Tacoma’s Once & Future Sun King

Tacoma's Sun King is returning. What, you didn't know that Tacoma had a Sun King? That's okay, you're not alone.

The Sun King is the name of the large bronze sculpture that once stood in front of what is now the Murano, but was then the Sheraton. Created in 1976, the sculpture stood in front of the Sheraton site on Broadway Plaza for 30 years. In 2008 it was removed and placed in storage to make way for the enormous glass and steel sculpture titled "Orizon" that stands there now. 

The Daily Index reports that the City is advertising for bids to reinstate the Sun King, not in front of the hotel, but in the park that sits in the loop where where 15th Street drops down to meet Dock Street adjacent to the Esplanade.

The timeline for installation of the Sun King is dependent on bids received - whether they fall within the $25,000 budget. If bids don't fall under that budget, the project will be shelved. Bids are due by December 19, and we should know by Christmas whether or not it will happen.

Read more from the Daily Index.

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Tim Olsen

Oh no! Not the Sun King again! I had hoped that the town fathers in their wisdom had quietly disposed of it. Anybody out there remember Denny MacGoogan, the TNT columnist in the ‘70s? He opposed the project from the sketch stage and called it “Dinosaur Droppings.” Some friends and I went down to the City Council meeting and testified against spending the money on it. Mayor Johnston was not impressed. Most of the public art that Tacoma has bought since then has been highly superior (with the notable exception of the bizarre “Polymer Scientists” hoax at Wapato.) Suggestion: Melt down the Sun King for the scrap bronze, sell it, and use the money to commission another Welcome Figure.

December 4, 2013 at 11:16 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Fred Davie

$25K to install this thing? How much just to keep storing it?

Didn’t we just spend $200,000.00 for some dayglo green balls to float in the irrigation ditches downtown? How much of this highbrow art can we really afford?

No money for infrastructural maintenance but plenty available for irrelevant fluff.

December 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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One of hallmarks of 1970’s Tacoma décor is that it will look good in any context.

December 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Goddamn you people are dreary. A city with no art and no whimsy is a city devoid of heart.

December 5, 2013 at 9:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Concrete Communist style everything!  Its cost effective!  I hear you man, but some of the above posters, you’ll never see posting anything positive.

December 5, 2013 at 10:23 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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June 1, 2018 at 10:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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