Tacoma Urbanist

Jun. 19, 2013 at 8:10am

Former WSHM Director David Nicandri Comes to Peace With the Removal of the Chihuly Bridge Fence

In the last 8 years, there have been some epic battles by City of Destiny activists seeking a more walkable livable city.

Perhaps none have reached such a frenzy as the battle to open up the fence that was blocking pedestrians direct access to the Bridge of Glass.  The controversy escalated when the WSHM proposed building a brick wall in front of the bridge blocking off the view of the bridge and water as well with a brick "donor wall."

At one time, the WSHM director David Nicandri resisted the pressure of an untold number of politicians, artists, reporters, and the entire blogosphere. At one point Exit 133, for the first time in it's history, decided to turn off it's comments due to the volume of citizen outrage from a well.  Julie Anderson, formally a Tacoma City Council member wrote a scathing opinion piece against the proposed wall. It often looked as it were Nicandri against the entire Tacoma community.

When Nicandri left the WSHM, the wall was soon removed and pedestrians were able to walk for the first time directly from Pacific Avenue to the Bridge of Glass.  An important urban and pedestrian victory had been won. Hundreds of Tacomans in all walks of life deserve the credit.

Since leaving, Nicandri has redeemed himself in two significant ways in many people's eyes.

First, he was instrumental in saving the WSHM from being closed by the Washington State Legislature while bizarrely proposing to build another museum in Olympia.

Second, Nicandri played a significant role in (likely) saving the Fireman's Park Totem pole from being left to "rot in the woods" somewhere through his commentary in the Tribune.

Below is a picture Nicandri asked me to take in front of the Bridge of Glass with the fence now open. Godspeed in all of your new adventures David!


Current condition:

Full circle: former Washington State History Museum director David Nicandri in front of the now open and "freed" Chihuly Bridge of Glass.


When the wall was up:

Morgan Alexander with his petition "Free the Chihuly Bridge" at iconic Blackwater Cafe.

by RR Anderson.

A Century Park sketch

Petitioner gathering against the wall blocking the Chihuly Bridge

Chalking by RR Anderson

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