'Northgate Totem' finds a new home in Suquamish.
SUQUAMISH, Wash. - A famous piece of Northwest art has become part of the skyline overlooking Agate Passage at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.
The 51-foot totem, referred to as the ''Northgate Totem,'' was created by famed sculptor Dudley C. Carter, whose artwork can also be seen in carvings on the grounds at Kiana Lodge, another business owned and operated by the Suquamish Tribe.
Carter originally fashioned the Northgate Totem in 1952 to decorate the north entrance to Northgate Mall in Seattle. It stood there for more than 55 years until renovations to the site required its removal last fall.
Rather than see the totem destroyed, Northgate Mall executives graciously donated it to the Suquamish Tribe who, in conjunction with their tribally owned corporation Port Madison Enterprises, paid for its removal, transport and restoration.
The newly restored totem is permanently placed on the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort Event Lawn.
''I'm excited about having it here. It's really a tribute to the Suquamish people that they would adopt this totem as their own, investing considerable resources into this project,'' said PME Hotel Director Sam Askew.
After decades of braving the elements outside Northgate Mall, the totem required extensive renovation before it could be raised. A team of well-known Northwest artists, including Michael Pavel, Dave Casey, Gordon Nielson, Shaunte Bernal and Ed Polin, painstakingly re-worked the cedar carving, ensuring a long new life for it in Suquamish.
''All of the original paint and areas of extensive rot had to be removed,'' Askew said.
In addition to restorations, the originally red-hued totem is being repainted with earth tones and colors found in the natural environment.