If you pass the east side of the Log House Museum on 61st SW at Stevens any time between now and midmorning Friday, that’s what you’ll see – the former Admiral Way totem pole, restored by experts, awaiting its grand unveiling during a big street-closing event Friday morning. Its proud new perch is just yards from where it spent years in repose behind the museum – where we photographed it in December 2011:
Four months later, the pole was trucked off to Artech in April 2012. Tuesday, after an extensive renovation project, they brought it back and installed it outside the museum in an intensive and much-photographed operation:
West Seattle resident Roger Waterhouse and Cody Thomaselli of Artech were the hands-on installers. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society had to get city permits and Landmarks Board approval for what otherwise might have seemed like a simple project – how hard could it be to put up a stand and place the pole on it, right?
Actually, once the pole was hoisted upright, it was somewhat painstaking – move it a bit this way, then a bit that way – until it was just right. We rolled video on the last few minutes:
In the Artech wrapping – later removed once the pole was covered up in the material you see in the top photo – the features were somewhat visible:
If you can, come see the unveiling Friday morning at 10:30, with students from Alki and Schmitz Park Elementaries coming to fill the street (which will close for the occasion) along with West Seattle-rooted dignitaries led by King County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray (who grew up nearby), and former Mayor Greg Nickels. The pole gets a new interpretive plaque, too, shown off Tuesday morning by SWSHS executive director Clay Eals:
If you just can’t get away at midmorning Friday, make plans for a museum visit sometime soon – a special exhibit will open inside. The museum’s hours are noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays.
P.S. With this event and much more in the works this summer, including the West Seattle Bridge 30th anniversary commemorations, volunteer power is more vital than ever to the nonprofit museum’s success – and you can be part of it. This Saturday, the day after the totem-pole celebration, 11 am-1 pm, come to the museum for its next volunteer orientation.