Monday, June 8, 2015


Preserving Walla Walla's History

In a forward-thinking move in 1993, the Blue Mountain Arts Alliance (a non-profit arts organization now known as ArtWalla) rescued this hand-carved sandstone facade of the 1902 Henry Osterman-designed Odd Fellows Temple in Downtown Walla Walla before the building was razed. The facade was relocated to Heritage Park on Main Street where it stood empty until 2010 when the colorful "Windows on the Past" was installed.

Historical photos, many depicting the ethnic and cultural diversity of people in the Valley form 1850-1950, are inserted into the spaces where there were once windows. According to the artist in charge of the project, Jeanne McMenamy, "The over-arching goal of this project was to build intercultural understanding in the creation of a compelling, permanent public artwork designed to celebrate the community's multicultural ancestors. Previously underrepresented and alienated groups are now included in a major downtown installation, and see their family treasures depicted in a rich tapestry of pattern and color." 

Each window is made using a porcelain enamel-on-steel process which renders the finished product extremely durable and low maintenance. For more info: