News releases

Parisian-inspired “love locks” come to Sounder commuter rail art project

Publish Date

"Lock-On Tacoma" interactive artwork by artist Diane Hansen adds romance and color to "A" Street pedestrian underpass

Sound Transit, the City of Tacoma Arts Program and the Dome District community celebrated yesterday the installation of "The Locks," the first in a series of public art pieces for the Sounder D to M Streets project that extended commuter rail service to South Tacoma and Lakewood last fall. 

Inspired by the famous love locks that began appearing on Paris bridges several years ago, Lock-On Tacoma (known as "The Locks") is a sculpture featuring enlarged padlocks and skeleton keys painted in auto enamel candy colors that surround the support structure for the commuter rail tracks overhead. The columns, located at the "A" Street pedestrian passageway, are wrapped in metal mesh to create a screen where visitors can attach their own "love locks."

Created by Tacoma artist Diane Hansen, "The Locks" is intended as a communal gathering space in the Dome District. The artwork invites people to bring a lock and make a wish dedicated to the love of a special person, place or memory. As part of the Sound Transit art project, Hansen facilitated community workshops earlier this month, where members of the public decorated their own locks for inclusion on the sculpture. 

"I am excited about this opportunity to create public art that invites people to share special memories and wishes with locks of their own," said Hansen, who worked with youth from Hilltop Artists to cast glass ornaments for the sculpture. "I look forward to watching the sculpture grow into its full expression as people attach their locks to the piece."

Hansen, a sculptor and glass artist, is one of six artists creating public art for the Lakewood Extension project. Sean Orlando has been commissioned to create gateway artwork for the Pacific Avenue and South 26th Street area, James Sinding has been selected to create a second pedestrian-scale piece at the base of the Pacific Avenue overpass, and Claudia Reidener, Chris Jordan and Kenji Stoll will collaborate for the 66th Street underpass.