Liberty sooner, or Liberty later?

nwartsstatuephoto.jpgTomorrow (Wednesday) night, at the height of the heat, you can multitask by cooling off at Alki and joining in a meeting outside the Bathhouse, to help determine the future of the statue that might otherwise soon earn a nickname like “Liberty in Limbo.” Seems the replacement for the old one (Northwest Programs for the Arts photo at left) is done but fundraising for the “plaza” to surround the new one is not, so a community meeting is being called to discuss, among other things, whether to just install the new one and be done with it sooner, or carry on with the “plaza” project and see the installment happen later. Read the meeting organizers’ explanation, in their own words, after the click:

From organizers Paul & Libby Carr:

The Alki and West Seattle Community is at an important crossroads as we get ready to bring the newly recast Statue of Liberty back to her home on Alki Beach.

We have to make final strategic decisions between two choices:

New Plaza with a Higher Pedestal: If we decide to continue with the plans approved last year with input after several community meetings with architects Matt Hutchins and Chris Ezzell, we now need to form a new committee (the Seattle Statue of Liberty Committee—Phase II) and do the necessary fundraising to finish the Statue base and surrounding plaza. This design clearly incorporates all the bricks (engraved pavers) sold earlier and has plenty of room for more. It is also specifically designed to make the statue less exposed to vandalism.

Using the old pedestal. Certain individuals on staff at the Parks Department would prefer that the new Plaza not be built because they just want to finish the project as quickly as possible. Because of various project delays caused by periods of inactivity by NPA and, ironically, additional ground engineering concerns expressed by the Parks Department, the City’s Park staff now feels badly the statue has not yet been replaced. Their solution for this delay is to place the newly cast statue onto the old pedestal, which may or may not include the brick pavers, and call it a day.

These are the two basic choices we will be discussing on Wednesday night. In addition, Libby and Paul will outline fundraising plans being considered so people can get a feel for what types of activities may come into play for raising the necessary funds to do the new plaza quickly.

Please bring your lawn chairs, blankets, picnic dinners and/or non-alcoholic beverages as we have this meeting Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM at the Statue site on Alki Beach, west of the Bathhouse. If you care about the Statue and what this wonderful space will look like years into the future, you need to be there Wednesday, July 11, at 7:00 PM. See you then. We want to hear your voice.

Thanks. Libby and Paul Carr, Seattle Statue of Liberty Committee—Phase II.

The architect plans mentioned above can be found here.

7 Replies to "Liberty sooner, or Liberty later?"

  • maruta July 10, 2007 (4:52 pm)

    Lets do it right, and go for the new plaza and statue restoration.

    The new design creates a plaza the statue deserves (not the existing patched up asphalt pad), and will be somewhere people will actually want to hang out.

    The design will also minimize the threat of vandalism, which has plagued the statue.

    Even if it means waiting a little longer, it will be better that some quick fix that isn’t going to give the statue a dignified setting nor is it going to address the community’s concerns about the vandalism.

  • Clay Eals July 10, 2007 (4:59 pm)

    Unfortunately, vandalism of the Statue of Liberty replica on Alki Beach is not a new problem, but there finally appears to be a bona fide solution in the design for a new plaza. This design would restore the replica to its proper glory and make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for casual, passer-by vandals to inflict the damage we have seen periodically over the decades. Simply replacing the replica on its old base would be an expedient step toward short-term gain but inevitable long-term pain. The new design is respectful, practical and visionary and should be given every chance to succeed.

    Clay Eals
    1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
    Seattle, WA 98116-1958

    (206) 935-7515 (home)
    (206) 484-8008 (cell)

  • huindekmi July 10, 2007 (6:39 pm)

    Exactly how will the new plaza prevent vandalism of the statue? Will she be wrapped in razor wire? Encased in Plexiglas? Protected by an alligator filled moat? Registered as a strip club, thereby requiring 24-7 police surveillance?
    Where there’s a will, there’s a way. If someone wants to vandalize the statue (e.g. stealing the torch for the 972nd time), they will. A new plaza touting to prevent vandalism is just a dare.

  • Jan July 10, 2007 (10:43 pm)

    actually, I like the razor wire idea …hehehe

  • matt July 11, 2007 (11:59 am)

    Currently you can climb onto the planter and climb up the pedestal. The top of the pedestal is big enough that you can even stand up there (then yank off the arm if you are so inclined).

    The new pedestal doesn’t have the planter around the base, is a little bit taller, and has a smaller top so you can’t stand on top of it. So if you want to get to the torch, you’ll need a 10 ft ladder (not something the average vandal carries around).

    Plus, since the new statue is cast out of bronze, not paper thin copper, it will be much, much harder to disfigure.

    The other aspect to the design is that it incorporates lighting, so the statue doesn’t disappear in a pool of darkness everynight. Hopefully the Parks department doesn’t cut this out of the plaza!

  • Marge C July 13, 2007 (10:12 am)

    I agree with the sensible and eloquent comments made by Clay Eals above – also with those by Matt.
    The architects have come up with a good plan.
    There is no useful point to putting her back the way she was – the vandals would soon be back and we’ll end up doing this all over again and again.

  • Barbara Wuerth (Richey) July 13, 2007 (11:28 am)

    Let’s keep the lady where she has always been. Any solution will be unfortunately prone to vandalism but many people climb the pedistal not to damage the statue but to be closer. I would bet my old West Seattle Bridge rivets that there are pictures of the statue scattered all over planet earth. Tourist love it!

    Lets keep apart of Alki’s history where it belongs.

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