TDI -- Reporter's Blog

Nov. 5, 2009 at 9:35am

Downtown Spaces for Tacoma Notables

Harry P. Cain Promenade (left) and Ben Gilbert Park (right)

The City of Tacoma's Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved recommendations Oct. 29 to name two areas downtown after a couple late, notable Tacomans.

First, the LPC approved a recommendation to name a pedestrian section of Broadway Plaza between South 13th Street and South 15th Street (basically between the Hotel Murano and the convention center) after the late military serviceman, U. S. Senator, and Tacoma Mayor Harry P. Cain. Cain has a Wikipedia entry that would inspire one of R. R. Anderson's Tacomics. In LPC documents, his biographer, who supported the nomination along with Cain's daughter, writes of Cain's one term in the U.S. Senate as a period when he "talked too much, listened too little, and failed to always represent the best interest of his constituents."

Second, the pocket park adjacent to City Hall is slated to be named after the journalist and preservationist Ben Gilbert. According to an obituary published March 1, 2007, in the The Washington Post, Gilbert worked at the Post for 30 years. In addition to being "a tough and exacting" city editor, he was also deputy managing editor and associate editor of the editorial page. "He was a hard man to love, but he was a hell of a newspaperman," said Benjamin C. Bradlee, managing editor of the Post, in the obituary. Bradlee and Gilbert often clashed in the newsroom, but Bradlee added, "He got things done."

Gilbert also served on Tacoma's LPC. A fund-raising effort is under way for a 6' x 28' mural depicting thousands gathered in Ledger Square on Oct. 10, 1926 for the latest World Series results, and two panels that provide narratives on the photo depicted, as well as Gilbert's biography. For more information, including how you can contribute to the project, click here.

Tacoma Daily Index coverage is here (Cain) and here (Gilbert)

Tacoma City Council is expected to take final action on these items at an upcoming council meeting.

comments [3]  |  posted under Downtown, History, Tacoma


by L.S.Erhardt on 11/5/2009 @ 4:55pm
Where is Ledger Square?
That is a MUCH cooler name than "Tollefson Plaza".

Plaza = strip mall or suburban office park
Square = cool old buildings, people and stuff to do

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 11/5/2009 @ 5:20pm
Ledger Square is the same area where that park is to the north of the Municipal Building on St. Helens. The building across the street from the new park was the old Tacoma Ledger building. That was back in the days when there were journalists and such. The Ledger building is still there, probably because Gintz wasn't involved with it. Don't let the city manager know there is another venerable old building in close proximity to the Municipal building.

by L.S.Erhardt on 11/5/2009 @ 9:25pm
Didn't the city seriously consider selling 747 Market during the height of the boom to a condo developer? I know I've heard that more than once and from more than one person...

Well, it's a good thing that the economy crashed, or the City of Tacoma may have beat Russell to the punch and moved their operations to Seattle...


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