Winter, Season of Light

Light, Water Installation
H 100' W 700' D 100' (Two city blocks)
12. 31. 99 - 01. 16. 00
Pacific Avenue, 1300 Block, Tacoma WA

Credits: Individuals

Elizabeth Anderson
Mark Anderson
Web Bowie
Edward Bray
John Butler
Phil Chang
Rico Chiarelli
Dan Comp
Wally Croshaw
Martin Dilks
Su Dowie
Bonnie Duncan
Vicki Dyer
Carol Farer
Grahame Fenton
Janet H. Fesq
Bobbi Gamper
Forrest German
Shirl E. Gilbert
Vanessa Herzog
Beth Hjalseth
Howard Howlett
Marten Jonson
Brian Kamens
Judith Kipp
Karen Knipher
Verna Lilly
Don Lloyd
Penny Loucas
Val Mediate
Howard Meeks
Vonmarie Melanson
Lyn Messenger
Angelica Music
Joey Myers
Fred Oldenburg
Jin Ah Park
Gary Pederson
Clare Petrich
Eileen Pilcher
Peter Pran
Sondra Purcell
Vicky Reed
Matthew Schwartz
Val Sivinski
Peter Strauss
Tom Stenger
Burton Strode
Michael Sullivan
Brett Thomas
Johanthan Ward
Rhonda Wickstrom
Nick Willows


Winter, Season of Light was a temporary, site specific, virtual landscape that stretched 700 feet long and 100 feet high in downtown Tacoma. The project combined the singularity of art with the social pragmatism of architecture; fields of light merged among and reflected upon the boundaries of architecture and water. It was designed to stimulate awareness of architectural heritage by redefining the edges of an abandoned neighborhood and projecting large interventions of absolute light.

Project Description

I have a familiar and contemplative appreciation for ruins: they are a faded, visual left over of a remote time, positive edges cast into void, reversed negative shapes. They are the hint and visual continuity that bridge our memory from the time before to the time after, islands of silence. There are ruins in contemporary Tacoma, a product of a demolition of a downtown from the 20th century. Saved from the demolition of the 1300 block are two buildings – the Luzon and Baker buildings – standing respectively on the north and south side of the two-city block. Between them a procession of buttress walls have remained as evidence of a past reduced to ruins.

With the support of an active committee and hundreds of people volunteering both planning and construction, I designed and built a virtual landscape that stretched 700 feet long and 100 feet high, composed of panels, light, and water to reveal the absent life and the physical void left behind after the demolition. Light – first red, then for a short time blue – was projected in front of the panels between the buttresses and behind the windows of the buildings.

Winter, Season of Light opened on December 31st 1999, to celebrate the Millennium. The Mayor of Tacoma proclaimed January Season Of Light Month in recognition of the social and cultural success for Puget Sound's communities. The exhibition closed on January 16th 2000 as a result of gale force winds that caused an unexpected demolition.


This project would not exist without the generous support of the Season Of Light Committee, a private group of caring citizens devoted to architectural preservation in the Puget Sound.

Karen Knipher
Brett Thomas
Mark Anderson
Paul Ellis
Bobby Gamper
Marten Jonson
Don Lloyd


Ben B. Cheney Foundation

The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation:
Edward P. and Juanita M. Fund
Harold R. and Jessie B.
Flowers Endowment Fund

Frank Russell Company
Jane and George Russell Foundation

Government / Insitutions / Commission

Broadway Center for Performing Arts
City of Tacoma: Culture and Tourism
Historic Preservation
Landmarks Preservation Commission
Neighborhood Councils
Pierce County
Pierce County Arts Commission
Tacoma Arts Commission
Tacoma Public Library
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce
Tacoma-Pierce County First Nightâ 2000
The Local Development Council
Theatre District Associates
University of Washington Tacoma
Washington State History Museum

Corporations / Business

Advanced Telcom Group, Inc
Air Systems Engineering, Inc.
Cochran Electric
Davies Pearson
Ford Graphics
Holter Historic Research
IBEW Local #76
Landmark Convention Center
Madsen Electric
McGranahan Partnership
Miles Mitchell Photography
Mountain Construction
Northwest Real Estate
Opus Northwest, LLC
Pacific Rim Real Estate Management
Purcell Advisory Services
Rushforth Consruction
Safe Streets
Telco Credit Union
Trammell Crow Company
United Lamp
Ward Construction

Media Support

The News Tribune
Business Examiner
Architectural Record
T.V. Tacoma