For more than three decades, weather and insects took their toll on a waterfront totem pole. So when the Port of Seattle called, we were happy to lend a hand to return the totem to its original glory and install it at its new home in Elliott Bay Park. Tiffany Hedrick, the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ conservation technician, worked with the Port and a Tlingit tribal representative to refurbish the Port-owned pole. Watch a two-minute video to get a glimpse of the crew fast at work.
The Port commissioned the 32-foot-tall totem in 1975. Its first home was Alaska Square at Pier 48. John Hagen, Ed Kasko and Cliff Thomas, members of Alaska Indian Arts, Inc., carved the pole to honor the relationship between Alaska and Washington. After nearly 25 years at the pier, the Port moved the totem to one of its outdoor terminals before installing it at Elliot Bay Park earlier this month. The Port rededicated the totem at a ceremony featuring traditional ceremonial dances by members of local and Alaskan tribes.