Monday, August 21, 2006

What's in a Name?

Tomorrow evening, the Tacoma City Council is scheduled to take action on a name change for Pacific Plaza. Mayor Bill Baarsma and some of his peers believe that the name "Harold M. Tollefson Square" will add historic gravitas to this relatively new public space, as well as recognizing the important contributions of one of Baarsma's predecessors.

Many community members think that the designation "Pacific Plaza" should stick. The current name reflects the central geography of the park and gives it greater community ownership, they might argue. Besides, it's a wedge--not a square.

We submit this suggestion for a compromise: Harold M. Tollefson Pacific Plaza. This name would cement the historic tie sought by Baarsma (one of Tacoma's pre-eminent historians) while shorthand would still allow reference to the site as "Pacific Plaza" should that truly be the popular call.


  1. Thanks for chiming in on this. I think we eluded to that compromise name in the discussion on my site and I rather like it. It's a bit wordy but it certainly puts the simple, "street used" name in their officially and allows official use of either without too much confusion. I'll be sure to bring this up when I speak at tomorrow's council meeting.

  2. We submit this suggestion for a compromise: Harold M. Tollefson Pacific Plaza.

    That's a good suggestion and one that has come up before.

    Another compromise that has been suggested is that Pacific Plaza could be dedicated to Tollefson and a statue or plaque could be placed there.

  3. I am a bit late but how about Pacific Center Plaza? (Too much like Pacific Science Center?) It is pretty much the center of Pacific Ave. Downtown. Then you could have the Marriot at Pacific Center, The Covention Center at Pacific Center, The Cinema @ Pacific Center (United Way Parking Lot) etc.. The area would be called Pacific Center with the actual Plaza being called Pacific Center Plaza..

    Also isn't the Plaza actually a square? Doesn't the plaza in full include Pacific Ave.?
    I don't think it has been used in full yet but it was designed to have Pacific Ave. shut down for larger events making it a square.