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Tacoma Totem Pole to Stay Vertical
The new plan for the Tacoma Totem Pole, which stands in Fireman's Park, is for it to get a new bracing structure - something a little more minimalist than the current set up.
On Wednesday the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a plan to shore up the crumbling totem pole with a 50 foot steel pole, painted black, attached at two spots roughly one-third and two-thirds of the way up the 80 foot historic pole with bolts and steel plates.
Bracing the pole will preserve it for now - possibly for another decade or two - but won't solve the underlying problems of rot and insects, which will continue to pose a threat to the # year-old pole.
Work on the project, with a price tag in the neighborhood of $40,000, could begin by the end of the year.
Not everyone is happy with the bracing solution, including LPC commissioner Dan Rahe who shared some of his thoughts on the decision.
The totem pole may or may not be a significant artifact. I will not contemplate that. But it is a public good, an object of the arts. Since the public demonstrated interest in its preservation, it behooves us to treat it as such, not merely as a vertical object that must remain vertical.
So, which is it? Artistic/cultural/historical artifact or "vertical object that must remain vertical?"
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