Gertie’s Ghost: Tacoma, Washington

Gertie’s Ghost

Permanent large-scale sculptural installation for the Tacoma, Washington Pacific Avenue Gateway
Website :: Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority

Conceptual Renders:

Installation Photos:

“Gerties Ghost” is made up of 8 large-scale arch segments, in a style evocative of classic railroad truss bridges, and which by its very nature is suggestive of connection between the here and now; past into future. Approaching from any of the surrounding neighborhoods by train, by car or on foot, visitors will see in the arches a familiar reflection of the Tacoma Dome, a nod to the classic lines of downtown’s Union Station and an aesthetic homage to the classic industrial trussed bridge.

While we don’t condone octopus wrestling, we were inspired by the stories that we uncovered surrounding Tacoma’s faceted past. The overall design of “Gertie’s Ghost” is inspired by the mythical 600 pound octopus that theoretically lives in the submerged ruins of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Eight Octopus tentacles rise out of the ground; an abstract representation of the “Ghost of Galloping Gertie” climbing straight out of the City’s historical roots and into the future.

Fabricated of heavy Corten steel, angle iron, plate and rivets, and solidly anchored in concrete, “Gerties Ghost” is built on a scale commensurate with Tacoma’s industrial past and in keeping with the surrounding landscape.

Sound Transit’s Public Art Program (STart) has selected Engineered Artworks to create a site-responsive gateway artwork for a new entry to downtown Tacoma, Washington near Sound Transit’s Pacific Avenue Underpass, which is part of its renovated commuter rail extension. This call was managed by the City of Tacoma’s Arts Program.