It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a….Volcano?

By Kate Sandoval, Frontline Representative

While most Museum-goers want to know about what’s happening inside Museum of Glass, many visitors also want to know what’s going on outside. The most popular questions I get about the outside of the Museum are related to the architectural marvel we call “The Cone.”

cone jan2

Standing 90-feet tall, the shimmering funnel has become an iconic aspect of the Tacoma skyline. Covered in 2,800 diamond shaped shingles made of stainless steel, the structure reinvents its identity with each passing person.

Some guests say the cone reminds them of the beehive burners that once lined the Thea Foss Waterway. MOG’s architect, Arthur Erickson, did in fact designed the cone to be reminiscent of the wood-burning sawmills once common in this part of the country.

Other visitors let their imagination take flight when they see the cone. I have had guests tell me they see a shimmering upside-down waffle cone! More than once people have shared with me the cone looks like a mini volcano! But, my favorite interpretation of the cone was a guest who said the building looked like a James Bond villain’s lair!

So what do you see when you look at the unique architecture of Museum of Glass? Do you see a cone? An upside down ice cream? Something completely different? Leave a reply and let us know what comes to mind when you’re gazing at Tacoma’s distinctive landmark.

Kate Sandoval is part of the Visitor Services team at Museum of Glass. She is currently pursuing her BA in Art, Media & Culture from the University of Oklahoma. When she’s not working or studying, she enjoys long walks to the refrigerator, midnight snacks, and Netflix.

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