With 300 gorgeous days of sunshine a year, it’s hard not to love being outside and enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery of Yakima. Even better, there’s plenty to do while enjoying it all! From outdoor adventure, hops fun, farms to stroll through, wine to taste, and everything in between, there is never a dull moment here. And the next time you find yourself out and about enjoying the sun, don’t forget to take in the sights and be on the lookout for these local landmarks in the Yakima community.
Yakima Ave. & South 2nd St.
The installation of the local landmark sculpture Transcendence was a bittersweet moment for the Yakima community as it would be the last work of art from one of the world’s acclaimed artists, Bernard Hosey. Just two weeks before it was installed in downtown Yakima, Hosey died suddenly of a massive heart attack.
Today, the sculpture remains, reminding us of Hosey’s legacy and his message of intent for this very special piece of art, symbolizing Yakima’s transcendence as we continue moving forward, going above and beyond as a city and as a community together.
Water of Life
Millennial Plaza, Downtown
Part of the National Endowment for the Arts “Artists and Communities” initiative that paired selected artists with local state art organizations across the United States, the magnificent piece known as Water of Life now resides in downtown Yakima as a result of the project. Completed in 2003, this local landmark sculpture was created with unity in mind. The artists that worked on the project wanted to make something special for Yakima residents by creating a common space where community members can come together as one.
The design itself is a tribute to irrigation, as it’s a vital aspect of everyday lives here, giving life to the farmland and orchards, as well as to our people’s labor that powers the community. Today, this masterpiece of a plaza is frequently used as a central spot for the city’s many different cultural events as well as a sightseeing destination for visitors.
Initially creating a stir of controversy among the community, the piece known as Convolution by Will Robinson has now called our city of Yakima home for nearly 12 years, and the debate has long since been put to bed. The dispute stemmed from the piece’s placement as it was placed right in front of The Depot Restaurant, a dining experience that prides itself on its historic brand, with critics arguing that the sculpture was “too modern” for the area.
In the end, Robinson was grateful for the controversy as it opened up a dialogue, particularly between him and Depot owner Karl Paston and allowed them to come to a mutual understanding and respect. Now visitors and locals alike enjoy the view of the sculpture from the windows while enjoying a meal, and Paston has since put a positive spin on the nearby sculpture.
Abundance & The Larson Building
N. 2nd St. & Yakima Ave.
Complimenting the colorful lights of the Larson Building in Yakima is the equally colorful sculpture known as Abundance. These local landmarks create a dazzling light atmosphere at night and are equally breathtaking in the daylight. Abundance was created to compliment the architecture and design of the Larson Building, having been hand-cast from glass, steel, basalt, and bronze by Michael and Chad Gray. The Larson Building is a prominent Art Deco building in the beautiful downtown area that was built in 1931 and currently holds the title of the tallest building in the city, standing at 11 stories.
Yes, there’s plenty of beauty to behold within Yakima’s city limits — from creative pieces of landscape architecture scattered throughout the town to the natural beauty surrounding us, Yakima has it all. So, remember to take in all of the scenery and landmarks Yakima has to offer!