New status report from Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza Project

statueforicon1.jpgIn comments last week on this post, the Seattle (Alki) Statue of Liberty Plaza Project organizers promised they would give the WSB community an updated $ accounting shortly. This afternoon, they posted it in that same comment thread, which is long gone from the home page, so we are reposting here to make sure everyone interested can see it:

Dear WS Blog:

I am sure many of you have been waiting for a financial update on how we are doing at this point in time with the fundraising efforts for the Statue of Liberty Plaza project. I was waiting for the most recent figures, so here it is:

As of Wednesday, December 12th:

$13,500 – Funds raised thru Urban Sparks (Net)
$50,000 – Grant from City of Seattle
$10,500 – Prior fundraising balance

$74,000 – Total
+17,000 – Pledges currently identified

More funds are continuing to be identified and pledged, so the rest of the money is in process and we could Use Your Help to Make It Happen!

Note: Expenses now accounted for include total $3,673.26 at this point in time. A 7% fee is charged by the fiscal sponsor, printing is already done for all promotional material (10,000 brochures, 5,000 inserts, 144 t-shirts), website expenses, postage & office supplies. No money has been expended for the volunteer time of the Carrs, or their committee members.

We think we are doing very well here and are optimistic that we will be successful in raising the rest of the money to build this design in 2008.

We have been in contact with the Mayor’s office and we are in agreement that we will build as much of this design as we have the money for, so yes, it is very important that we finish raising all the money needed to build this design. We would even like to have a bit left over, just in case for any further contingencies such as adding some backs to some of the benches, a suggestion that came from the Sept. 13th meeting. Also, the existing families with benches at the site now are being offered the option of having one of the new benches in the new design at no charge.

We are now also focusing on names for the Major Donor Plaque for the pedestal ($15,000+), Benches ($5,000) and a new category of Landscape Plaques ($2,000).

In general, we are ramping up fundraising efforts with special Brick promotions (see website more print and live media exposure, more internet and blog exposure, a fundraising event at Duke’s on Dec. 27, and just lots more phone calls in general to Statue supporters. We have agreed with staff in the Mayor’s office to wrap up fundraising efforts by January 15, 2008.

So, if you are one of the people whose been planning on buying a brick “one of these days,” that day has arrived! If you want to give a truly memorable gift this Holiday Season, there is probably no present that will last longer.

We know this community has the capacity to finish this project just as we have envisioned it now for 3+ years. Now is the time to step up and demonstrate what we can really accomplish together, and finish this project for generations of people to come.

Thanks, in advance, for your help!

Paul & Libby Carr, Co-Chairs of the SSLPP

The last official public meeting on the project was September 13 (our detailed report here), two days after the recast statue was returned to the existing pedestal at Alki on September 11 (WSB coverage, with video, here). All of our Alki Statue of Liberty coverage including those reports and this one is archived here.

18 Replies to "New status report from Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza Project"

  • Jo December 13, 2007 (7:19 pm)

    Thanks for the financials, Libby.
    Can you explain what “+17,000 – Pledges currently identified” is? I’m not familiar with the term.


  • Jan December 14, 2007 (12:49 am)

    Jo…I took that to mean that they have current firm pledges of money from known people, that they expect to be fulfilled. Am I not reading that right? Is that why you’re questioning it?

  • me December 14, 2007 (3:27 am)

    Some of us who gave through a company matching program won’t have the funds donated through them until Jan 1st. I’m guessing my $ falls into that $17k bucket.

  • Jo December 14, 2007 (6:39 am)

    I’m not questioning the validity of the term ‘pledges currently identified,’ or the amount. Just saying that I’d never heard the term used.
    There are ‘pledges,’ where people say, I’m sending in a check or $x amount. A very low percentage of those funds are actually realized as every fund-raising organization knows.
    Are these ‘pledges currently identified’ matching funds just not received yet, but firm and on the way?

  • Libby Carr December 14, 2007 (7:46 am)

    Jo – Just to let you know, both Jan and “me” are correct in their input and interpretation of what I meant by “pledges currently identified.” In the meantime, I would love it if you wanted to actually help raise some money! Please give me a call at 206-938-8721 and put in some time passing out the remaining literature, selling bricks, calling major donors, etc. etc.

    In case people don’t know, we just announced a Christmas Brick promotion where if you buy (or sell to others) 2 bricks, we will give you the 3rd one FREE! Now, there’s a great deal. There are lots of constructive things to be doing at this point; please visit

    Also, for as long as the remaining brochures and inserts last, we are asking for volunteers to pass out the remaining literature. We had a Cub Scout/Boy Scout mom drop by yesterday since her Scout kids and their friends are showing up to help with this important task. They saw this as a wonderful opportunity to both contribute to making the new plaza a reality, and earn a Christmas Brick. We really appreciate that kind of help! Thanks. Libby

  • Jo December 14, 2007 (9:30 am)

    Libby, thanks for the explanation.
    And the reason I’m not taking you up on your offer to help raise money for the pedestal/plaza/plantings/et al is because I and most of the people I talk with on a daily basis prefer to:
    •keep the statue on her existing base (updated and/or modified),
    •install sold engraved bricks, and
    •add benches with backs (not concrete).

  • wondering December 14, 2007 (9:43 am)

    Jo, it seems like you might be a bit of a buzz-kill on this project.
    It is the holiday season and the committee is really working hard to raise a bit more money to add to the other funding and this thing will finally be completed. The city has already committed to a new pedestal and the installation of the bricks……

  • s December 14, 2007 (12:05 pm)

    A miniature statue of liberty strikes me as kitschy. How about a mini Eiffel tower and a neon cowgirl alongside it?!

  • RS December 14, 2007 (12:31 pm)

    I agree, S. In the 6 months I’ve lived here I’ve had 9 people visit me from out of state. I’ve taken each of them down to Alki. To a person they all laughed at or commented on how weird the statue was. Maybe that’s the charm?

  • Libby Carr December 14, 2007 (1:23 pm)

    Hi s and RS –

    I agree that unless one knew the history of how these “Little Sister of Liberty” got their start, our statue at Alki Beach may very well seem out of place and “unusual,” to say the least.

    It all begins to make sense when you learn the historical background of these replica statues and the context from which they arose. I would invite you to read up on the rich history that is behind the 200 replica statues that were placed in 39 states and 4 American territories in the early 1950s by the Boy Scouts as they celebrated their 40th Anniversary. If you want to read up on it, please scroll down to near the bottom of our website: or click on this link to read about this interesting history and see photos of the other 100 statues that area still standing somewhere in the US:

    There are articles referenced you can read that will fill you in on the rich history of this story. I believe the man who started this campaign, Jack Whitaker, a Kansas City businessman and active Scout volunteer, had, as a boy growing up in New York City, contributed his pennies, like many NYC children, during the 11 year campaign it took to raise the money and build the base for the original gift from France.

    Another really wonderful source of information on the story of how the Statue of Liberty came to be, I would recommend the documentary by Ken Burns “The Statue of Liberty,” available on video tape or as a DVD.

    I have learned a lot from these two sources and I have come to appreciate the many analogies between that statue in NY Harbor and our’s here at Alki Beach. It was fun to see Burns’ documentary and see how much more ahead we are compared to the 11 years of stuggle and controversy it took New Yorkers to build their base and home for their Statue of Liberty. Interesting. Thanks – Libby Carr

  • Jo December 14, 2007 (2:55 pm)

    Libby said: “…see how much more ahead we are compared to the 11 years of stuggle and controversy it took New Yorkers to build their base and home for their Statue of Liberty.”
    ???????????? Like comparing blue whales and ants.

  • Jan December 14, 2007 (5:32 pm)

    Jo…I realize you don’t like what the Carrs are doing…but…gee, not ever a good thing to say? Lighten up on them a little :)

  • Jo December 14, 2007 (6:43 pm)

    I said: “Like comparing blue whales and ants.”
    I was a little quick with my Post Your Comment finger.
    What I should have said was ‘like comparing blue whales and guppies.’

  • Jo December 14, 2007 (9:30 pm)

    Jan, your post wasn’t showing when I corrected my post at
    It’s not that I don’t like what the Carr’s are doing (the fundraising) … I don’t like the project.

  • David Hutchinson December 15, 2007 (1:47 am)

    For those interested in a little historical perspective:

    Time Magazine
    Monday, Apr. 24, 1950
    Reasonable Facsimile


    There is probably no more efficient fund-raising device in the U.S. than a clear-eyed, neatly uniformed Boy Scout who is patriotically seeking adult help in doing his daily good turn. Last week, as a result of a campaign by hundreds of Scouts, hollow, eight-foot copper reproductions of the Statue of Liberty— guaranteed to turn green like the original, except along their soldered joints—were sprouting in the nation’s parks.

    The statues, which are calculated to “strengthen the arm of liberty” are the brain children of a wealthy and civic-minded Kansas City manufacturer named Jack P. Whitaker. He was first struck with the idea when a patriotic citizen of Spirit Lake, Iowa (pop. 2,161) put up a Statue of Liberty constructed of concrete and chicken wire. It wasn’t much of a job, but 3,500 people attended the dedication.

    Whitaker got Friedley, Voshardt Co., a Chicago manufacturer of ornamental metal ceilings, to turn out a copy made of 42 soldered copper sections. The firm agreed to sell the copies for $300 apiece, and, at Whitaker’s suggestion, Boy Scouts the country over enthusiastically began collecting funds, buying statues and putting them up. Sixty-four statues were already gleaming in the sun by the time the National Sculpture Society began emitting bleats of distress last week.

    “The statues are cheaply executed and inadequate,” the society complained in a statement aimed at “arresting further use of these bad imitations of the great piece of sculpture which is our symbol of freedom.” Pointing out that even the proportions of the statue were wrong, it added: “The [society] feels that the Boy Scouts of America are being falsely led to believe that they are performing a great service to the nation . , .”

    Whitaker was not intimidated. “Those sculptors have a racket and they’re just sore because they weren’t in on the original modeling,” he said. “Why, those fellows want $35,000 for an authentic replica; we got our original model for $3,500. See the difference? . . . We’re going right ahead with this thing.”

    The Boy Scouts seemed to agree. So did the ornamental metal ceiling firm—it had orders for 100 more statues.
    Another excellent article is on the nationwide effort to restore these “Little Sisters of Liberty”. It can be found at:

  • Jan December 15, 2007 (4:02 pm)

    thanks, David…interesting reading…:)

  • WSB December 16, 2007 (10:29 am)

    Just fyi to one thing Goody wrote – nothing “disappears” from WSB even though it’s off the home page. Every post related to the Statue of Liberty is archived in the Alki Statue of Liberty category (scroll down the right side of any page — or from where this comment now sits, scroll up, to the “WSB Categories” list – click on that category and all related posts are there, newest to oldest, each with their comments attached).

  • Libby Carr December 22, 2007 (9:29 pm)

    Hello WS Blog: I was asked by the Alki Beach Community Yahoo group to give an update on our progress thus far, so I thought I would send it to the WSB as well. All the best to everyone for a wonderful Christmas. Libby & Paul Carr

    I’ll give the community a more exact figure in the next few days
    (before our fundraiser at Duke’s on Thurs. 12/27), but we have now
    raised about $100,000, approximately, and we are shooting for at
    least $60,000 more by Jan. 15th. Our expenses to date are now about
    $4100. The Carrs, our committee, the design team and Phil Jones, the
    logo artist, have all volunteered our time and talents. Two weeks
    ago, we just retained the part-time services (and half pro bono also)
    of a public relations person who has been helping us get the word out
    in the media and is also helping us call people to ask for $$$.

    The Christmas Brick idea is VERY popular (buy 2 – or sell 2 and get a
    3rd brick FREE), and we wish we had thought of it right after
    Thanksgiving. But we didn’t, so we are learning a lot from this
    experience! The design team says there is room for 6,000 bricks in
    this beautiful design and we haven’t sold even a 1000 bricks yet, so
    there is Plenty of Room left for brick purchases.

    Please go to our website: and order your
    Christmas/Holiday Brick, for a great gift idea. Also we now have 7
    benches left to sell (half are gone, including 3 that are being
    gifted to the 3 families who currently have benches at the site). We
    want very much to have all other naming opportunities be purchased
    either by companies, organizations or individuals. These options
    include the remaining benches ($5000); landscape plaques – 4 left –
    ($2000); and there is still plenty of room on the major donor plaque,
    placed on the front of the Statue, for $15,000+.

    Please call us, or send emails, ( or to participate in this project. We will end the
    fundraising at midnight on Jan. 15th as per our agreement with the
    Mayor’s office. The reason for this is so this project can move to
    the construction phase and get completed before Summer of 2008. But,
    in the meantime, we will be hard-charging up until that deadline to
    make sure we have as much as we need (and, yes, hopefully a bit more
    for any other contingencies, bench backs, a nice celebration event
    for the completed project, maintenance fund, etc.)to build this plaza
    since the community has envisioned it and participated in its design
    over the last 3+ years. Click on “View Design Plans” on to see drawings.

    Again, call with your quesitons or concerns. We cannot tell you how
    much we appreciate people contacting us to contribute time, as well
    as money, and your sentiments that you are glad to see this jewel of
    a place finally have a “spiffed up” new home for Lady Liberty!

    PS – We still need volunteers to pass out the remaining literature,
    (3 hours = 1 brick). Also, we are now taking names for the waiting
    list for those who would like to go to the Fundraiser at Duke’s on
    Thurs. Dec. 27th at 6:00 – 8:00 PM. We are confirming reservations
    now since space is tight, but will probably be able to fit in a few
    more people, so give me a call, especially if you can either
    contribute or help with the fundraising in some way.

    As I said, we have to raise at least $60,000 in the next 24 days,
    which is quite a challenge! But I believe we can do this, as do many
    others who love this very special place and this most healing of
    American symbols.

    Thanks – Libby Carr, Co-Chair, Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza
    Project, 206-938-8721,;

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