totaled $656,862.09 and was approved by City Council on March 3, 2009.

Anderson’s June 16 report also indicates that staff has requested a cost proposal from Clements Brothers to pave the park’s access road and parking lot, and to construct an Americans with Disabilities Act accessible parking stall. “The City’s cost estimate to perform the paving is $51,000,” said Anderson. “If Clements Brothers cost proposal is acceptable, the remaining money on their contract will pay for this additional paving.”

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