James Bender
Farmer's Pole
1984

LOCATION
Victor Steinbrueck Park
2001 Western Ave.

FUNDING SOURCE
Department of Parks and Recreation and the former Department of Community Development as part of a Federal Urban Renewal Project


Farmer's Pole was designed by Jim Bender with assistance from Seattle architect Victor Steinbrueck, the park's namesake. Steinbrueck, co-designer of the park, played an integral role in preserving the neighboring historic market from developers during the 1960s. This unconventional totem is based on a pole near Ketchikan, Alaska which features Abraham Lincoln at its apex. The man and woman both wear badges which read "Honored Farmer—1984," referencing similar badges awarded to long-time Pike Place farmers by the Friends of the Market organization in 1981.

According to the artists: "The poles are a tribute to the cultural contribution and the heritage of our Native Americans as well as having an urban design and civic amenities association with the Pioneer Square totem pole at First Avenue and Yesler. They form a belvedere to look out at Puget Sound and the distant Olympic Mountains and frequent colorful sunsets beyond."