More details on time-capsule event at Statue of Liberty Plaza

(Photo by David Hutchinson)
One night after the news that September 19th is set as the date for an event commemorating a new time capsule and plaque at the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza – we have more details from Libby Carr, whose committee raised money to make the plaza dream a reality almost exactly one year ago, and is now officially disbanding:

We are now making the final arrangements for the Time Capsule Celebration at the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza which is now set for Saturday, Sept. 19th at 2:00 PM at Alki’s Statue of Liberty Plaza, 61st & Alki Ave SW. We are hoping that all of Alki and West Seattle can attend. (Also, please send us an e-mail [] if you’d like to be on the Sealady Newsletter e-mail list, which will continue to be sent out periodically).

Special Guest is Astronaut Gregory C. Johnson: We are excited to have (West Seattle High School alumnus) Greg Johnson to help us celebrate the placing of the new 50 year Time Capsule and also celebrate 852 more inscribed bricks and 8 (still 7 left) new Tribute Plaques laid as Phase II. … The WSHS Foundation, SSLPP and the Museum of Flight worked together with NASA to make the arrangements for his trip so he could speak to our various groups.

We have also been working with the Mayor’s Office and the City Council who will issue a joint proclamation to have September 19th proclaimed as Gregory C. Johnson Day. Tim Ceis, Deputy Mayor, will present Greg with this honor.

We are now “passing the torch” to the Alki Community Council as the new community organization that will continue to keep a watchful community eye on the plaza and to be the official organization to raise funds in the future for the plaza.

Leading this effort (to finish the new plaza at Alki) has been a very interesting experience for Paul and me over the last 2 years. Even though, especially in the early days, it was not always smooth sailing, we just knew it was the right thing to do and that the majority of people in West Seattle wanted to see this special place renovated, improved and finished.

We are pleased we could be a part of this process. Thank you.

Libby & Paul Carr, Co-Chairs – Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Project

The plaza was dedicated on September 6, 2008 (WSB coverage here); one year earlier, on September 11, 2007, the recast Statue of Liberty was returned to its old pre-plaza pedestal (WSB coverage here). Also a reminder – in addition to this event, astronaut Greg Johnson – who piloted Atlantis earlier this year – will appear at the Museum of Flight on Sept. 23 (here’s our story from last week).

13 Replies to "More details on time-capsule event at Statue of Liberty Plaza"

  • JanS September 3, 2009 (11:09 pm)

    lovely shot of the plaza and statue. I remember the brouhaha over doing this, over the Carr’s running the program to raise funds, the people who were against it, who didn’t want the change. And now I look at the beautiful plaza, and the improvement over what was there, and I wonder if the nay-sayers have used it, if they like it, or are sorry to see it there.

    Thanks, Libby and Paul..good job ! :)

  • Ann September 4, 2009 (8:16 am)

    The Carrs and many more in WS have done an admirable job navigating the project through all sorts of weather to this point. And we all have beautiful new plaza to use and appreciate! Thanks for all of your hard work and perseverance – it’s a wonderful update for Alki and West Seattle.

  • Jo September 4, 2009 (10:15 am)

    In response to JanS.
    Guess I’m one of those ‘nay-sayers’ you referred to. It wasn’t so much we (Bring Liberty Home Now group) didn’t want change. We were more against the ‘my way, or no way’ attitude of the plaza fundraising organizers, the SSLPP, and the original architects. It started with ‘no way can (will) we put the paid-for, recast statue back up on the old pedestal until the new plaza is built.’ It was okay by them that we would have to continue to look at the ugly, plywood boxes for another 1+ years. Our lobbying to various city officials and the community-at-large was instrumental in bringing about the return of the statue to the existing base.
    Even though Bring Liberty Home Now was officially disbanded (as we were successful), our role changed. We continued to talk with people while out walking and gathered features our community really wanted in their plaza. So, we continued to attend planning meetings. The Parks Dept. was very responsive in keeping us informed as to what was going on with the re-design of the plaza.
    What you see now, is NOT what was originally designed. The changes (a collaboration of Parks Dept, original architects, etc.) are what makes a beautiful, safe plaza.
    I don’t use it much, even though I live just a block from the plaza. I sometimes still have a negative reaction to the whole thing, mainly because of the politics, and the vicious name-calling that went on. I’m working on my negativity, folks.
    However, I’m very proud of the role we played in the whole process. We didn’t give up, we kept our integrity, and what you see now are elements of what the community talked to me about and what they REALLY wanted.
    I tried to be brief in response to your post, but…hope this somewhat answers any questions or mis-information you might have.
    Jo Ofsthus

  • JanS September 4, 2009 (1:08 pm)

    Jo..deep breaths while working on that negativity :)

    Compromise is sometimes a very good thing. There are many times when an original idea that doesn’t quite work turns out very well if there is compromise…and it looks like it has in this case. I don’t live on Alki now, did about 10 years ago, but I love visiting and this plaza makes it even more enjoyable. I hated what was happening to the old statue by the miscreants in our society.

    Thanks for keeping an open mind :)

  • AceMotel September 4, 2009 (6:42 pm)

    Many logical fallacies in first poster’s comment. People admiring the sublime glory of the Blue Mosque do not endorse the carnage of the Ottoman Empire; the violent bloodshed of Christianity’s history does not diminish the architectural beauty of the Vatican.

    There is a nice project at Alki on prime waterfront property, which contributes significantly to its success. The plaza design and construction is a collaboration of the designer and the city. It’s not a monument to Paul and Libby Carr!

    The people who should be thanked are those who contributed money to make the project possible, the city for protecting and preserving the beautiful waterfront park, and the designer. (sorry, I do not remember his name.) IMO, whoever built the lovely wooden benches deserves a shout out. His/her handiwork and carpentry is exquisite!

    and BTW NO, I am obviously NOT equating anyone with anything, or anything with anything else, in the first statement. Obviously, the Blue Mosque is not the Liberty Plaza. I am pointing out the logical fallacy of the proposition that if someone enjoys the beauty of something, he/she therefore endorses the business practices / culture / of the organizer. Like the old Baltic saying goes: Not necessary to embrace thorn when smelling rose.

  • Jo September 4, 2009 (7:56 pm)

    Acemotel: In regard to the benches, I believe that Patrick Donohue, Parks Dept. Project Mgr, suggested the type of wood to be used in the benches. And, I’ve got brain space-out right now and can’t remember his name, but the person who actually built the benches is a Parks Dept. carpenter. Those benches are beautiful.
    Can someone come up with his name for us?
    And, AceMotel, everything you said above, is soooooo right on.

  • miws September 4, 2009 (8:41 pm)

    As a West Seattlite from birth nearly 51 years ago, except for a 4.5 year stint over on the Kitsap Penninsula 40 years ago, I’m one of the cranky ol’ guys, somewhat resistant to change.


    That being said, obviously the original statue had gone way past its prime, due to the toll that time and vandalism took on it. Plus, the recast statue needed to be on a base designed to discourage vandalism.


    I really like how the project turned out. Like the new base, and engraved pavers, and especially like those benches. When I finally made it down to Alki for the first time in a long time, for the Summer Streets Festival back in May(?), I was really struck at how beautiful the benches are! My only hope is that the finish will be able to hold up against the salt air, and normal wear and tear, or can be regularly maintained to do so, if such maintenance is neccesary.


    I’m also glad the choice was made that our Lady would continue to face the water, as she always has. The other two proposals were to face Alki Av, so her frontside would be visible from the street, or some bizarre direction, (to the southeast, or something like that?!?) don’t even remember the “logic” behind that! In my opinion, she should be facing the water, in a symbolic manner, to honor her “Big Sister” on Ellis Island, that welcomes those who have sailed in from faraway places.


    Great job by all involved!



  • David Hutchinson September 4, 2009 (11:09 pm)

    Bailey, Deryl D. — Concrete Crew
    Barnes, Curtis — Conservation Corp Director
    Bartleson, Peggy R. — Survey
    Bentley, Mark S. — Metal Fabrication
    Breakfield, John L. — Concrete Crew
    Brown, James — Conservation Corp Dirt Work
    Bull, Keith D. — Concrete Crew
    Calvert, David M. — Metal Fabrication
    Carey, Ryan P. — Electrician
    Chase, Lowell B. — Painter
    Connaughton, Walter — Carpenter Crew Chief
    Cornel, Garth — Conservation Corp Dirt Work
    Davisburn, Kyle — Conservation Corp Dirt Work
    Dickerson, Kenneth K. — Electrician
    Dierich, Peter D. — Survey
    Donohue, Patrick D. — Project Manager
    Dorn, Scott C. — Carpenter
    Egan, Patrick M. — Carpenter
    Euteneier, Richard A. — Metal Fabrication Crew Chief
    Gracy, William S. — Electrician Crew Chief
    Green, Freedy — Conservation Corp Dirt Work
    Hammerbeck, Rodney K. — Sr. Carpenter
    Hartwich, William J. — Concrete Crew
    Helmold, John Robert — Concrete Crew Chief
    Holmes, Robert — Conservation Corp Dirt Work
    Hoxsey, William C. — Plumber
    Jacky, Lee D. — Survey
    Jewell, Christopher L. — Construction Inspection
    Johnson, Daniel — Capital Project Coordinator
    Knapp, James P. — Metal Fabrication
    Kuhn, Jim — Conservation Corp Dirt Work
    Mays, Junior — Carpenter
    Musgrave, Dan S. — Electrician
    O’Connor, Karen E. — Public Process Coordinator
    Ordona, Danilo E. — Electrician
    Orth, Mark J. — Project Engineer
    Pates, Kevin L. — Electrician
    Rasmussen, Mary E. — Electrician
    Reuer, Keith — Carpenter
    Robinson, Tim — Conservation Corp Supervisor
    Spates, Preston D. — Plumber
    Stone, James A. — Survey
    Tabor, Don — Conservation Corp Supervisor
    Tabor, Jacqueline D. — Project Assistant
    Thompson, Ed — Conservation Corp Dirt Work
    Tuipulotu, Siosifa — Concrete Crew
    Tyau, Tracy Tung Hin — Painter
    Vanila, Tomasi — Concrete Crew
    The Plaza was designed pro bono by Matt Hutchins of CAST Architecture and Chris Ezzell of e Workshop.
    Landscape Architect was Susan Black and Associates.
    The benches are made of ipe and will be oiled with Penofin twice a year for the next 10 years per agreement between Parks and former SSLPP fiscal sponsor Urban Sparks. The money for the continuing maintenance of the Plaza was raised during Phase 2 of the SSLPP brick and plaque sale.

  • miws September 5, 2009 (9:20 am)

    Thanks for the info, David. And again, kudos to all for their hard work!


    Also glad to learn about the continued maintenance of the benches. I had a hunch there was a program of some sort set up. The benches are simply too beautiful to build and ignore!



  • AceMotel September 5, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    Beautiful, David!! Thank you so much for this, especially on LABOR DAY weekend. These are the most important people on the project, and god knows they, and all other blue collar workers, skilled and unskilled laborers as well as journeyman trades people work in thankless obscurity day in, day out, day after day after day. These are the people who keep the world moving.

  • miws September 5, 2009 (5:36 pm)

    Well said AceMotel! :cool:



  • David Hutchinson September 5, 2009 (5:51 pm)

    I wanted to let you know that the kind comments concerning Parks construction crew have been passed along to the individual on the crew who was responsible for overseeing the daily work on the project as well as the Seattle Parks & Recreation Project Manager for the Plaza.
    The SSLPP shares these sentiments, and has recognized Parks employees’ invaluable role in the project with a number of complimentary 8×8 engraved bricks. These are located to the left of the small curved bench on the east side of the Statue. One of these reads:
    Also, A DVD storing over 400 photos of the crew at work building the Plaza and the list of employees shown above will be included in the Time Capsule being buried at the site on September 19th.

  • Libby Carr September 7, 2009 (10:20 am)

    We are also happy to report that we are writing a special program for the celebration on Sept. 19th. In addition to other sections, it will include the names of those who participated in the plaza’s construction, the SSLPP Committee who gave their thoughtful support for many months as this project progressed, and a list of Time Capsule items (and the donor’s name) that were placed in the Time Capsule under the watchful eye of the Log House Museum.

    It will also include a special thanks to David & Eilene Hutchinson for their tireless efforts especially in all matters pertaining to the brick database and for their beautiful photographic documentation as the statue and plaza has gone through its metamorphasis. Libby Carr

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