Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Home for Goddess of Commerce Statue

On August 31st the new Goddess of Commerce was unveiled. Tom Pierson, Chamber President & CEO, spoke at the dedication ceremony, along with other community members such as Mayor Marilyn Strickland and long-time community organizer and fund-raiser Griselda “Babe” Lehrer.

The original statue, which was built in 1885, was placed on top of the 3 story Chamber of Commerce building at 12th and Pacific in downtown Tacoma. Designed by C. Augustus Darmer, the statue exhibited symbols of commerce for that time in 1950. Due to a fire, the Commerce Building was demolished, along with the 7-foot copper statue.

According to Lehrer, today’s Goddess of Commerce statue, now located on 6th and St. Helens, which was built by Marilyn Mahoney, depicts Tacoma’s current industries. Her earrings are cranes, which symbolize the Port of Tacoma and the fishing industry is represented down her back. In her right arm, she cradles the model of the city of Tacoma as it is today; Art, architecture, and the construction of spaces for modern commerce are represented by the familiar facades of buildings such as the Tacoma Glass Museum, Tacoma Dome, & Old City Hall. She also holds the model of a container ship representing maritime of today in her left hand.

“We are excited that the community worked and gathered together in order to re-dedicate the statue,” Pierson stated. “The statue is more about recognizing the power of the community and the economic strength of the region.”

The project, which was funded and endorsed by the Theater District Association, the Tacoma Historical Society, the Port of Tacoma, and other generous donors, stands proud overlooking the port of Tacoma.

The once homeless Goddess now has a place to call home.

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