Sculptor Richard Beyer, creator of downtown Issaquah art, dies
April 13, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 8 a.m. April 13, 2012
Richard Beyer, creator of downtown Issaquah’s most recognizable sculpture, died Monday — almost 11 years after a unveiling a life-size piece depicting late City Clerk Linda Ruehle across from City Hall.
Beyer, also known for creating the whimsical “Waiting for the Interurban” sculpture in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, died at age 86 in New York City. The sculptor suffered a stroke March 27 and never regained consciousness.
Bystanders sometimes outfit the Ruehle sculpture and the Fremont piece in clothing and accessories meant to reflect the season or holidays. (The downtown sculpture donned a Salmon Days Festival T-shirt, a golf cap and a bouquet of flowers after the 2001 debut.)
The piece depicts Ruehle, ledger in hand, seated atop a bench fashioned from city code books.
Ruehle died in August 2005 at age 63. Before she retired in June 2001, she served as city clerk for 27 years.
Beyer’s pieces dot the landscape in Seattle, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Yakima and other Evergreen State cities. The sculptor added wry details to the pieces — a dog depicted in “Waiting for the Interurban,” for instance, bears the face of a man opposed to installing the sculpture in Fremont.
Beyer settled in Seattle in 1957 and later established a foundry in Fremont. In 1988, he relocated from Seattle to Pateros and established a foundry in the Okanogan County hamlet.