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Imagine Tacoma – Tollefson in Wonderland
Spurred on by Daniel Blue’s Letter to Mr. and Mrs. Tollefson last week on the ‘B’ Side, Imagine Tacoma looks at what Tollefson Plaza might be if it was miniaturized and relocated to the front door of the Pantages Theater (DRINK ME down at the Rabbit Hole so to speak):
- It creates a larger exterior break-out space for patrons of the Pantages and would allow for tables and chairs to spill out from the Lobby- providing some much needed milling space (without slipping on wet grass in your formal pumps).
- The concrete steps provide casual seating opportunities as well as focus for a performance circle (an entry performance stage for the Famer’s Market?).
- The plaza could be designed to allow for a smaller ‘Holiday’ ‘Tree’ to located at the center of the circle (no need for the large electrical panels anymore).
This results in a Tollefson Plaza that in appropriateness of scale and location may be a much better tribute to its namesake.
But what about the Plaza (now formerly known as Tollefson) back down on 17th Street? Well once more we go back to the looking glass (EAT ME) and grow the displaced Pantages Park to fill the large expanse of concrete (I mean – the City had a Green Ribbon Task Force to promote sustainability and we have a heat island this size in the middle of Downtown?). This ‘greened-up’ park could include:
- A large landscape berm (Bimbo’s Berm?) that provides seating to a focused point at the center of the plaza/park – as well as an expanse of green to just sit down on the grass and eat your lunch (note: more trash cans needed).
- Artwork from the Pantages relocated to the apex ‘tip’ of the park. – and maybe more sculpture artwork is added in coordination with TAM?
- Street Trees added along Pacific Avenue (the ‘excuse’ by the City in development of the plaza is that street trees could not be added due to the concern of disturbing potential Native American artifacts in the four feet of soil along the street – so it begs the question, the massive foundations for the Marriott Hotel, the Convention Center and the construction of the bLINK did not disturb any potential sites? – c’mon – deal with it – and if remains are indeed found, what better use of the barren plaza than an archaeological excavation – at least is would provide some interest – and the heat on the concrete is similar to a Middle East dig).
- Provide parallel parking along Pacific Avenue. The bLINK totally screwed up the traffic along Pacific Avenue – so bite the bullet and provide parking instead of turn lane (besides UWT is going to close down more of 19th Street access anyways). Parallel parking at least provides some sort of buffer to the street for the plaza.
Add in a Prairie TAM Companion and this Pacific Park may actually be worthy of being named after another notable Mayor of Tacoma sometime in the future.
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