Once again it’s time for the blog challenge Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”
Three Things Emblematic of Tacoma
representing something (such as an idea, state, or emotion) that cannot be seen by itself.
I’ve been in my new hometown of Tacoma, WA, for two years now and still enjoy exploring the city and learning about new aspects of it. Today I feature three things that are emblematic of Tacoma.
1. Museum of Glass
Museum of Glass
1801 Dock St, Tacoma, WA 98402
the Museum’s stainless steel cone serves as a beacon to a stunning contemporary art museum as well as a symbol for the restoration of a waterway and the revitalization of a city.
The idea for the Museum of Glass arose in August of 1992 from a conversation between Phil Phibbs, who had recently retired as president of the University of Puget Sound, and Dale Chihuly, a world-renown glass artist who had grown up near and attended the university.
A few weeks later Dr. Phibbs brought his idea for a glass museum to the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, a group of business and governmental leaders. He was invited to stay for the next presentation, a plan for redevelopment of the Thea Foss Waterway, a strip of empty industrial land next to a body of polluted water in downtown Tacoma. The Council agreed that the proposed glass museum would be an appropriate anchor tenant for the proposed redevelopment.
“In September 1997, Canadian architect Arthur Erickson unveiled the Museum’s design concept, which included an iconic, tilted cone.” Construction began in June of 2000, and the Museum of Glass, with its adjoining Chihuly Bridge of Glass, opened on July 6, 2002. The museum features work of glass artists from all over the world.
Located within the 90-foot tall steel cone, the Hot Shop Amphitheater allows visitors to watch as artists create art pieces from molten glass. The museum features displays in its indoor galleries, art installations on its outdoor plazas, and an extensive list of educational programs.
2. Tacoma Dome
2727 E D St, Tacoma, WA 98421
The Tacoma Dome, owned and operated by the City of Tacoma, is the largest arena in the world with a wooden dome. Construction began on July 1, 1981, and the Dome opened on April 21, 1983. It is 530 feet (160 m) in diameter and 152 feet (46 m) tall, and can seat up to 23,000. Most of the arena’s seating is not fixed, so that the space can be configured for many different types of events. It’s not unusual to see bleachers standing in the parking lot when driving by the Dome on I 5
The Tacoma Dome’s roof was built with 1.6 million board feet and weighs 1,444,000 pounds. 24,541,382 cubic feet of concrete was used in the construction of the Tacoma Dome. This is enough to build a sidewalk 70 miles long. The Tacoma Dome is 530 feet in diameter and 152 feet tall.
The Tacoma Dome’s aluminum super-grid is one of the world’s largest at 384’ x 160‘. The total cable length is approximately 47,661’ or just over nine miles. There are over 275 support points on the Dome and the grid includes an estimated 2.5 miles of welding.
The Tacoma Dome hosted the 1990 Goodwill Games, the 1988 and 1989 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four, and the 1987 United States Figure Skating Championships. The Seattle Sonics National Basketball Association team held its home games of the 1994–1995 season during renovation of Key Arena in Seattle.
Throughout the year the Tacoma Dome hosts many kinds of civic events and gatherings, including music concerts, trade shows, fairs, sporting events, and local high school and college graduations.
3. Mount Rainier
I’ve saved the best for last. You’ll see a lot of different photos of Mount Rainier on this blog because I love it so much.
The mountain is about 70 miles southeast of Tacoma, but on a clear day it looks as if you could reach out and touch it. The mountain is so emblematic of Tacoma that a lot of companies use it in their logo. See, for example, Tacoma’s local daily newspaper, The News Tribune.
Mount Rainier reaches 14,410 feet above sea level.
An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems.
The National Park Service website offers lots of information about both the animals and the vegetation surrounding Mount Rainier. It even has webcams. The park is open all year, although much of it is inaccessible to traffic during the winter (which usually starts early and ends late). Be sure to check the website for weather conditions, including the need for tire chains, when planning your visit.
Between 1.5 and 2 million people visit Mount Rainier National Park every year. We in Tacoma are lucky enough to be able to see the mountain frequently throughout the year.