Gateway by Fritz Church

Fritz Church’s 2001 “Gateway” was commissioned by South Tacoma Business District to commemorate the Northern Pacific Railroad Shops. Thus the piece has a railroad theme (even the logo of the South Tacoma Business District is railroad oriented). “Gateway” is located at the northern boundary of the district near South 47th Street & South Tacoma Way).

“Gateway” is a large, off-kilter, spoked train wheel (as from an old steam locomotive) that is leaning back against a pair of gigantic railroad spikes. The spikes are stylized into slight “S” curves. The whole piece is painted a dull orange which- here and there- is streaked with algae and blemished with rust.

The monument is set in a semi-circular terrace, part of which is fitted with a wooden structure made to resemble a train trestle. A red, granite marker (rather like a tombstone) gives a list of no fewer than 15 donors who made the project possible- most prominent being City of Tacoma, South Tacoma Neighborhood Council and the South Tacoma Business District whose logo is prominent on the marker. The artist, Church, is nowhere acknowledged- nor did he leave a visible signature on the work itself.

Fritz Church owns a metal fabrication business in Tacoma, Washington:

http://www.fireworksforge.com/
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