Two Alki notes: New Beacon online; Liberty Plaza progress

NEW BEACON ONLINE: Editor Cami MacNamara has just posted the latest edition of the Alki Community Council-published semimonthly newspaper Alki News Beacon; you can get it here. We contribute to the News-Beacon sometimes and wrote up the beach-fire-controversy flareup for this edition. The ACC’s next meeting, by the way, is a week from tonight — 7 pm July 17, Alki Community Center. Also from Alki:


ALKI STATUE OF LIBERTY PLAZA PROGRESS: Thanks again to David Hutchinson for that photo and another update on the project, about to start its third day (see our extensive video/photo coverage of its momentous Day 1, plus the past year of what led up to it, archived here). He reports:

Virtually all of the rubble has been hauled away. (Today) begins the construction phase of the project with Patrick Donohue, Parks Department Project Manager, indicating that this would begin with surveying and grading. Then will come the construction of the forms in preparation for the first pouring of cement next week.

4 Replies to "Two Alki notes: New Beacon online; Liberty Plaza progress"

  • Jan Koso July 10, 2008 (8:22 pm)

    I have viewed the plans. Stairs only and the lack of a ramp I believe is a violation of ADA. I think I will explore filing suit to stop the construction until a ramp is added.

  • Kurt Ofsthus July 11, 2008 (7:38 am)

    Jan, I’d be surprised of any ADA regulations have been violated given the ramps available to the lower promenade from the street level all along Alki.

    You make an interesting point about what amenities exist for the public on this project. The lack of seat backs is surprising given the amount of money that was raised and that the fact that the Design Commission recommended them. Here’s a link to the .pdf of the minutes of that meeting. (Statue project starts on Page 21)

    I wonder if the issue with the seat backs for the SSLPP was more about making sure the benches were cast in concrete which would benefit Cast Architecture.

    I’d would like to see what the financial difference would have been to using nice non-cast benches instead of the cast benches and if there would have been enough savings to fund seat backs.


  • David Hutchinson July 11, 2008 (11:16 am)

    The SSLPP has no “issue” with the seat backs. After this additional feature was suggested, they and the designers worked to include backs in the design as well as the use of wood.
    I don’t understand your connection between “cast in concrete” and “Cast” Architecture. If you are implying that CAST Architecture somehow financially benefits from the use of “cast” benches made of concrete you are mistaken. They are simply an architectural design company. See their web site for more information:
    They don’t benefit from the choice of materials.
    Matt Hutchins of CAST Architecture and Chris Ezzell of e WORKSHOP, the original designers of the new plaza, volunteered under Northwest Programs for the Arts on a pro bono basis at the beginning of 2006.
    David Hutchinson

  • matt July 11, 2008 (12:42 pm)

    a couple clarifications:

    When we first started the design back in 2006, we wanted wood benches, but Parks told us ‘No’ based on the additional future maintenance, so that is what we had been showing the public.

    After the comments at design review etc, Parks softened on the issue, and we were able include them, but the original fundraising had been based on the concrete seat walls. We priced out a couple of options, but to do wood seats and backs would be about $40K additional dollars, so Parks again told us to go back to concrete seat walls, despite calls from community and design review, and that SSLPP would be able to fund them.

    We then worked out a compromise position that has wood bench with arm rails, but without a back that simpler, quicker to build, that we could afford within the existing fundraising, and Parks would green light. While not the ideal we’d all like, it is a vast improvement on the concrete seat walls.

    It has been a long process, and we’re excited to have been able to get the wood benches into the project.

    In response to Jan, there is ADA access at other points along the park and is not required here, in addition.

    Finally, CAST Architecture is a not a concrete company. We design houses, mixed-use buildings, and dedicate a portion of our time each year to pro bono community-based projects, such as the Statue of Liberty restoration and plaza and our on going work with the Interbay P-Patch.

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