Thursday, April 20, 2017


Springtime at Heritage Park

Spring is always a lovely time in the valley, and the blue sky and tree blossoms cooperated
 to make this public art installation in the center of downtown Walla Walla especially appealing.

The history of this iconic landmark goes back to 1993 when the huge sandstone façade of the 1902 Odd Fellows Temple 
was saved from demolition and relocated to Heritage Park. 
In order to dismantle and move this massive structure, each art-carved stone was numbered, 
and a key was made so the stones could be put back in the exact same place. 

Over the next few years, the window openings were filled with colorful and permanent images 
of the different ethnic and cultural groups that populated the Walla Walla Valley between 1850 and 1950. 

This was the first major project of the Blue Mountain Arts Alliance, now known as ArtWalla.
 The Project Manager of the facade relocation was Rob Robinson 
with assistance from many local individuals and organizations. 

"The Odd Fellows Temple was the first major public building designed by architect Henry Osterman 
who later designed other Walla Walla buildings— 
Green Park School, Carnegie Library (now Carnegie Art Center), City Hall, 
the County Courthouse, the Die Brücke Building and the Liberty Theater."

"Many of Henry Osterman’s signature design elements can be seen on these buildings:
 rough stone around arches, Palladian symmetry, agricultural and fertility symbolism, and Dutch reformist style." 
(from ArtWalla Public Art Walking Tour and Coloring Book)

The historic and contemporary photographs were reproduced in porcelain enamel on steel panels. 
The Art Director for this project was local artist Jeanne McMenemy. 
She was assisted by research interns from Whitman College and Walla Walla University,
 and professional photographer, Hans Matschukat


  1. In image 7 (from the top) I see something typical Norwegian, to the left in the middle.
    I would have enjoyed a trip there. Lots of things I have never seen or heard about.
    Interesting posting.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wonderful that it was saved, and very creative!


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