Tacoma Goddess Of Commerce Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Goddess Of Commerce

After a long journey, Tacoma’s beloved Goddess of Commerce is set to make her public debut on Wednesday, August 31st at 4 p.m. The seven-foot-tall, 700-pound bronze statue, created by artist Marilyn Mahoney, is a replica of the original statue that was destroyed nearly 70 years ago. It is meant to celebrate Tacoma’s rich economic and cultural history.

The statue depicts the goddess cradling a miniature model of the city’s skyline in one arm, while the model freighter in her left hand represents Tacoma’s maritime commerce. Crane earrings are a nod to the city’s identity as a major port, while salmon streaming down her back represent the importance of the fishing industry.

Initially, plans called for the statue to be installed in Tollefson Plaza, but those were ultimately rejected. The City of Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission also declined a request to place the statue atop the historic Carlton Building in downtown Tacoma. Finally, in October 2009, the Tacoma Arts Commission refused to take ownership of the statue and place it in Pierce Transit Plaza, near Theatre on the Square and Pantages Theater.

Despite these setbacks, the statue’s supporters persisted in their efforts to find a suitable location for the beloved statue. Eventually, they found a private property, owned by Mandarin Antiques, that agreed to its placement. According to Rick Jones, a supporter of the Goddess of Commerce, the property’s owners generously accepted the statue after the Theater District Association, led by Seong Shin and retired Tacoma architect Fred King, suggested that the statue would be a great addition to the intersection at St. Helens, Sixth, and Baker.

The Goddess of Commerce has a rich history in Tacoma. The original statue was erected in 1926 and stood at the corner of South 11th and Broadway for more than two decades. In 1949, the statue was taken down and placed in storage due to concerns about its stability. It was destroyed in a fire in 1950. However, the statue’s memory and importance to the community lived on.

In 2006, a group of Tacoma residents formed the Goddess of Commerce Project with the goal of bringing the statue back to the city. The project raised more than $122,000 through private donations to commission a replica of the statue.

The Goddess of Commerce has been a beloved figure in Tacoma for nearly a century, and her return is cause for celebration. The public unveiling of the statue will take place in the Triangle Business District and Theater District, near the intersections of South Sixth Avenue, St. Helens Avenue, and South Baker Street. The statue’s message of celebrating Tacoma’s economic and cultural history remains as relevant today as it was when the original statue was erected nearly a century ago.

Visit another Tacoma, WA Landmark: Old City Hall Tacoma