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This section features local artwork that depicts the Narrows bridge or bridges. Some are advertising for businesses, or organizations. Others are works of art; painted or created by people who have been inspired by the bridges. If you know of art that you would like to see included here, please click on the Email Us button above.
The photo shown above is the logo of a vintage 1939 Metskers map of Pierce County, Washington that has an accurate depiction of the first Narrows bridge known as Galloping Gertie. Being as that bridge only lasted 4 months, this map is a rarity. Most all advertising from the collapsed bridge was quickly removed from circulation, because the event was a major embarrassment, and businesses did not want to be associated with the scandal.
Another Metsker map with an artist's rendering of the Gertie bridge.
This is a most unique work of art. It is an envelope that was decorated with a hand-drawn & colored 1940 bridge, an airplane, and a ship in the water; with the words "Happy Birthday". It is dated July 3 of 1940, and postmarked on July 5th. The scene was probably inspired by the opening day picture of the same scene that was widely circulated before the bridge was built.
Although it has no art, this was a local business that is long gone now. Note the price for a service call.
Seen above is a rare work of art by a local & well-known silkscreen artist; Elton Bennett. He made this romantic look at the 1950 Narrows bridge with the Olympic Mountain Range in the background, which was somewhat of a departure from Bennett's more famous sea & ships silkscreens he is known for. His daughter noted this work by Elton is one of a kind, and she did not know it existed.
Another contemporary artist is Walton Butts, who is known for his ships & landscape scenes. As many artists are attracted to the bridge, so was he and he created a beautiful rendition in color of the Narrows with Mt. Rainier in the background.
A well drawn image of the 1950 bridge by Hal Mize is shown here. It is a typical scene looking from the Gig Harbor hilltop towards Tacoma, with Mt. Rainier in the background.
Another artist; Mr. Countryman sketched this romantic view of the bridge & Mt. Rainier for the St. Regis Paper Company in 1977.
An old facility that was original to the area during the first Narrows bridge era was Tower Inn & Lanes. This was a very popular recreation spot for bowling & dining, as well as gambling. The chip shown above features the bridge. This business has been recently purchased, and is being upgraded for another generation of folks.
Seen above is a local Tacoma business, the Narrows Plaza Bowling Alley, located in the James Center shopping area near the Narrows bridges. They have several great signs that have a stylized harbor scene, both at the road and on the building.
This is a Gig Harbor self storage company that has both the 1950 and the 2007 bridges shown on their signs.
Here is a true hand painted work of art that was done on a huge panel, which is prominently placed on the Tacoma Fire Station No. 16 at 7217 6th Avenue. It features many of the Northwest's icons including the bridge, Mount Rainier, an Orca whale, and an eagle in flight.
This view shows how large the painting is. It is facing towards the bridge, so that as travelers head from the bridge into Tacoma, they can see it on their way down 6th Avenue. UPDATE: The art work has been removed.
Seen here is an artist's design for both bridges, as the center of the Pacific Northwest Iron Workers District Council's logo. Union work has been an important part of the Northwest, and the bridge's construction, with Locals 86 and 114 from Tacoma & Seattle, Washington.
A long-standing organization has been the Tacoma Photographic Society. This group promotes photographic excellence, and emphasizes the craft as an art form, which it is. This chapter is in the North & West end of Tacoma, and features the bridge in their logo.
Here is metal bridge work of art, that has been placed with the south side of Gig Harbor as the backdrop for the photo. It is actually a very complimentary creation, as the bridges and the art are similar in use of materials, and style. At the top of the hill in the right background is the Tacoma Airport.
Another more stylized metal bridge art work is seen here. These types of creations have been popular in the homes on the West Slope of Tacoma, which faces the bridges, as well as with those who enjoy bridge art.
Even foreign countries have a fascination with the collapse of Galloping Gertie, and the replacement bridge. This is an item from England that was part of the Ty Phoo Tea packaging, that featured a number of world-famous icons. The scene on the collecter card is very well done.