The 204th Street Roundabout is nearly finished and received a piece of public art on March 12 as part of Arlington’s public art fund.
The public art fund receives money from sales tax revenue related to new construction and goes to helping beautify the town.
The 204th Street location was the recipient of the newest public art project in part because it’s a public place.
“We knew that the new roundabout was a major commuting route into the community,” said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization and communications manager for the city of Arlington.
The art piece is an antique tractor that was donated by Valley Gem Farms. The tractor has not been in use for a number of years and was sandblasted and painted.
“It was a farm tractor that has been out of use for quite a while,” said Lopez. “It represents our history, but we also want it to be a piece of art as well."
Local businesses Cuz Concrete and Seven Lakes Towing helped move the tractor and get it ready to be secured to the roundabout.
Lopez said she thought the sandblasting of the tractor turned out well and that the public art will help the community.
“It gives the neighborhood a sense of place, connects it with our history and is something to be proud of,” she said.
Some lettering to signify the Kent Prairie Neighborhood is also scheduled to be added to the roundabout project.
“The little concrete wall of the roundabout will also have lettering that says Kent Prairie Neighborhood as well,” said Lopez.
Jim Kelly, Public Works director for the city, said the roundabout is nearly finished and is hoped to give the area a more urbanized and organized look.
“It’s so amazing how just one piece of infrastructure can transform this neighborhood and make it more of a community. This infrastructure is functional but it also adds character and this tractor is going to be the icing on the cake,” said Kelly.
The tractor art piece is part of the first year of public art funding, which included projects like the Arlington Skate Park mural.
“I think the first year went great. We weren’t able to do everything we wanted because of COVID though,” said Lopez.
Some projects from the first year are still delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects, she said.
“We have a lot of fun projects planned for 2021,” said Lopez, including a “peace pole” that will include some glass mosaic elements to be put up near the Grocery Outlet.
Two murals are also planned that will have a “retro postcard” theme.