Imagine Tacoma: Set the Chihuly Bridge Free

Lars Gemzoe’s presentation to the Tacoma City Council last week reinforced the basic historic concept that urban design is about the space between buildings – and that great urban spaces are conceived first and the buildings are designed to support this framework (which was hammered home the following night at the James Howard Kunstler Lecture when reviewing contemporary architecture and its relationship to the public realm).

So Imagine Tacoma project #5 revisits the design of the terminus of the Chihuly Bridge at Pacific Avenue next to the Washington State History Museum. Here within one block is a fine public urban space contribution to the City of Tacoma next to an embarrassing urban design hiccup.


The design of the History Museum and its grand arch at the terminus of South 19th Street at the foot of the UWT hill-climb is an urban gesture of compelling quality – with the arch having the added bonus of framing the tilted hot-shop cone of the Museum of Glass. And yet, right next door the Chihuly Bridge is ‘fenced off’ from Pacific Avenue – caged in to force pedestrians to detour through the Museum’s arch in hopes of spurring additional patronage to the Museum and related retail.


This is a classic example of parochial interests not understanding the greater community benefit of its actions – and how ironic it is a museum devoted to history that has taken this position.

The claim that a fence is needed in this location to stop vehicles from driving on the plaza above the subterranean auditorium below is a total red herring. Large decorative bollards spaced equally along the existing fence line will provide the needed protection – and has been a successful urban design tool for centuries (and provides some of the leaning/sitting amenity that Gemzoe presented as one of his 12 quality urban design elements).

So set the Chihuly Bridge free. Demonstratively celebrate this magnificent pedestrian connection to the Thea Foss – with maybe another Chihuly lollipop at the entrance from Pacific Avenue to herald its location on the Avenue.

If the History Museum would like additional presence along the bridge, install a kiosk to direct and entice pedestrians to become patrons (and maybe sell Chihuly ‘pops’ in the gift store?). This is an easy ‘fix’ and one that will only enhance the quality of the urban space as well at the esteem of the History Museum.

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Yes, please.

And please, do this by Tall Ships!  It’s the key point for pedestrian access to downtown from the festival.

May 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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RR Anderson

one of the biggest no brainers ever!  furthermore the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> fence is almost criminal.  <span class=“caps”>CRIMINAL</span>!!!!

May 1, 2008 at 10:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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… the Chihuly Bridge is ‘fenced off’ from Pacific Avenue … to force pedestrians to detour through the Museum’s arch in hopes of spurring additional patronage to the Museum and related retail.

The <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> is a destination venue, not a wander-in venue. Only if it was little and free would it become a place where you’d think, ‘hey, I’m here, I have some free time, why not check it out.’ They are fooling themselves to think this will happen when the cost is $8 and it takes a few hours to really explore and enjoy.

The cafe is a different matter, it is more likely to have spur-of-the-moment drop-bys, but it’s too enclosed and inconspicuous. First, it needs better signage so people notice it. Second, what about opening it up? They have a patio right there that seems underused. They need to think welcoming. That spiky-topped metal fence is not welcoming.

May 1, 2008 at 10:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I believe Kevin Freitas brought a lot of attention to this issue when it was initially discussed.  The fence is so ridiculous and should be removed immediately.  The real reason for the fence’s existence (as admitted by the WA State History Museum) is to drive traffic to the State History Museum and their gift shop.

May 2, 2008 at 12:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Wasn’t there something about a pedestrian easement in there as well?  I don’t recall the details or why it went away.  Seems this could be a kicker but then abruptly disappeared.

It seems that if <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> really doesn’t want to play ball with their property, the City should just explore redoing a small piece of land just to the north and skirt the fence even further from the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> entrance.  (Getting rid of the fence is much more logical, but that doesn’t seem to prevail on this issue.)

May 2, 2008 at 1:02 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Erik B.

So set the Chihuly Bridge free. Demonstratively celebrate this magnificent pedestrian connection to the Thea Foss – with maybe another Chihuly lollipop at the entrance from Pacific Avenue to herald its location on the Avenue.

Amen.  It is really unbelievable that this fence is allowed to stay here impinging on the access to the waterfront and bridge of glass.

The City of Tacoma has an easement from the street smartly.  Then somehow the city negligently let it lapse years ago in some manner and let this barrier be built thwarting public access.

Kudos to Julie Anderson for standing up on the issue to block a brick wall from being erected.  But it isn’t enough.

Neither public nor private entities should be allowed to destroy pedestrian thoroughfares in such a manner.

The waterfront is already separated by a huge distance barrier and this fence makes it ever worse.

No doubt the City of Tacoma could start erecting fences around the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> to counterattack and result in even more public funds wasted.

Removing this pedestrian barrier should be a requirement before the next funding round for the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span>.

May 2, 2008 at 2:43 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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RR Anderson

This is a moral outrage

Mr. David Nicandri,

Nothing is driving a dagger into the heart of the Washington State History Museum’s business interests except the lameness of the institution itself.  It is time for you to man up and destroy this obnoxious impediment to life and liberty. 

How long must we suffer?  in the words of Julie Anderson:

This is the <span class=“caps”>WRONG</span> solution at the <span class=“caps”>WRONG</span> time in the <span class=“caps”>WRONG</span> place in front of the <span class=“caps”>WRONG</span> bridge blah blah <span class=“caps”>WRONG</span> <span class=“caps”>WRONG</span> <span class=“caps”>WRONG</span> repeated word in caps <span class=“caps”>WRONG</span>.

May 2, 2008 at 4:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Are there security cameras on the fence? How is it attached? Does anyone have a battery operated sawzall?

May 2, 2008 at 5:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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When I read the original <span class=“caps”>TNT</span> articles around this issue, I was disgusted but, as I now know, only in an intellectual way. Last week I took an out-of-town friend downtown to hang around and see the sights. I couldn’t believe how ridiculous that fence is. Although I have enjoyed the museum the few times I’ve been, I don’t really want to support that kind of myopic, pig-headedness so will probably not join, nor go again.

Hear, hear Erik B. and RR!

May 2, 2008 at 3:03 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I walk through that arch twice a week, and in the almost two years I’ve been at <span class=“caps”>UWT</span>, I’ve never even considered walking into the museum. Maybe they ought to have markings on the ground leading to the entrance (like Disneyland or something) if people aren’t finding their way into the building. I think in the end, this section of the fence can only hurt business (at least for the cafe there).

May 3, 2008 at 4:56 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Good time to re-visit the cool drawings for the alternate public use & adornment of that space. Can anyone post the link to the page on Kevin Frietas’site?

There’s a truly brilliant fountain, which would be both a beautiful addition to the DT landscape and a gathering place, a glass awning to extend and invite more people into the cafe and lots more…


May 4, 2008 at 2:07 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Julie Anderson

Send a positive message.  We love the History Museum!  [Don’t we?]  It is an awesome institution and delight to have in our downtown.  It has launched brave exhibits about social justice and revered the history of our City.  The History Museum is important to the community.  The exhibits have incredible integrity.

Call upon the History Museum to be part of the community.  That happens only when they remove The Fence.  [Sorry, but busing Seattle elementary kid into the museum is necessary and required — not altruistic — and has nothing to do with Tacoma interests.]

Step Two: Alternative Leadership

The Executive Director, David L. Nicandri, has been perfectly clear that he will <span class=“caps”>NOT</span> remove the fence.  But he isn’t “The Decider,” is he?  Funders and Board Members have some weight.  Will they exert their leadership?  Have they been asked to evaluate the problem?  Probably not.  1) Send the manifesto to them.  2) Send your best ambassadors to meet with them. 3) Attend public meetings and <span class=“caps”>REQUEST</span> to make public comment to them.

If Necessary: Act Up

A fence is no problem?  Test that premise.  Form a human fence across the arch, from span-to-span, blocking the pathway to the museums.  Post people in <span class=“caps”>FRONT</span> of The Fence, directing them to the arch, with appropriate signage.  Do it every 3rd Thursday night (art walk).  Be respectful, have fun, and step aside when people want to pass. The History Museum won’t lose money.  <span class=“caps”>BUT</span>, every art-lover in Tacoma will sign a petition (“Set My Museums Free!”).  And perhaps the disruption will prompt the ever-so-polite Boards of the Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass to take a stand.  [They have opinions, but they don’t want to lose their cooperative marketing relationship and goodwill with the History Museum]

<span class=“caps”>NEXT</span> Steps

People who are serious about such a campaign should meet up.  A small group of civil, strategic, and determined activists, who are positive and solution-focused, should meet.  Folks that want to vandalize property or write hateful letters should <span class=“caps”>NOT</span> be invited to this meeting. 

Exit 133: Will you draft a manifesto and organize a first meeting?  I will bring documents and background materials from the City Hall.  Someone else should research the major public and private funders of the History Museum.  Someone else should bring the names of the Board Members, and contact information.

May 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Julie Anderson

[This is actually the first half of my prior post]

I’m glad that Exit 133 has taken up this subject again.  [Let’s get it right this time.  I’d like that fence down before I leave office]


The City of Tacoma has exhausted legal avenues to remove The Fence.  Yes, The Fence is erected on a public easement.  But that easement was negotiated between the History Museum and the City long ago.  A contract remains in effect.  It can not be ignored.  The contract allows a fence to block the bridge.

[However, don’t forget that the City was successful in preventing a freakin’ <span class=“caps”>WALL</span> from being erected.  Remember <span class=“caps”>THAT</span>?]

The Fence Needs to Go!

The Fence is petty

The Fence does <span class=“caps”>NOT</span> boost History Museum visitorship

The Fence does <span class=“caps”>NOT</span> provide safety

The fence does <span class=“caps”>NOT</span> protect property

The only thing that will bring down The Fence is an effective public relations campaign, which goes far beyond the blogosphere. 

A campaign must be directed to:

The Board of Directors of the History Museum

The funders of the History Museum

The larger community of the Thea Foss, including Tall Ships organizers, condo owners, commercial businesses and the two cultural institutions that depend upon the Bridge of Glass

I believe that the essential elements of an effective community campaign are:

Step One: A Manifesto

An elegant writer must draft a manifesto, focused on the City’s positive momentum, its civic ideals, the basic tenants of urban design, and our love for the History Museum. 

The manifesto must demand removal of the fence, at the Museum’s expense, before the Tall Ships arrive.

Declare that the fence is at odds with civic standards.  How will history treat the actors in this dispute, 10 years from now?  Not kindly.  [Curate that]

Demonstrate that a large segment of our community is degusted by this decision to erect and maintain The Fence.

May 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Great post Julie! I wish petty things like this wouldn’t act as a distraction to larger issues at hand. Still, this is a major urban design flaw that needs to be corrected.

Considering Frost Park seems to be taken back, how about we move to the fence next Friday with chalk and petitions in hand?

May 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Wow, long list of names on the Washington State Historical Societyboard of trustees. I’ve only heard of 4 or 5 of them.


Gary Alexander, Olympia

State Representative

Charles W. Bingham, Fox Island

Retired Senior Executive, Weyerhaeuser Company

Charlotte N. Chalker, Tacoma

Attorney at Law, Gordon Thomas Honeywell Malanca Peterson & Daheim

James P. Dawson, Puyallup

Financial Planner, <span class=“caps”>LPL</span> Financial Services

Cheryl Dell, Tacoma

Publisher, The News Tribune

Melanie Dressel, Gig Harbor

President & <span class=“caps”>COO</span>, Columbia Bank

Robert Ficken, Issaquah


Leonard Forsman, Suquamish

Chairman, Suquamish Tribe

Billy Frank, Jr., Olympia

Chairman, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Daniel K Grimm, Puyallup

Director, Doughty Hanson & Co.

Denny Heck, Olympia

Retired President of <span class=“caps”>TVW</span>

Jim Honeyford, Sunnyside

Washington State Senator

Tom Huff, Gig Harbor

Retired Washington State Representative

John Hughes, Hoquiam

Editor and Publisher, The Daily World

Sam Hunt, Olympia

State Representative

Larry Kopp, Tacoma

Managing Member, Globe Capital

Ottie Ladd, Lakewood

Real Estate Investor

Richard Larson, Tacoma

Market President, Bank of America

Alex McGregor, Colfax

The McGregor Company

Antone Minthorn, Pendleton, Oregon

Former Chairman, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

George Moynihan, Issaquah

Retired Director of Pacific Science Center

Royce Pollard, Vancouver

Mayor, City of Vancouver

Harriet Spanel, Bellingham

Washington State Senator

Victoria Woodards, Tacoma

Board of Park Commissioners, Metro Park Tacoma

Liping Zhu, Cheney

Professor of History

Eastern Washington University

EX-<span class=“caps”>OFFICIO</span> <span class=“caps”>MEMBERS</span>

Christine O. Gregoire Governor

Sam Reed Secretary of State

Terry Bergeson Superintendent of Public Instruction

May 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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RR Anderson

here’s your manifesto intro…

The unanimous <span class=“caps”>STARK</span> <span class=“caps”>FIST</span> of <span class=“caps”>FENCE</span> <span class=“caps”>REMOVAL</span> Declaration:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the <span class=“caps”>IRON</span> divider which have separated them and to assume among the powers of the earth, a separate and equal passageway to which the Laws of <span class=“caps”>URBANISM</span> and of <span class=“caps”>URBANISM</span>’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the <span class=“caps”>REMOVAL</span>.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all thruway are created equal, that they are endowed by their pedestrians with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happy Passage. — That to secure these rights, Sidewalks are instituted among (Wo)Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the walking, — That whenever any Form of <span class=“caps”>OBSTACLE</span> becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Walking to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Sidewalk, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

May 4, 2008 at 11:20 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Mofo from the Hood

Councilwoman Anderson:

What can be done about that fence surrounding Fort Nisqually?

May 5, 2008 at 1:04 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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I forgot to include the list of officers for the <span class=“caps”>WSHS</span> board from the above list:

President: Daniel K Grimm

Vice-President: Charlotte Chalker

Vice-President: Alex McGregor

Treasurer: Melanie Dressel

Secretary/Director: David L. Nicandri

May 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Since <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> gift-shop admission is of course free, I do drop in spur-of the moment for last-minute gifts or items related to current exhibits. I agree with the majority opinion here, but as long as all facets are being discussed as we revisit this, don’t forget to include the part of the discussion about using the space (or another location) to honor the original Union Station donors.  A lot of them are still around; as are donors of the early 80’s Pantages remodel (their donor-bricks stood for 20+ years anyway).  Actually, it just occured to me that in 25 years all of you and your efforts will be forgotten.  Just kidding.  I think.

May 5, 2008 at 7:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Claudia Riedener

This just in:

The Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma is seeking a Public Relations Coordinator to coordinate efforts to accomplish marketing and funding goals, and to work directly with the general public, media and other institutions to develop relationships that help meet the goals of the organization.

Apply and work from within….

May 5, 2008 at 9:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Thanks Julie!

May 5, 2008 at 10:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Julie Anderson

RE: Remembering to honor the original Union Station donors…

The memorial that had been planned for the History Museum site has now been moved to Tollefson Plaza, working with City Hall and our urban designer friend, Lars.

Most people don’t realize that the memorial – killed by this senseless fight and the resulting delay – is actually for “Century Park.”  Century Park is dedicated to activists and volunteers (like those who saved Union Station) throughout Tacoma’s history and spanning all of Tacoma’s neighborhoods. It’s way bigger than Union Station (although that would obviously be prominent on the site).

Someday, those of you who get this fence taken down will also be honored at a Century Park installation (the first of which will appear in the “reborn” Tollefson Plaza).  Many sites are contemplated.

The sponsors and leaders of Century Park have thrown up thier hands in disgust and walked away from the History Musuem.  There are even allegations that the donations raised to-date have been misspent on The Wall debacle and have not been refunded to the tiny nonprofit.  They would prefer to have this settled out-of-court. 

Century Park <span class=“caps”>NEVER</span> needed a “wall” or a “fence” for thier project. They are hapless victims in this affiar and I only hope that they have the money that they need to honor Tacoma activists properly.

So, we have a draft manifesto and someone bothered to look up the History Museum Board members.  Do you have a meeting yet?

May 6, 2008 at 3:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Julie Anderson

The position opening for a public relations coordinator is <span class=“caps”>HILARIOUS</span>. 

Morgan!  Apply for <span class=“caps”>THAT</span>!

May 6, 2008 at 3:51 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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J. Cote

Freeing the Bridge of glass should be quite easy, actually. Simply snip it’s mooring lines and those silly blue balloons upon either end will rise up and help to float it away. Then simply float it to whatever cute, little fenceless place you may have in mind and resecure it. Ta-Da

Whatever happened to Chinese Reconciliation Park? (while we’re on the subjects of Parks and access). Are we waiting for the Bi-Centennial of the atrocities that happened right down on our waterfront. I don’t think the Chinese Community wants to wait another 100 years to see their park come to fruition.

May 6, 2008 at 9:23 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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@11 – Here are those earlier <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> fence alt sketches

The ideas that folks drew up back when the wall was under construction were very much in line with what Boe produced above. Good on them and Boe!

May 6, 2008 at 12:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Thank you for the Century Park refresher, Julie.  I was chatting last night with a very active and involved Tacoma-born gentleman some of us know.  He was talking about the small group of citizens who successfully saved Tacoma’s Pantages (I got a brick and the T-Shirt).  All done pre-internets and blogs, of course.  Even if the individual people responsible do become lost in Tacoma’s past, time and time again Tacoma has become a better place due to such passion and action.  No lack of passion on this bridge topic.

May 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I have heard that the real impediment to removing the fence are the federal judges next door in the courthouse.  I think the Glass museum folks have tried diligently to remove the fence, but with great, and succesful, resistance from a few judges with personal motivations.

May 6, 2008 at 3:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Morgan! Apply for <span class=“caps”>THAT</span>!

Thanks Julie. I’m sure I’m blacklisted over there. As long as they don’t check my ID or do a background check, I might be OK.

Meeting proposal: How about we move from taking back Frost Park to taking back the fence this Friday?

There’s lot’s of good visual material for inspiration!

May 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Whatever happened to Chinese Reconciliation Park?

It’s coming along very nicely! Go down to the waterfront and check it out!

May 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I’ll buy a “<span class=“caps”>FREE</span> <span class=“caps”>THE</span> <span class=“caps”>BRDGE</span>” t-shirt.   

T-shirts could be sold at Tall Ships, if the wall is still up.  Does anyone think Chihuly himself would lend himself to the campaign?

Shall we submit colorful, ubercool designs (like for Century Park)?

May 6, 2008 at 6:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Erik B.

Today, Kevin has posted a picture of “wayfinding” signs at the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> so that visitors can find their way to Pacific Avenue from the Bridge of Glass.

That’s right folks, just a few feet from Pacific Avenue itself, signs are required to find their way out of the mess. 

It’s the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> way of saying “here’s how to get out of the maze we have trapped you in.”

I wish petty things like this wouldn’t act as a distraction to larger issues at hand. Still, this is a major urban design flaw that needs to be corrected.

I think the wall might be an efficient topic to take on.

First, unlike other design problems in the city such as Tollefson Plaza, the pathway could be opened up with the correct saw in an afternoon.  Problem solved.  If someone wants to add features like Boe has suggested, fine.

Second, the fence blocking the walkway, like the Luzon Building, is so predominant.  People are trying to get to and from the Foss Waterway and the <span class=“caps”>MOG</span>.

Third, the solution to the problem is so clear: just remove the fence.

Thanks for the list of Trustees Morgan.  However, they are going to be very deferential to the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> until they see that there is a political significance. However, it is an election year.

Julie has some good ideas.  Perhaps we could start by an online petition.

The realization of just how bad the fence is blocking the pedestrian is so well recognized by such a wide array of people, perhaps a small group could be formed. 

The wall in the walkway went up because the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> believed that the increase in sales at the gift shop would be greater than any fallout from the fence.

Until <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> makes another conclusion, they are unlikely to chance their behavior.

Another starting point is for regular groups that normally meet or frequent there could decide to hold their activities at different venues than the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span>. 

Second, trips that various groups take often have discretion as to the museums they see while in Tacoma.  The could choose to see.

There are alot of options.  However, the actions of the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> are so injurious to the functioning of the Foss, Glass Museum and the enjoyment of the area, and so readily remedied, that the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> leaves Tacomans little other choice.

May 6, 2008 at 7:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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jamie from thriceallamerican

Morgan@28: Meeting proposal: How about we move from taking back Frost Park to taking back the fence this Friday?

Jennifer@31: I’ll buy a “FREE <span class=“caps”>THE</span> BRDGE” t-shirt.  T-shirts could be sold at Tall Ships, if the wall is still up.

Anyone know where we might get some prison jumpsuits for cheap?  It would be awesome to put some “prisoners” on one side of the fence or another (maybe the bridge side?) who could bang their tin cups against the bars and otherwise carry on as people pass by.  With some appropriate “Free the Bridge” signage as well, so we don’t lose the message.  (And maybe t-shirts for sale, too.)

May 6, 2008 at 10:31 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Erik B.

With some appropriate “Free the Bridge” signage as well, so we don’t lose the message. (And maybe t-shirts for sale, too.)

How about a mock Chihuly in jail? 

Free Chihuly!

May 6, 2008 at 10:42 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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How about this:

Move the chalk contest to Tollefson Plaza this Friday. Ask the competitors to base their art on the theme “Free the Bridge.”

All of us non-artists could gather at the fence, with signs that direct attention to the chalk drawings and the fence issue. The non-artists could prioritize and divy up tasks, based on the suggestions made by Julie, Erik, and Jamie.

If we do a good enough job making a scene, perhaps we could get a paragraph in the <span class=“caps”>TNT</span> or a report on <span class=“caps”>KPLU</span>.

I’d be willing to make and wear a mock prisoner outfit by wrapping masking tape in stripes around a black t-shirt and jeans. I also have access to a Chihuly-ish wig. Although, I think we are really talking about freeing ourselves, the citizens of Tacoma, from bad urban design. So, dressing as ourselves is probably just as appropriate.

May 7, 2008 at 2:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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I will print up some petitions. We’ll need some clipboards – can someone bring a few?

May 7, 2008 at 3:01 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Erik B.

I will print up some petitions. We’ll need some clipboards – can someone bring a few?

Good.  There are online tools to gather online signatures as well.  Let’s set both of them up.  There are a number of civic groups that are ready to support publicly oppose the fence as well. 

Once they start accumulating, we can look at the groups that groups that have traditionally had activities at <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> and ask them to participate one way or another.

I think its going to take quite a bit before the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> is going to feel like they need to negotiate anything.

The <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> likely feels emboldened from being able to rebuilt the fence after a short quarrel with the city.

May 7, 2008 at 3:58 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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I have a great idea.  Since it is really a very lovely and well-made fence, simply re-locate it to one of several tot lots in the city desperately in need of fencing to encourage use by parents of small children and prevent them from running out into traffic.

Problem solved!  There’s probably even room for a donor wall.

May 7, 2008 at 4:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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There are online tools to gather online signatures as well. Let’s set both of them up.

Thanks for volunteering to do this Erik!

May 7, 2008 at 5:01 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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crenshaw sepulveda

Heather, no one should have access to a “Chihuly-ish wig”.  I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight.  I picture the wig marauding around downtown Tacoma at night terrifying the sleeping lumpenproletariat.

May 7, 2008 at 6:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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jamie from thriceallamerican

Future attention-getting idea: fence volleyball!  (inspiration)

May 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Morgan, I have one clipboard that I will bring.

Sleep well, Crenshaw S, the lumpen are safe from the wig. It is locked up and, besides, it whispers only threats to aristocracy and, occassionally, the clergy. Yes, this is a very old wig.

Jamie, I love the volleyball idea.

…groups that have traditionally had activities at <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> …  Erik, this is a great thought, I’d be happy to help with that project. Some groups at Puget Sound immediately came to mind.

May 7, 2008 at 4:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Badmitten would work well, too.


May 7, 2008 at 5:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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jamie from thriceallamerican

Badminton <span class=“caps”>FTW</span>…less likely to send something bouncing into the street.  Good call, Jennifer.

May 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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And instead of a shuttlecock, you could use mittens.  Really nasty, bad mittens.

May 7, 2008 at 9:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Hmmm… I wonder if the Chihuligans are still around…

May 7, 2008 at 10:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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RR Anderson

do you hate the fence? Well by gum send a message to those moat loving fat cats by voting for RR Anderson’s Fence Destroying Monster Chalk Today! Dog

May 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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J. Cote

I like the idea of circulating a petition.

It would be a good idea also to write directly to the members of the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> Board that Morgan listed back on May 4.

This letter should especially be sent to the officers as well. I would be happy to draft a letter and send them out if someone could help me research the addresses.

Other than this, what can I do to help?

Would Julie Anderson be willing to Chair or co-chair a committee?

May 10, 2008 at 5:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Just another example of the “Fine” visionary people in Tacoma…..what a joke……If the Foss is too have any success, we need to provide many more access points to the waterway……This fence is a classic example of “Tacoma” thinking……or lack off…..wheres the petition, I’ll sign it…..I wish people would realize, that their selfish actions to try to increase their own personal revenues actually in the long run decrease them….imagine if the waterway was much more accesible, or if the parking requirement was removed… the long run many more people would access the waterway providing much more feet on street for the <span class=“caps”>WSHM</span> to attract…or by not expecting customers to have a parking spot right in front of some of the few merchants downtown would actually create additional business in the long run by creating additional developement and additional feet on street walking by their little store providing more interest……..but, the parking deal is a whole nother problem……

May 10, 2008 at 4:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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J. Cote

Morgan, et al. I’ve typed up a copy of a draft letter that could be sent to Museum contributers and Board Members. I’ve sent it via snail mail to J. Anderson’s office along with a copy of Morgan’s Petition. Let’s run with this. The fence was a stupid idea.

Can you see tens of thousands of people winding their way through the Museum Gift Shop during Tall Ships? How many Mugs, Tee shirts and Key Chains will walk out the door? We need to fix this in a hurry.

May 12, 2008 at 3:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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May 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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If all of you people used your anger and power you have over this tiny fence towards something like..oh cleaning up the hookers and drug dealers on pacific ave. we would have something good happing.

It’s a fence!!!!

It only takes about 30 seconds to walk through the arch and get to the other side.

Yes it’s silly to put a fence there.

It looks odd, But lots of places do this type of thing.

If I had made the plans for the museum i would have made the cafe longer for the fact that if the fence is down i could see people on bikes raceing across pacific ave and flying

over the bridge as a shortcut to the street in front of the glass musem.

Making them go through the arch gives people the impression of them entering something.

And they walk thier bikes and won’t cause a injury.

Mayby they can make a revolving door in the middle? That would stop fast bikers without forcing people to walk the extra 30 seconds.

May 13, 2008 at 9:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Mofo from the Hood

This fence is going to stay unless it becomes a safety problem.

Someone needs to borrow a 4-year old from an orphanage and bring the kid downtown and if the little tyke gets its head wedged in the iron bars and the fire department blocks off the area and the police department stops traffic for blocks and Seattle T.V. station mega-trucks with their satellite dishes park on the museum sidewalk and crowds of women are screaming and crying <span class=“caps”>THEN</span> you have a legitimate case.

May 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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David Boe

Hmmmm – Why not install iron fences at other public areas to direct pedestrians past retail establishments.  For instance, why not install a fence across the <span class=“caps”>UWT</span> hill climb along Pacific Avenue at 19th Street and force all who use the public space to walk right past the <span class=“caps”>UWT</span> Bookstore. It would be much safer and the bicyclists would have to get off their bike instead of speeding up or down those ramps – and I bet it would be good for business at the bookstore.  Or maybe on Thursday Market Days, fence off the North end of Broadway at 9th Street so that everyone is foced to walk past the Pantages Ticket Office.  I mean, it really is no further to walk in these situations and probably creates a safer environment for little kids right?

May 13, 2008 at 6:42 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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If all of you people used your anger and power you have over this tiny fence towards something like..oh cleaning up the hookers and drug dealers on pacific ave. we would have something good happing.

Those are <span class=“caps”>UWT</span> students. The hookers and drug dealers left several years ago.

May 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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For the sake of organizing information, I’ve created a feedTacoma account here: Free the Bridge

Thanks for taking the initiative, J. Cote. Could you post the letter?

May 14, 2008 at 4:31 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jamie Chase

Julie is brilliant. Sign me up for this project. Who is in charge? When are we meeting?

May 15, 2008 at 5:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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