City of Tacoma officials have confirmed they will host an event later this month to celebrate the installation of Tacoma’s Sun King sculpture in a downtown Tacoma park.
The event will mark the end of a long journey for a piece of public art that was installed in late-March of 1976 near the corner of Broadway and South 13th Street, just steps from the Sheraton Hotel. Seven years ago, however, the three-ton, bronze-and-steel Sun King was placed in storage to make way for a new piece of public art as the former Sheraton Hotel was stylishly renovated and renamed Hotel Murano.
In December, the City began to accept bids on a $25,000 project that would take Sun King out of storage and place it in a public park near South 15th Street and Dock Street. Five contractors submitted bids. Puyallup, Wash.-based D & D Construction submitted the least expensive bid and was awarded the contract. In February, the Tacoma Daily Index was invited to view the sculpture, which was stored for two years at the City’s Fleet Operations Headquarters. Meanwhile, record rainfall in March delayed slightly Sun King’s return. But in April, the contractor cordoned off the park and poured concrete for the sculpture’s base. Finally, the piece was placed in public park near Thea Foss Waterway last month.
“We are pleased to bring this stunning work of art back into the public realm where it will be enjoyed for years to come,” said Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride. “The sculpture is one of the first major pieces of art to be sited along the Prairie Line Trail, a new walking, biking and interpretive trail that follows the historic rail corridor linking the University of Washington Tacoma campus, the Brewery District, the Museum District and Thea Foss Waterway. This site is pivotal in connecting downtown to the waterfront and this monumental sculpture provides great visual interest.”
A ceremony to mark Sun King’s new location and return to public display will be held on Weds., June 25, between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., at a park located near South 15th Street and Dock Street. Sun King artist Tom Morandi is scheduled to attend the event.
***UPDATE | Weds., June 25, 2014 @ 3:35 p.m. — Here are some photographs from the celebration marking the installation of Sun King in a downtown Tacoma park. On Thursday, the Tacoma Daily Index will publish a feature article about the event.
To read the Tacoma Daily Index’s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s Sun King, click on the following links:
- Tacoma Daily Index Top Stories — May 2014 (Tacoma Daily Index, June 2, 2014)
- Sun King Rising: Moving Tacoma’s massive Sun King involved more than heavy lifting (Tacoma Daily Index, May 23, 2014)
- Moving day for Tacoma’s massive Sun King sculpture (Tacoma Daily Index, May 21, 2014)
- ***UPDATE*** Sun King sculpture to be placed in Tacoma park this month (Tacoma Daily Index, May 13, 2014)
- Park preparations begin for Tacoma’s Sun King installation (Tacoma Daily Index, April 11, 2014)
- Record Tacoma rainfall stalls Sun King’s return (Tacoma Daily Index, April 1, 2014)
- Tacoma Daily Index Top Stories — February 2014 (Tacoma Daily Index, March 3, 2014)
- Could Tacoma’s Sun King see light of day by summer? (Tacoma Daily Index, February 26, 2014)
- Sun King In Storage: It’s no castle, but a Tacoma repair shop is home for now (Tacoma Daily Index, February 11, 2014)
- Sun King Dethroned: Can Tacoma ever appreciate this piece of public art? (Tacoma Daily Index, February 5, 2014)
- Tacoma Daily Index Top Stories — December 2013 (Tacoma Daily Index, January 2, 2014)
- A new home for Tacoma’s Sun King? (Tacoma Daily Index, December 3, 2013)
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 messengers; second-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.