Richard Beyer
People Waiting for the Interurban
1979

LOCATION
Fremont Avenue North and North 34th Street

FUNDING SOURCE
Community donations, Seattle Arts Commission (Now the Office of Arts & Culture), Washington State Arts Commission


A group of roughly cast gray aluminum figures huddles under an open-frame pergola. One woman grabs a snack, another holds a small child. A man reads while two others stand patiently. Glimpsed between their legs is a dog with a human face. Silent and uncomplaining, they wait. In fact they have been waiting for nearly 30 years and in the process have become an emblem of Fremont, one of Seattle's most free-spirited neighborhoods.

In 1975, artist Richard Beyer was commissioned to create a work commemorating the Fremont district's 100th Anniversary. Beyer worked with Peter Larsen, who designed the Pergola, and Bruce Crowley to ensure that People Waiting for the Interurban reflected the unique history and character of the Fremont Community. People Waiting for the Interurban was created as a reflection of the unique history and character of the Fremont community. In the early years of the 20th century the interurban line connected other major metropolitan centers with Seattle. The rail head in Fremont linked Seattle with Everett and in doing so made the neighborhood a thriving center of activity, host to schools, a library, churches, a hotel and many small businesses. Service on the Interurban ended in 1928 with the opening of Highway 99.

Frequently decorated in seasonal attire and bedecked in signage celebrating special events, the statue remains a popular area attraction and symbol of neighborhood goodwill. According to Beyer, his statue stands for the activity and life of a bygone age and the promise of a current community renaissance. Encapsulating a melancholy for the past and the potential of the future, the statue has, over the years, become a Seattle icon.