There is easily accessible art from one end of Astoria to another; most of it speaks directly to some aspect of Astoria’s history and heritage. These are things I’ve seen on my walks around Astoria’s neighborhoods and on the Riverwalk. This list does not include many of Astoria’s murals, which I have written about separately.
Astoria Column at 1 Coxcomb Drive on Coxcomb Hill in Astoria. A 525-foot-long mural, done in sgraffito engraving technique, wraps around the Column. This mural tells the story of Astoria’s history. Open dawn to dusk. There is a fee to park, or you can walk to the Column via the Cathedral Tree Trail.
Astoria Regatta Monument at 17 17th Street. The Astoria Regatta is an annual event that dates back to 1894.
Astoria Nordic Heritage Park, at 1590 Marine Drive, commemorates Nordic culture and heritage. This site acknowledges the vital contribution people of Nordic descent made in Astoria’s history and continue to make today. If you love trolls, find them here. The arch is beautifully lit at night.
Bronze Fisherman sculpture at entrance to the Cannery Pier Hotel.
Ikala Nawan Whispering Giant Sculpture
This is 18 feet tall, one of roughly 75 unique Indian heads carved from big logs across the USA by artist Peter “Wolf” Toth. This one, sculpted in 1987, is named Ikala Nawan, “Man Who Fishes.” It is sculptor Peter Toth’s 57th “Whispering Giant.” It was carved to honor the Chinook, Clatsop, and all Northwestern Coastal Indians.It is on the West end of Astoria, on the south side of US Hwy 101, about a block east of the traffic circle. Easy to access from parallel Taylor Ave, but don’t stop on the highway at this location.
Astoria Victory Monument is a bronze statue of a World War One American soldier. Also known as the Doughboy Monument or Soldier’s Monument.
I have not determined what this signifies and who created it, but it is an interesting piece to photograph from various perspectives, in varying lighting conditions.
“Tantler” (Tree + Antler) by Keri Rosebraugh. Made of reclaimed Douglas Fir and Bronze, 12 feet tall, this work is a tribute to both the wild elk of the region and the timber industry. It is outside the Royal Nebeker Gallery at Clatsop Community College. 1799 Lexington Avenue. Gallery is open Monday – Friday, 10:00-4:00 but this piece is outside and accessible if you make your way around to the back of the building (behind the gallery).
Garden of Surging Waves located at 1095 Duane in downtown Astoria.
This park was the city’s bicentennial legacy gift to early Chinese settlers that helped build the town and worked in the canneries. There is a cast bronze replica of an incense burner from the Western Han Dynasty, carved marble dragons, bronze scrolls, a Moon Gate, fish mosaic and more.
Maritime Memorial Park at 10 Bay Street (on the Riverwalk). Each plaque has maritime-related engraved graphics to commemorate the individual’s maritime relationship. An anchor on the plaque indicates the person died at sea.
Shivley Fountain was originally dedicated in August 1906 by the Women’s Club of Astoria. It was refurbished and rededicated in May of 2011.
The Liberty Theatre at 1203 Commercial Street was initially built in 1925 and was restored in 2005. The theatre shows beautiful architectural details on the exterior. There is public access to the interior during paid events and tours, and there is an annual concert commemorating the 4th of July, and other concerts, that are free and open to the public.
Plane Tree Mural – a 2-ton bah relief mosaic of a plane tree — a genus of North American ornamental trees — created by Astoria ceramicist Richard Rowland for the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative Healing Garden at 1905 Exchange Street.
This sculpture and labyrinth is also part of the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative Health & Wellness Park. The labyrinth is planted with colorful plants.
Metal sculptures at OSU Seafood Research and Education Center at 2001 Marine Drive.
Tapiola Park, at 900 West Marine Drive, across from Young’s Bay, has a Mosaic Mural that was done as a children’t art project in 2005.
Although not technically public art, don’t miss seeing the Astoria-Megler Bridge from as many perspectives and angles as you can achieve. It stretches 4.1 miles across the Columbia River between Astoria, Oregon and Point Ellis, Washington. It was completed in 1966 and is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. You can see it from various points along the Riverwalk (and from upper elevations all around Astoria). You can walk or run across it once per year at the Great Columbia Crossing 10K event (a paid entry event).
Portland artist Craig Winslow created Light Capsule No. 4 in 2022 as his first permanent light capsule installation. It uses light projection to show what the old and faded hand-painted advertisements, for businesses that used to reside in this location, originally looked like. This projection can only be seen at night, from sunset to 10 PM. The building address is 254 9th Street; the light projection is on the concrete wall facing north.
The public plaza at the entrance to the Columbia River Maritime Museum is home to impressive maritime artifacts. Location is 1792 Marine Drive.
The Astoria Public Library has several art pieces inside, with free public access during library hours. These include a large hand-carved chess set, large mosaics, and a hand-painted mural in the children’s books section. You might also catch a display of mini-art from one of the many programs offered by the library. These programs are inspiring Astoria’s next generation of artists. Address is 450 10th Street.
While this list does not include Astoria’s painted murals, I wanted to mention the Astoria Aquatic Center’s dramatic wall of murals in the swimming area. Not technically public access because the art is inside, and there is an admission charge to swim, but definitely worth seeing. 1997 Marine Drive.