McMenamins Historic Elks Temple

Visit the Elks Temple website for more info.

McMenamins purchased the historic Elks building in 2007, and work began in earnest in 2017. Restoration and renovation continue at a steady pace, with hard-hatted carpenters, electricians, craftspeople and artists working side by side to transform the 1915 structure into a hotel with bars, ballroom-as-live-music-venue, brewery, restaurants and a secret room – in short, an all-around gathering spot for out-of-town guests and locals alike.
We wanted to see how much fun we could pack into seven floors, so we started with a brewery, tasting room, bottle shop and bar on the ground floor, added an interactive fountain (dip your toes!), and worked our way up. Take the scenic route up the Spanish Steps to the Spanish Bar and ballroom on the second floor before wending your way to the third floor bar and game room overlooking the ballroom and mezzanine overlooking Puget Sound. On the fourth floor pause for a celebratory meal (you’re halfway to the top!) in the pub where expansive views of Puget Sound’s Commencement Bay and the marina at Foss Waterway dominate the east-facing windows. Once you’ve refueled for the rest of your journey, continue to the diminutive fifth floor – if you can find it. From there it’s on up to the sixth floor guestrooms in the atrium and a spectacular overhead array of lights, lamps and chandeliers. Travel your last flight to seven, where guestrooms overlook the lush indoor atrium and give you an eye-level view of the light display like no other.

A Little History

The Elks Temple was built in the second Renaissance Revival style in 1915-16 when fraternal organizations were an important part of the community and had the money to build beautiful buildings such as this one. It was designed by É. Frère Champney, a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Spanish Steps

Climbing the hillside adjacent to the building is a stairway called the Spanish Steps. Modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome, Tacoma’s Spanish Steps were constructed in 1916 to connect a streetcar line on Broadway with City Hall on Commerce Street. The staircase fell into disrepair in the 1950s and continued to degrade until it was rehabilitated by the City of Tacoma in 2011.


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