Market Park [Victor Steinbrueck Park] Totem Pole Construction Photographs & Logbook, 1982-1984

Overview of the Collection

Oliver, Marvin
Market Park [Victor Steinbrueck Park] Totem Pole Construction Photographs & Logbook
1982-1984 (inclusive)
126 photographs, (125 digital image files)
Collection Number
Documents the carving and installation of totem poles that were erected near Pike Place Market.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Commissioned by Victor Steinbrueck in 1982 and produced by Native carver Marvin Oliver and non-Native carver Jim Bender, two 50 foot red cedar totem poles were erected in Market Park in 1984. The waterfront land was previously occupied by the Washington State National Guard Armory which was destroyed in a fire in 1962. The land was purchased by the City in 1968 for "temporary park purposes". Victor Steinbrueck, an architect, was instrumental in the preservation of Pike Place Market. Adjacent to Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, Market Park was renamed Victor Steinbrueck Park after his death in 1985 in honor of his contributions to Seattle.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Containing 126 digitized polaroids and a detailed logbook, the Market Park Totem Pole Construction photograph collection captures Victor Steinbrueck's vision for the two 50 foot totem poles erected in 1983.

The rich and detailed photographs provide an inside look to the artistry and craftsmanship of Master Carver Jim Bender and others as Steinbrueck's design is carved out of the red cedar trees with the leafy canopy of Bainbridge Island as backdrop. Referred to as totem pole #1 and totem pole #2 throughout the collection we see the poles begin to take shape in late 1982 through their transport and delivery to the park site in 1984.

Providing a narrative timeline for the photographs is Victor Steinbrueck's own logbook detailing his trips to Bainbridge Island and the weather; his assessment of the project's progress and conversations with the craftsmen; his detailed notes on costs and design details as well paint samples for the totem poles. The logbook begins in November 1982 and ends in August 1983.

View 5801-09 online

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Downtown
  • Parks--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Public art--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Totem poles--Washington (State)--Seattle

Personal Names

  • Oliver, Marvin
  • Steinbrueck, Victor