West Seattle weekend scenes: Totem pole’s new ‘surroundings’

August 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Volunteers, mostly Rotary Club of West Seattle members, converged on Rotary Viewpoint Park (35th/Alaska) in the rain this morning to spruce things up before Tuesday night’s rededication event. Most notable, check out the pole’s new “surroundings” – the flowers that were growing around its base have been removed, replaced by rocks so the pole can be fully seen. Other planting beds in the small park received more-conventional touchups:

Tuesday night’s event is at 5 pm, followed by a no-host celebration in the Golf Course clubhouse down the hill. The pole was reinstalled a week and a half ago.


  1. Glad they went with the rocks, the plants were too obstructive.

    Comment by dsa — 6:21 pm August 7, 2010 #

  2. The restored totem pole is absolutely beautiful! Thank you to the sleuths who located the stolen pole, the police,the artists who restored the piece and everyone who worked so hard to get this beautiful piece of art back where it belongs (in addition to the piece stolen from the Renton Fred Meyer store). Shame on the man who stole the poles – I read the report in the newspaper today – I hope he learned his lesson! I love seeing this beautiful piece twice a day as I commute to/from work.

    Comment by LAP — 6:39 pm August 7, 2010 #

  3. I KNOW…I am late to the party…….but don’t understand why this man hasn’t been charged with theft???? If anyone else stole a totem pole from public property – I think it is public, no?, FGS, they would be charged.

    Comment by visitor — 7:00 pm August 7, 2010 #

  4. Visiting friends this weekend, I shared the “Swiped Totem Saga.” When I showed the newly detailed and restored pole on the WSB, he remarked how sad it was. I asked why, and he told me a totem is sacred and meant to meld back into the earth gracefully, not be restored or repainted.

    Comment by Mark — 9:02 pm August 7, 2010 #

  5. Mark – That came up often during the several times we met with the restoration experts at Artech who did the work. Ultimately, they deal with the pole’s owner(s)’ wishes, and that may not be in keeping to what was the original tradition/intent … but on the other hand, it could be said that this is more an homage to an art of the past, and therefore worth keeping in a state that allows generations to appreciate it (like a piece preserved in a museum), than trying to be exactly faithful to how examples of that art were meant to fade into the past … That said, if not treated regularly (they talked of a coat of oil each year), it will go right back into the mode it was in before, fading, and starting some rot and bug infestation from being out in the elements … TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:18 pm August 7, 2010 #

  6. You know, it may be best to let this story just go away.

    Comment by EyeLiveInWS — 12:38 am August 8, 2010 #

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