Photo of McMenamins Elks Temple
Photo of McMenamins Elks Temple
Photo of McMenamins Elks Temple
Photo of McMenamins Elks Temple
Photo of McMenamins Elks Temple
Photo of McMenamins Elks Temple

McMenamins Elks Temple

A Revived Tacoma Landmark

The historic Elks Temple in Tacoma is officially open to the public for the first time since 1985. This award-winning preservation and renovation project is the culmination of our two-decade partnership with McMenamins, a family-owned hospitality chain of brewpubs, breweries, music venues, historic hotels, and theater pubs. Our team and skilled consultants came together to reposition this landmark as a vital part of the community, adding vibrancy and activity to Tacoma’s historic downtown. Utilizing as much of the historic fabric as possible, the Beaux Arts Elks Lodge underwent an extensive exterior and interior repair and restoration process—preserving decorative architectural elements, adding 45 guest rooms, and bringing the entire structure up to current code requirement standards. After sitting abandoned for nearly 40 years, the Elks Lodge is now open to all.

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Tacoma, Washington
COMPLETED IN 2019
  • 45 keys
  • 7 stories
  • 44,859 sq. ft.
MARKET

Hospitality

DISCIPLINES

Architecture

PROJECT CONTACT

Architecture: George Signori

hospitality@ankrommoisan.com


Architecture Story

Restoring A Tacoma Icon

“It’s been 16 years since we first saw this building. It’s been a long, difficult project—and our most fulfilling.” —Mike McMenamin, Cofounder and Owner of McMenamins, speaking at the Elks Temple Grand Opening in April 2019. After several changes of ownership and suffering 40 years of abandonment and neglect, the Beaux Arts Elks temple landed in the hands of McMenamins Pubs, Breweries, and Historic Hotels. McMenamins, Ankrom Moisan, and a team of consultants came together to reposition the landmark as a vital part of the community, adding vibrancy and activity to Tacoma’s historic downtown. No other building reflects the passage of time so openly as McMenamins Elks Temple. From its Beaux-Arts-inspired origins, it started out rooted in America’s “City Beautiful” movement of the dawn of the last century and transitioned to the postwar optimism of the mid-century moderns. Next, came the decades of urban decay—neglect, vandalism, and graffiti. McMenamins Elks Temple has lived through it all. The scars earned along the way are still visible. Our approach to its preservation kept the scars that honor the full life-story of the building but give it back its historic soul. The exterior work involved repairs to the existing structure, undoing the changes from the remodels, and in some cases, restoring of decorative architectural elements that had deteriorated or had been removed. The building also received an extensive seismic upgrade. On the interior, much more extensive work was required: first, to peel away the layers from the ‘30s and ‘40s, and secondly, to repair or replace ornamental elements that had been lost over the years. Using as much of the historic fabric as possible, the ballroom and stage invite musical performances, in addition to a game room, restaurant, five bars, 45 hotel rooms, and a flexible event room for conferences. We worked very closely with McMenamins to preserve the history of the place while making the required interventions necessary for it to work today, like updated mechanical systems and new lighting that’s uniquely curated for each guest room. No two rooms are the same, and most of them have views over Puget Sound or out to Tacoma's historic downtown. Some are placed within the double-height "Temple Room", which is where The Elks held their swearing in ceremonies. This room is now designed to feel like a small village street, with skylights that shine natural daylight on the live plants in the corridors below.

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