Tacoma Children’s Bell sculpture restored on Ruston Way waterfront

A project to restore the City-owned bronze Children’s Bell sculpture, which is located along Ruston Way near the shores of Commencement Bay, has been completed. The public art piece, which was created by artist Larry Anderson 14 years ago, was removed and placed in Metro Parks Tacoma’s Parks Maintenance Building to address needed repairs, such as remounting the piece on a shaft foundation, painting existing support pipes, rebuilding gong strikers, and restoring the surrounding landscape to its original condition.

In February, a $9,900 budget was established and the City of Tacoma began to accept bids on the project. In March, the City announced four companies submitted bids, with Tacoma, Wash.-based Lewis Concrete submitting an $8,000 bid and receiving the contract. In April, area visitors noticed safety barricades were in place around the sculpture while the contractor spent several weeks completing the restoration work. City of Tacoma Public Works Project Engineer Dan Cederlund recently told the Tacoma Daily Index the contractor had wrapped up work on the project.

The Children’s Bell sculpture, which is located at 3800 Ruston Way, was a gift to Tacoma from “Washington Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment (PAVE)” and other private donors in order to celebrate the life, spirit, and accomplishments of Washington PAVE Founder and Director Marty Gentili, who was born on May 28, 1942, and passed away on Feb. 28, 1993. The four-foot-tall bronze bell is decorated with children around the border and is meant to be rung and accessible by people with disabilities, according to Metro Parks Tacoma.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Children’s Bell sculpture restoration project, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengerssecond-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State; third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; and third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright. His work has appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.