Seattle Landmarks: Lacey V. Murrow Floating Bridge and East Portals of the Mount Baker Tunnels (1940)

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 4/23/2001
  • Essay 3227
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Address: Interstate 90 and Lake Washington, Seattle. When it was completed in 1940, the Lake Washington Floating Bridge was the longest bridge of its kind in the world. The floating concrete structure solved the problem of spanning 1½ miles of water more than 200 feet deep.

Architect Lloyd Lovegren and artist James Fitzgerald (1910-1973) designed the east portals of the tunnels under Mount Baker. They produced low-relief sculptures that captured Northwest Coast Native American motifs, which were fitted into the surrounding environment. The panels were cast by sculptor James Wehn (1882-1973).

In 1967, the bridge was named after Lacey V. Murrow, director of the Washington Toll Bridge Authority.

The bridge and portals were designated a Seattle Landmark on June 11, 1979, because of its distinctive engineering, its role in the heritage of Seattle, and its prominence in the area.

Sources: Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Landmarks Preservation Board, 700 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, Washington; Lawrence Kreisman, Made to Last: Historic Preservation in Seattle and King County, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 64.

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