Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza Project: Looking for $80,000 more


Holiday weekend’s winding down, time to get back to the news. We’ve got updates in the works on some ongoing major West Seattle issues/stories, including, right now, the latest on the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza Project. As we reported here last Monday, the approved ’08 city budget includes the $50,000 that city leaders announced for a new pedestal just before the recast statue was placed atop the old one in September. The group raising money in hopes of surrounding that new pedestal with a plaza has just updated its blog (read it here) with the latest on fundraising efforts for the plaza project (last public meeting about it was September 13; here’s our detailed report from that night). In the new blog update, project committee co-chair Paul Carr writes, “… we may need another $80,000 or so, just to be on the safe side”; we e-mailed to see if that meant cost estimates had changed. Paul’s reply to WSB: “The estimate is still the same; as far as we know, the $157,000 is the construction estimate. However, even though no one on our committee is making a dime (no salaries or other labor costs), there still are fund-raising expenses. The Fiscal Sponsor takes a small percentage for being the Fiscal Sponsor and keeping charge of the money, we have printing costs: brochures, etc. Bottom line: If we can raise another $80,000, we estimate we can safely do everything the community wanted.” The Sealady Blog update also mentions a “gala dinner” for the project in the works coming up in late December @ the Alki Duke’s. (If you are just coming in on the statue/plaza story, all our previous coverage is archived here.)

18 Replies to "Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza Project: Looking for $80,000 more"

  • RS November 25, 2007 (9:42 pm)

    $157,000 for a pedestal?!? Is the statue going to be balanced on a couple of BMWs?

  • J November 25, 2007 (10:18 pm)

    I gave $2k ($1k, matched through work) and was going to get a whole bunch of bricks, but the landscape marker sounds interesting. I hope they can get the rest of the money raised.

  • Cy November 25, 2007 (10:59 pm)

    Is this really worth it? It’s not exactly a unique to Seattle, or the NW, piece of art.

  • David Hutchinson November 26, 2007 (12:16 am)

    There still seems to be some confusion about the financial details involved in the new pedestal and plaza project for the Alki Statue of Liberty and what that amount of money will actually be spent on. At the 9/13 Parks Department sponsored community meeting at the Alki Bathhouse, the architects provided very detailed information concerning the cost of this project. The estimated cost is $124,458.08. To this is added a contingency cost of 15% or $18,668.71, plus an 8.8% sales tax of $12,595.16, plus $500 for design, engineering & permit fees. This brings the total project cost to $156,221.95. The Parks Department representative at the meeting stated that the city had studied these figures and found that they were accurate. The vote held at the end of this meeting (the famous “dots” on the “Sticky Wall”) showed continued support for the new plaza (1 green dot for a new pedestal only, and 34 green dots for a new pedestal and plaza – no red dots to signify a no vote).

    The “project” is not just a very expensive base or pedestal for the new statue, but a new vandal resistant pedestal and surrounding plaza with new benches and plantings. This is what was decided during a number of community meetings in 2006 under the sponsorship of the Northwest Program for the Arts. That organization sold between 350-400 inscribed bricks between 2003 and 2007 to be laid in the new plaza around the new pedestal. This paid for the casting of the new statue in bronze and NPA states they have $10,500 left to apply to the remaining construction costs.

    $156,221.95 minus the $50,000 recently approved by the City of Seattle, minus the $10,500 from NPA, leaves $95,721.95 as a starting figure to be raised by the new Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Project. That group’s fiscal sponsor, Urban Sparks, takes a small percentage for their services and obviously there are additional costs in raising the money (printing, brochures, etc.).

    David Hutchinson

  • k November 26, 2007 (8:07 am)

    i agree with cy. seems like that money could be used elsewhere.

  • AlkI Res. November 26, 2007 (8:50 am)

    oh brother… leave it alone, it looks fine!

  • coffee geek November 26, 2007 (9:30 am)

    156K??!! This project is obscene.

  • Rick November 26, 2007 (11:13 am)

    It’s not so obscene if your the “administrator” or “facillitator” or whatever. C’mon,people,ya got to get a little something fer yer time,right?Oh,yeah, I’m lookin’ fer a little work myself.

  • Dis November 26, 2007 (1:47 pm)

    OUCH! skateboarders will be happy to have a park for 157,000. And re: Rick, what is the administrative fee, do you know?

  • MargL November 26, 2007 (2:46 pm)

    Heh – every time this subject comes up the same complaints are voiced. Rather than repeating we should cross-post links to the previous comments :-)

  • Goody November 26, 2007 (11:45 pm)

    So, exactly what has the new committee raised? What are they asking the Park Dept. for? How much has been raised since the ruckus started? This is still very, very expensive.

  • Jo November 27, 2007 (8:45 am)

    K & Cy:
    Yes, it this money could be used for a better purpose elsewhere.
    Like for two new police officers.

  • Goody November 27, 2007 (12:42 pm)

    Two new officers, now that is a novel and community idea that we all can get behind. It would not have as much controversy, not to mention the vituperous and virtuous remarks generated by this debacle. So much for community spirit.
    I love the statue as is and could have appreciated the new plaza in a scaled down version. That money would only cover the officers for a year but it would certainly take a bite out of the crime, vandalism and voyueristic activities that appear to be escalating. I vote for officers.
    I know we are talking oranges and apples here but the reason the comments are repeated is because this whole thing has been a mess all the way around.
    Can it be healed? Who knows?

  • Jan November 27, 2007 (8:00 pm)

    well, I certainly hope that they have set a deadline to raise the funds that they want, and that it doesn’t remain a fundraiser forever. At some point they WILL have to scale down and work with what they have. That should be sooner than later…IMHO

  • David Hutchinson November 27, 2007 (11:50 pm)

    Deadline is the end of this year:

    “Since we wish to be on the Spring construction schedule with the Seattle Parks Department (so everything is completed by Summer, 2008), we have to have the balance of the funds in so we can go out to bid in early 2008.”

    The above quote is from the website.

    I would also like to mention that most of the money for this project has been and will be raised by private donations. Northwest Program for the Arts raised its money from a couple of grants ($15,000 from Starbucks and $15,000 from the Parks Dept.) and the sale of almost 400 bricks for the new plaza to individuals. This was used to pay for the recasting of the statue with the remainder going to the construction of the new plaza. The money being raised by the Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Project is also being privately raised through the sale of bricks and benches, etc. None of these private contributions would be available to hire any police officers.

    The city’s contribution so far is the original $15,000 plus $50,000 in the 2008 Parks Department budget. This is out of a Park budget of $124.9 million dollars which includes $462,000 for the Park Ranger program, $25,000 for Freeway Park Shuffleboard, $192,000 for Hat & Boots-Oxbow Park Improvements, $200,000 for Mount Baker Ridge Viewpoint, and $365,000 for Skate Park Plan Implementation. For more details see:

    The remainder of the money collected for this project has been from individuals or corporations that support the completion of the project as developed by NPA.

    I am sure that if the SSLPP is unable to raise the full amount by the end of the year a compromise plan can be developed using the available funds. I feel that they deserve the thanks of the Alki Community for persevering in their effort to complete a valuable improvement to the Alki neighborhood.

  • Goody December 2, 2007 (6:39 am)

    “I feel that they deserve the thanks of the Alki Community for persevering in their effort to complete a valuable improvement to the Alki neighborhood. ” David Hutchinson

    Ok, it is obvious from comments above, not everyone agrees with you. Thanks for YOUR point of view. I and many others so do not agree with you.

  • Jo December 2, 2007 (9:53 am)

    From David Hutchinson: “None of these private contributions would be available to hire any police officers.”
    David, we all know that. I was making the point that there are better places for $180,000 (?) to go, that would benefit a greater section of people in the community.
    How much money has this SSLPP committee ACTUALLY raised, cash in hand, to date? No speculation. No ‘in the works.’ ACTUAL funds in hand?
    From David: “I am sure that if the SSLPP is unable to raise the full amount by the end of the year a compromise plan can be developed using the available funds.”
    Do you know this for a fact?

  • David Hutchinson December 3, 2007 (9:01 pm)

    It’s great to have a place for all to openly discuss this issue whether pro or con. From my observations at the well publicized 9/13 meeting at the Alki Bathhouse, I am led to the conclusion that the “many others” who are against this project are distinctly in the minority in the context of the whole community; hence the 34 to 0 vote in favor of the project at the end of that meeting. This, despite the constant urging on this blog of the “no plaza” group for those in opposition to show up and express their viewpoint.

    As far as the use of the money on this project, there will always be differences on the allocation of funds and what is the “best” use. Consider again the Parks Department budget – are you in favor of spending $25,000 for shuffleboard at Freeway Park? What about $365,000 for the Skate Park Plan Implementation? There are many other examples and we all have different priorities and personal preferences.

    Concerning a compromise solution based on funds raised, I am simply stating what I have been told by the principle players in this little drama: a phone call to Allied Arts, the fiscal sponsor of Northwest Program for the Arts; a phone call to Holly Santos of NPA about the 2 bricks my wife and I purchased from them in 2005; an exchange of emails with Pam Kliment of the Parks Department; personal conversations with Paul & Libby Carr of the Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Project. All assured me that a plaza would be constructed, with its complexity to be determined by the amount of money raised. Does that make it a fact? Obviously only time will tell. All of these sources are available to anyone who reads this blog and it would be much more useful to become informed on the actual status and details of this issue rather than to promote idle speculation. While we all have the right to express them, points of view are only as valuable as the time and effort you put into arriving at them.

    In my last comment on 11/27 I used the word “persevering” for a very good reason. The Carrs have been personally vilified and their honesty and motives questioned by a number of comments on this blog and in other sources. Thanks to their bringing the question of the statue back before the public, and through their discussions with City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen , the statue was returned to its home on Alki. This was despite their being accused of “holding it hostage” in Tacoma. They and their group are now engaged in the difficult effort to complete the fundraising necessary to construct the plaza portion of this project; a project that was the result of compromises reached at a number of open community meetings held during the past 2 years. Where were those of you who object to the new plaza in the many months before this issue was raised in the media by the Carrs? Where were any of us? Did we contact the city council, NPA, or Allied Arts to ask questions or attempt to apply some pressure to bring the statue back?

    Yes, it is MY opinion that the Carrs and the SSLPP deserve the community’s thanks.

Sorry, comment time is over.