Three meetings in less than two weeks, including the Alki Community Council last night, and now we know there won’t be a decision any sooner than fall about whether the Alki Statue of Liberty — removed for recasting exactly one year ago today — will return to its old base, or to a new plaza like this (all architects’ art here):
Both the couple leading a drive to restart the plaza project, Libby & Paul Carr, and the city Parks Department project manager for the statue, Pamela Kliment, are in difficult positions, to say the least. They all spoke at last night’s ACC meeting, but since it was just one item on a busy agenda, there wasn’t a ton of Q/A time. What’s difficult: For the Carrs, the fact they and their volunteer assistants are working hard on something completely unofficial, since the final say lies with the Parks Department; for Parks, the fact they have to be the “reality check” on a volunteer effort that inarguably is full of enthusiasm, vision, inspiration, and hope — Kliment noted that for one, it’s “distressing” that the statue spot is empty, after one full year, and for two, the situation is larger than the statue itself. Which the Carrs likely would not dispute, as they have a larger vision as well — they hope a grand new home for this “Little Sister of Liberty” could spark a nationwide revitalization project for the many other similar statues that have fallen into disrepair in the half-century since the Boy Scouts donated them. So for now, the Carrs and their group — which is not yet officially certified as a nonprofit — will continue their work, including a new logo they debuted last night (shown below; copyrighted by local artist Phil Jones) that they plan to put on fundraising items such as T-shirts and posters; and the Parks Department will look ahead to a public meeting announced last night, 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 13, location TBD (Kliment said she’s hoping for the Bathhouse but it’s got a “temporary hold” for that night).