Officials shown plans for Tigard Outdoor Museum
Plans are moving forward to create a Tigard Outdoor Museum along the Tigard Street Heritage Trail in downtown Tigard.
On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici was shown plans for the Outdoor Museum, which will run along the three-quarter-of-mile trail from Main Street to Tiedeman Avenue, during a tour attended by city officials, planners and the project's lead urban designer.
The paved trail, already in place, begins directly to the east of the Symposium Coffee/Tigard Chamber of Commerce building.
Suenn Ho, a principal with Resolve Architecture and Planning, who is helping design both the Outdoor Museum and Rotary Plaza, told attendees that the trail will tap into the heritage of the Tigard area.
The planned Tigard Outdoor Museum will be divided into four stations, including one that focuses on Tigard's early railroad days. It will include artifacts made of stone, steel and glass. Ho said replicas of historic items will be cast in glass, noting that referencing history helps to inspire art and tell the story about Tigard's past.
Ho was heavily involved in the creation of Astoria's The Garden of Surging Waves, which memorializes both the history and heritage of Chinese immigrants in the state.
Total cost of the Tigard Street Heritage Trail project is set at $1.4 million, funding that comes from a variety of city, county and state sources. The Tigard Outdoor Museum has a budget of $196,666 with funding coming from the city's transient lodging tax and a Washington County Visitors Association grant along with a prestigious $75,000 National Endowment of the Arts Our Town grant.
Bonamici, who said she's a long-time fan of the federal NEA grants, said she believes the project will connect the community, noting that the trail and museum are innovative approaches in connecting to the community. Plans are to have the trail completed by next summer.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing this developed," said Bonamici.
Kenny Asher, Tigard's director of community development, expressed support for the project as well.
"We all need this museum as much as we need the trail," he told those gathered, including Mayor John Cook. "The walking connection is really important."
Meanwhile, Ho said there also will be a chance for festive lighting opportunities if funding can be found.
"The trail will benefit a lot if it has a budget for lighting," she said.
At the same time, work is moving forward on Rotary Plaza planned for the entrance to the trail, the focal point being a large clock centerpiece that was manufactured in Massachusetts and sent to Portland last summer.
"It's done," Ho said of the clock face. "It arrived in the summer."
The 13-foot-tall clock tower -- a 10-foot stainless steel post topped by the 3-foot-tall clock containing the Rotary wheel logo -- will be inserted into a stone basalt plinth bench. Along the sides of the pole will be sandblasted glass blocks containing the values of Rotary International.
"Right now, we're casting the glass pieces," Ho noted.
Related to the Tigard Outdoor Museum, Ho stressed the importance of telling the stories connected to Tigard's history, community and people in order for the project to be deemed a success.
"If a trail is only a path, it doesn't tug at your heartstrings," she said. "And people really love to hear stories."