Photos by Dane Gregory Meyer

the arts

Prairie Line Trail

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Overview of the Prairie Line Trail

The Prairie Line Trail is an extraordinary landmark of Tacoma history. In 1873, the Northern Pacific Railroad designated the now-overgrown, half-mile, two-acre corridor as the western terminus for its transcontinental railroad, beating out competitors Seattle, Olympia and Bellingham. Modern city-building and telegraph communications followed the railroad, and from here sprung the town’s moniker, “The City of Destiny.” The proposed walking, biking and interpretive trail follows the historic rail corridor linking the University of Washington-Tacoma campus, the Brewery District, the Museum District and Thea Foss Waterway, and eventually connects with the Water Ditch Trail. Users will be within walking distance of the convention center, the copper-domed Union Station, and the ethereal Museum of Glass Bridge – all destinations that radiate outward from the Tacoma Art Museum. 

Public Art Plan for the Prairie Line Trail

The Prairie Line Trail offers an opportunity to create a history-infused active destination and outdoor art venue that is unique to Washington, and the country. The PLT will draw visitors to our historic downtown, where curated temporary and site-specific permanent art will greet trail users.

Urban planner Todd Bressi and the design team of Lucy Begg and Robert Gay (Thoughtbarn) were awarded a commission, supported by a National Endowment for the Arts planning grant, to develop a public art plan for the trail.

Click here to see the final draft of the public art plan for the Prairie Line Trail.

Articles about Public Art on the Prairie Line Trail

Walking the Walk on the Prairie Line Trail (Nov 13, 2011)
SOTA and Thoughtbarn team up on "Ghost Prairie" (Nov 11, 2011)
Temporal Terminus: Marking the Line (Nov 10, 2011)
"Ghost Prairie" is coming to town (Nov 9, 2011)
Art planning rolls on for Prairie Line Trail (Sep 19, 2011)
Art and history connect on the Prairie Line Trail (Jun 2, 2011)


Questions? Contact Amy McBride, Tacoma Arts Administrator.