Seattle Scene

Armed and Ready

The Hammering Man outside Seattle Art Museum gets his missing limb back tomorrow morning.

By Laura Dannen April 5, 2010

Hammering Man, arm still intact. Photo by Kaitlin Nunn.

It’s back to business tomorrow morning for the Hammering Man, who’s scheduled to have his arm reattached between 10am and 2pm. Jonathan Borofsky’s popular public art installation— a 48-foot-tall, 22,000-pound man of steel —lost his limb on November 24; after 18 years of toil and oil, the gears finally gave out. Hammering Man had been swinging that sledge four times a minute since his installation in 1992—roughly 22 million strikes over 90,000 hours of work. Call him the hardest working man in Seattle.

After the arm came off, the dual gear cone drive was sent to Michigan, of all places, for repairs. The electric motor and lead counterweight system powering the arm were rebuilt. His arm even got a fresh coast of paint. Now he’s the envy of all the inanimate men in town.

UPDATE: And it only cost $45,000 of the city arts/cultural affairs office’s $170,000 annual maintenance budget, according to news reports.

Check out the refurbished Hammering Man outside Seattle Art Museum.

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