$5 million Tacoma Dome flower moving forward

The largest Andy Warhol design in the world may soon decorate the top of the Tacoma Dome.

TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma Dome is one step close to getting some famous flower power.

On Tuesday, the city council gave the green light for citizens to start raising money for a giant Andy Warhol-designed flower on the outside of the arena-- first suggested in 1982.

“I think we’re kind of going to be a laughing stock,” said Karen Jeffery, who lives uphill from the Tacoma Dome.  “I don’t know why this focus has come back to it. Because it’s a city building, it’s not somebody’s home; we all have to like it.”

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The idea of the Warhol flower was rejected more than 30 years ago. However, last year local artists planted the seed with the city for the flower's eventual bloom.

Citizens and art groups must now collect more than $5 million to put up the flower, maintain it, and take it down about three years later. No public money will be spent.

“I’m just excited we’re bringing it forward,” said Council Member Marty Campbell.“ [It’ll be] the world’s largest Warhol painting, visible not just by those who drive by, visit our town, fly over our town-- it’ll be on Google Earth.”

The council floated the flower idea last year by laying down a test strip on top of the dome. The colors faded and quickly became dirty.  However, Campbell was not fazed by the findings. He said the money raised will be enough for frequent cleanings, and enough to take down the flower when it begins to look wilted.

At the council meeting, those opposed to the project also wondered why not raise money to improve and modernize the dome. Council members said much of the money for the project will come from art groups. Those groups will not chip in for the other capital improvements people are calling for.

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