Acid Ball moving to Waypoint Park

Former industrial artifact begins transformation to piece of art

February 20, 2018 - by Samantha Frost, Mayor's Office

The acid ball, a waterfront industrial artifact, will be lifted and moved over 1,000 feet from its current location to Waypoint Park, where it will be transformed into a work of art, as part of the City's One Percent for the Arts program.  

Members of the community are invited to watch this historical and exciting event from recently-opened Central Pier, adjacent to the Granary Building at 1208 Roeder Ave. The move may start as early as 8 a.m. on Feb. 21. As with all construction projects, the duration may be slightly unpredictable. The entire move may take as little as two hours and as long as a full day to complete.

“The Percent for the Arts program allocates 1 percent of the budget from our largest projects for the incorporation of artwork,” said Darby Cowles, City of Bellingham senior planner. “The acid ball is particularly exciting because it utilizes a phenomenal piece of industrial equipment in a new and interesting way, providing a unique landmark for Waypoint Park that honors the history of the site.”

The circa 1938 acid ball, approximately 32 feet in diameter and over 400,000 pounds, once was used as part of a relief system that held liquid and gas from nearby digester tanks that broke down wood chips with pressure and acid at the former Georgia-Pacific industrial operations on the waterfront.

Beginning this spring, Mutuus Studio will proceed with their winning entry from the City's Call for Proposals and start the process of coating the acid ball with light reflecting glass beads in its permanent location in Waypoint Park, adjacent to the Whatcom Waterway.

This feature will be enhanced with LED lighting to illuminate the ball both day and night, turning it into a beacon of light for the city.

The move will be conducted by Oxbo Mega Transport Solutions. The prime contractor for the project is Strider Construction. ​​

Media Contact

Darby Cowles, Senior Planner

Planning and Community Development

(360) 778-8389

More City News >>

Subscribe to City News