Parks Department’s site plan for Alki statue’s plaza


Thanks to Parks Department project manager Patrick Donohue for that drawing of the just-finalized city-approved site map for the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, as they prepare to put out bids for construction. (We recently reported the newest developments in both the plaza-construction plan and the Plaza Project committee’s vision for the September celebration – read that report here.) Click the image to see the full-size version; as you’ll see in the legend on that version, the darker area will be brick, the dotted area will be concrete – the top of the drawing is the existing asphalt promenade (north). Just thought those who have been following the project closely would be interested to see this; note that no new color “pictures” are available from the city, according to Donohue — we’ve featured some of them over the months in our Alki Statue of Liberty coverage archive, and the Plaza Project’s site also has some of the original design art).

10 Replies to "Parks Department's site plan for Alki statue's plaza"

  • Michael June 19, 2008 (11:48 am)

    At least its wave-like shape ties in to the beach, even if the overall idea never did. Thank God for small favors.

  • Aim June 19, 2008 (1:36 pm)

    Here comes West Seattle’s newest Skate Park.

  • Bikefor1 June 19, 2008 (5:25 pm)

    A wave or a nautilus. I like the organic shape. I hope they have hand rails for the stairs. They were missing from the last design.

  • Jo June 19, 2008 (5:59 pm)

    Kudos to Parks Dept. Sr Project Manager, Patrick Donohue, for persevering under extremely difficult circumstances to facilitate a safer, simpler plaza for all of us to enjoy. And with his great sense of humor intact (at least as of our telephone conversation this morning.) Good job, Patrick!

    Some remarks on the new design:
    . Love the simple, sleek uncluttered look. The nautilus design now ‘flows’ (as Michael posted above) and is very attractive.
    . Really like that the entire center section will be brick – no longer broken up with sections of concrete.
    . The two sets of stairs are a very classy entrance to the plaza. They eliminate the unsafe, steep ramp of the original design.
    . The ‘walkways-to-nowhere’ have been almost eliminated and now seem to serve a purpose – no longer wide pathways running all the way to the statue.
    . The only jarring, out-of-place element that I noticed is the curved bench off to the right of the pedestal. I understand that the co-chairs of SSLPP ‘told’ Parks that the bench had to remain because it had been pre-sold. So there it sits (alone and unloved?), But the curved design is definitely an improvement over the original weird ‘u-shaped’ bench.
    . Apparently, the pedestal is smaller (not shorter) – no longer the skirt puddling at the bottom, which would have been a tripping hazard.
    . Also, the benches are to be wood (or a wood-like substance) with backs. Nice!
    Thanks to you, Architect Matt Hutchins, on working so hard on this redesign. Hopefully we now have a plaza that we ALL can be proud of. It’s looks very elegant.
    We’re all hoping to see a pretty architectural drawing so we can get an idea of how everything fits together. Anytime soon, Matt?
    Jo Ofsthus

  • Paul Carr June 19, 2008 (8:25 pm)

    Since Libby and I(Co-Chairs of the SSLPP) are actually going to get a small vacation (first one in a couple of years), we thought we should put in a few corrections about the statue project before we leave. Hopefully, when we return, everything about the final design elements will have been finalized and put that information on the website.
    First, as anyone can plainly see from the design Parks gave the West Seattle Blog, just about everything the Design Commission tried to remove from the design the community wanted was returned. In fact, there is more room for bricks in the curve now than the original design. Second, the lighting is not gone–the lantern at the top of the pedestal, just below the statue, is there, and the wiring for it will be in place by the time of the Sept. 6 ceremony. It may not be lit then, but it will be there, and it will be lit, shortly thereafter.
    There are other, smaller errors that were reported by someone who keeps insisting she’s entirely responsible for “making it smaller and simpler”, but it is neither smaller nor simpler. Nothing in dealing with a government agency is ever simple, except sometimes some of the personalities involved.
    As most people who have actually had anything to do with this project know, we have consistently tried to take the high road when it comes to criticism, but some things do get tedious. The same person who keeps up the illusion that she has made anything simpler rushed to this blog in March to report that “the parks department had completely turned down ‘our’ design”. That not only wasn’t true, but she was apparently the only person there that didn’t even know it wasn’t a design meeting.
    This time, she’s making comments about the bench design, and she had nothing to do with that, or anything else that has happened.
    The great thing about a blog is that anyone can say anything, and no one admires or supports freedom of speech more than we do. But with that comes a responsibility to occasionally get somewhere near the facts (unless you work for the Bush administration or Fox News).
    But there is a simple proof, and everyone will get to see it on Sept. 6, as long as the Parks Department does what it said it would do–have the project basically completed by that date. Then, you can all come and judge for yourself.
    Nuff said.

    Paul and Libby Carr, Co-Chairs,
    Seattle Statue of Liberty Committee

  • Jo June 20, 2008 (8:29 am)

    “Nothing in dealing with a government agency is ever simple, except sometimes some of the personalities involved.” The high road, Paul?
    As far as the ‘simpler’ plaza goes, all one needs to do is compare the aerial view of original design (on and the site map above…..Voila!
    It’s going to be a beautiful plaza!

  • Kurt Ofsthus June 20, 2008 (8:42 am)

    I think all the people in the community who put effort in advocating for what they wanted in this design deserve credit for what we see here. This is a very pleasing design. I love the lines that the stairs create and the pedestal appears larger and more substantial which was something I wanted to see.

    This project is a good example of how democracy is a messy business and, in this case, since the SSLPP was not open to further input from the community about altering aspects of their proposed design it took a little more work for the community’s desires to be heard including getting input from the City Design Commission.

    Also, I think it was too bad that the fundraising for this project could not have happened at a slower pace so that more of the money raised would have been from individual donors. As it stands now over half of the raised funds are from businesses so we will be seeing lots of plaques that will basically be advertising.

    I’m sorry that the SSLPP is having a hard time sharing credit for what we see here. Paul, I’m not sure how you could conclude that your fellow citizen, Jo, had nothing to do with a design change (wooden benches) when she took the initiative to speak about it at the City Design Commission in May.

    I think we all should be proud of what we have accomplished.

    Kurt Ofsthus

  • David Hutchinson June 20, 2008 (3:42 pm)


    I agree with you that “we all should be proud of what we have accomplished.”
    As far as your concerns about the fundraising – the City of Seattle set the deadline of January 15th.
    Of the 15 bench plaques only 3 have business/organization names in the inscriptions. None of the 6 landscape plaques have business/organization names in the inscriptions.
    Only approximately 25% of the bricks in the plaza will have any inscriptions at all. Of these 1500 about 35 will have text inscriptions with business names and there will be about 14 bricks with business/organizations logos.
    For an example of the widespread support of the plaza by hundreds of individuals in the West Seattle community please see the maps showing the distribution of donors at:
    Each red dot represents the location of a individual donor who contributed to the success of the plaza project.
    David Hutchinson

  • Ray Anchan June 23, 2008 (4:07 pm)

    Mark & Patrick — Seattle Parks Dept. — thanks to both of you for calling me to inquire about the “time capsule” containing the names of all the Seattle area scouts (and other documents I presume)that was buried in the base of the original statue back in 1952. How do I know this, I was there, dressed proudly in my blue Cub Scout uniform with my bright yellow scarf and all my badges. What a beautiful sunny day it was for the large crowd that turned out on Alki beach that day. I do not know whether the capsule was intended to stay in the statue base for 100 years or even 50 — but thanks to both of you for wanting to restore and save this great symbol of our nation and historic piece of art for the City of Seattle.

    Ray Anchan — long time West Seattle resident.

  • Jo June 23, 2008 (6:23 pm)

    Ray, did you check with the people at Log House Museum, 61st Ave. SW & SW Stevens (one block from statue)?
    The time capsule was opened (at 50 years) and most of the contents were water damaged, however a few things were salvaged. At one time, they were on display at the museum, but if they aren’t now, I’m sure Museum personnel could help you.
    Also, the SSLPP committee is looking for people who were at the original dedication. You can probably contact them by emailing hem through their website on

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