Tacoma Century Park Sketches

The following are KFnet reader submitted sketches and ideas for the layout of Tacoma's Century Park near the Bridge of Glass and Washington State History Museum.

Bloggers Beware

Submitted by Steve Hurley

Ivy League

Submitted by David Poole

First, move the lamp post in front of Cascade Bagel to a new location in front of the bridge of glass. This helps people see how to get to the museum better, and invites them to go that way. The new location for the post would create the possibility for that area to have an arch or vault of balloons or other material on special occasions.

Second, build a brick wall the same height as the Bridge of Glass hand rail which would hold the donor plaques. The wall would continue the line of the hand rail to Pacific Ave. This would allow spectators to see both the Donor Monument and a great view of Union Station at the same time. It would also be possible to place a security fence behind this wall to help protect the courthouse. This fence could also be used to hold flowers, paintings, glass works, or any other visual enhancement.

Third, install a brick ivy-like pattern on the ground, which would connect the new wall, the Bridge of Glass, Union Station, and the History Museum into a more connected area. The ivy would extend out of the wall, and a primary stalk would grow towards the Museum, inviting people to walk towards it, and also recognizing the contribution of the Museum to supporting Union Station. The ivy could be made out of scrap granite for cheap. I know a good place.

Native Garden

Submitted by RR Anderson


  • the museum gets to shill her business interests through exploitation of the donor bricks.
  • wheelchairs and people get free passage OK without shit waved in their faces by 'history for wimps' museum.
  • trees add the full 'century feeling and remind people how beautiful things once were before the invasion of the pioneers and devastation by Weyerhaeuser/Arco etc.
  • the architects from Texas get to 'frame the bridge' (the trees again)
  • tax write off/reduction of carbon... for planting trees whathaveyou.
  • citizens honor the people who gave money to save an obsolete building nobody has access to (without having to pass a metal detector) by embedding the tools of their wraith (bricks) in the cold concrete.

Glass Arch

Submitted by Steve Hurley


Submitted by Andrew Paulsen


Submitted by Kevin Freitas


Submitted by Jennifer Irwin

Pillars with small tabletops would enhance the space.

It will act to remind people they are hungry and cause them to voluntarily walk over to the cafe and buy food. They will also be diverted to the area of the gift shop entrance and WSHM entrance.

It will allow direct pedestrian access to the bridge and Preservation Park, while blocking vehicular traffic.

It will preserve the view above and between the tables and in all directions, enhancing the park experience.

It will enhance DT Tacoma by increasing the number of people visibly in the DT core vs. behind a brick wall.

A large plaque could be displayed on the brick (on the side of the cafe) giving the history of the preservation alongside the donor plaques and signage to the WSHM entrance, cafe, and gift shop. There could be a big, cool display case, entitled: "WSHM: What's on the Menu?" and then people could see what the current exhibits are. Plaques could possibly be on the table tops.

There could also be some kind of glass canopy/awning incorporated, so people could eat outside if it is raining.

Arch and Small Wall

Submitted by Steve Hurley

  1. Permanently remove the damn fence/wall or whatever else they want to put in the way of accessing the bridge of glass.
  2. Create an artful, inviting arched entrance to the bridge of glass (as opposed to chasing tourists away).
  3. Build a low profile (no more than 42" high) pedestrian routing wall to keep WSHM foot traffic from diminishing.
  4. Build a medium profile wall along the Union station side to hang the SOS donor plaques.

If this is done, several things will happen:

  • Deli sales will double.
  • ArtGlass style entrance creates a sense of arrival for visitors and makes for a great photo-op.
    • This results in more press and better PR for the area, thus more foot traffic and ultimately more visitors to the WSHM.
  • Walking through the arch and seeing the bridge of glass only yards away builds a sense of excitement. No one will mind walking around the routing wall if they have full view of the bridge of glass.
  • The routing wall maintains the idea of separation from Pacific Ave, gaining that sense of tranquility.

Corn Maze

Submitted by Cole Cosgrove

Century Fountain

Submitted by Steve Hurley

  • Pacific Ave pedestrians can see though it to view the B.O.G
  • Designed "Bench Style", weary walkers can sit on it
  • Pedestrian traffic is redirected to face entrance of WSHM
  • It diminishes freeway noise in the park area
  • It creates one more beautiful element to the downtown landscape


Submitted by Jennifer Irwin

I read somewhere that advertising on the outside of the buildings would be tacky, but I disagree. If done artfully and on the side of the deli, facing the entrance to the BOG, perpendicular to Pacific Ave. it would get tourists to want to enter the WSH to see the exhibits. I stood in that space and wondered, "Where is there anything that tells me what is going on?" Alternatively a kiosk, as in your design, could be added. Now picture this: a fountain with bench seating, a kiosk for information, a glass awning with seating underneath and some potted trees (up against the brick deli so as not to block any view, but adding greenery to the urban space, visible to Pacific Ave.).

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