Could Tacoma's Sun King see light of day by summer?

Tacoma's warehoused Sun King could soon see the light of day.

Tacoma’s warehoused Sun King could soon see the light of day.

Seven years ago, the three-ton, 15-foot-tall, 22-foot-wide steel frame sculpture wrapped in a silicon bronze skin was removed from the corner of Broadway and South 13th Street — its home for three decades — to make way for a new piece of public art. Today, the piece, which was created by Corvallis, Ore.-based sculptor Tom Morandi nearly 40 years ago, sits in storage at the City of Tacoma’s Fleet Operations Headquarters.

Two months ago, the City of Tacoma began to accept bids on a $25,000 public works project that would take Sun King out of storage and place it in a park located at South 15th Street and Dock Street, near Thea Foss Waterway. The bid deadline expired on Dec. 19. Five contractors submitted bids, with Puyallup, Wash.-based D & D Construction submitting the least expensive bid.


City of Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride told the Tacoma Daily Index Wednesday the contractor visited Fleet Operations Headquarters this week to inspect the sculpture. The goal is to pour a concrete base for the sculpture at the public park site during the week of March 17. One month later, after allowing the concrete ample time to dry, the contractor is scheduled to move the sculpture out of storage and install it in the park. McBride added that one plan is to celebrate Sun King’s re-installation in time for the summer solstice on June 21.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s Sun King, 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

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