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Friday, April 19: U Village

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Saturday morning was the second day of the 4th Annual West Coast Urban Sketch Crawl in Tacoma, Washington.  Registration started bright and early in the lower level of the Washington State History Museum.  Volunteers passed out name-tags and goody bags before the group met for announcements in the auditorium.
Morning registration
Old hand-painted advertising signs on brick walls hold a distinct status in the landscape of American cities. With mellow colors and descriptive typography, their artful references to obsolete products are beloved by contemporary viewers. Ghost signs, as they are sometimes called, are abundant in downtown Tacoma. Seattle artist Buster Simpson’s public art project on the parapet of the Woodruff-Pratt building extends the sign tradition.  The word GATHER lines the parapet of a building on the University of Washington Tacoma campus. Originally a warehouse, a series of words emerge along the roofline as one walks past the building. Although I did not have time to position myself to see all the words, I appreciated the color, texture, and size of GATHER as it related to the history of the building, campus public art and the sketch crawl gathering
University of Washington Tacoma Campus Public Art
Rounding the corner of Pacific Ave after the last stop on the Tacoma trolley I suddenly felt transported to romantic Europe.  Almost as if staged, Italianate Old City Hall towers over the street stopping in time to create a space filled with views of Commencement Bay before the Northern Pacific Headquarters Building begins its architectural statement.  An ornate lantern-topped tower distinguishes the entryway of the rectangular three-story building.       #usktac4
Old City Hall and Northern Pacific Headquarters Building

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