West Seattle art: Fauntleroy/Alaska mini-park plaza taking shape, with Lezlie Jane’s art

With construction winding down at Spruce, the mixed-use project that filled what for years was “The Hole,” the sidewalk along 39th SW is open and that provides a view of the plaza on what is actually a bit of city parkland along the corner where Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th meet. At the heart of the plaza, art by Lezlie Jane, the West Seattle artist whose creations grace other spots including Constellation, Cormorant Cove, Weather Watch, and Dakota Place Parks.

We first reported her role in this project when the “public benefit” package for Spruce – required because it includes an “alley vacation” – went to the Seattle Design Commission in December 2012. You can see the concept for the “medallion” in our coverage of the meeting, and how it’s turning out, above, and below in our quick walkaround captured in a 15-second Instagram video clip (we focused on the wording around its perimeter, which includes an explanation of the bear, if you don’t know that part of West Seattle history on sight):

Our visit to the site this afternoon was inspired by the announcement of next Tuesday’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting – JuNO director René Commons mentioned it while saying the group will talk about the mini-park’s future, as well as other public/green space issues, at 6:30 pm Tuesday, at the Senior Center of West Seattle.

22 Replies to "West Seattle art: Fauntleroy/Alaska mini-park plaza taking shape, with Lezlie Jane's art"

  • Maggie May 11, 2015 (7:35 am)

    I love it!

  • Kat May 11, 2015 (8:44 am)

    Any confirmed dates for LA Fitness opening?

    • WSB May 11, 2015 (9:03 am)

      They haven’t responded to repeated media inquiries. So we don’t know. Maybe a potential customer or employee out there does.

  • doug May 11, 2015 (12:08 pm)

    question – it seems that when these little “parks” go in the poured concrete benches and walls do not have the skateboard prevention “bolts” installed – so then the skateboarders come along and scratch and groove the edges, then the bolts go in. I saw this at Morgan Junction and at Alaska and 42nd.

    Is there a logistical reason the bolts cannot go in at the time the concrete is poured?

  • kilikina07 May 11, 2015 (12:19 pm)

    UPDATE: I just called another Seattle LA Fitness (the one on Aurora) and Tim told me that the West Seattle LA fitness is slated to open either the 15th or the 19th of this month!!!! Woo hoo!!!

    Original comment:
    I heard a rumor that LA Fitness set to open in about two weeks. But my friend couldn’t provide me with a source so I could verify the info. I’m so excited for this gym.. I know it’s going to be CRAZY crowded when it opens.. I don’t care.. it’s a 5 minute walk from my apartment.. so I will be in there sweating with the rest of West Seattle!

  • MLJ May 11, 2015 (3:28 pm)

    @Doug: The abatement devices you’re referring to are called Skate Stoppers. However, we’ve evolved a bit from the time when skateboarders and their chosen form of recreation was automatically classified as vandalism. These arguments and the eloquent counter-arguments have all been covered in the Seattle Citywide skatepark plan, which can be found here: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/skateboard/CitywideSkateparkPlan.pdf

    The quick answer is that skateboarders have a right to public spaces too. There is a classification of feature in the plan called a “skate dot” that is an integrated feature in parks like this that is designed for multiple uses, including skateboarding. Quite innovative! There are several examples of skate dots working well in Seattle.

    I don’t know specifically what’s in store for this location, but I do hope that the skaters get a chance to share this space, and that as a community we move beyond automatically shutting them out of public spaces for the sake of protecting concrete slabs from getting scratched.

  • Siily Goose May 11, 2015 (3:50 pm)

    As much as I loath this development I do like this medallion.

    Am I the only person in West Seattle that wishes Hancock Fabrics was going to be present again?

  • Kat May 11, 2015 (3:53 pm)

    ive been checking that map daily and am surprised it’s not on there yet. burien was listed a good two months before that location opened. I called Burien today and they said opening should be on the 13th, and someone at Trader Joes said they heard the 15th.

    • WSB May 11, 2015 (3:57 pm)

      Burien also had a Facebook page pre-opening, we noticed while trying to find online info about this location some time back. Odd that West Seattle would be less online-savvy. They had a tent in Junction Plaza Park offering signups at one point.

  • BJG May 11, 2015 (6:06 pm)

    Am I the only one who thinks the LA Fitness signage is oversized and dangerous as well as ugly? The huge overhang demands attention of drivers who are already trying to get through a very complicated intersection without an accident. Whitaker construction lane closures, lane diversions for diets and bus lanes and multiphased traffic lights are difficult enough to manage. Accidents are already occurring there. I recall several redesigns to The Hole’s previous building plans to make the facade softer and more neighborhood friendly. Did the city just pass on everything this developer wanted? Nice of the artist to attempt a little beautification, but it really is not enougb to mitigate the overall intrusiveness of this monster.

  • BJG May 11, 2015 (8:12 pm)

    @WSB: Thanks to your exceptional archives search links, I was able to see much of the Hole site history with DPD. While I didn’t find every iteration of the BlueStar Management’s early designs,I was able to see that there was never an imagined sign on Alaska the size of LA Fitness. My experience with our family’s commercial buildings signage has me convinced that it required a very expensive permit and money usually talks. Still think it’s unsafe and inappropriate.

  • Diane May 11, 2015 (8:49 pm)

    I’ve been surprised at lack of comments about the new giant bright white sign
    we wanted a great welcoming “gateway”to WS; not exactly what anyone had in mind

  • Diane May 11, 2015 (8:55 pm)

    funny; Jan’s comment from nearly 3yrs ago, pretty accurate prediction:
    “can’t wait to have a huge neon sign that says L.A. Fitness..classy :(
    Comment by JanS — 9:45 pm December 20, 2012”

    • WSB May 11, 2015 (9:22 pm)

      Well, it’s not neon, FWIW, but I know that comment was more re: size than style. Anyway, there are two sign permits in the file, which you can look up by putting 3922 SW Alaska St into this lookup engine:
      Each carries a price tag of $824. One is for LA Fitness, one is for Spruce (remember, LAF is the only retail tenant in this project), multiple signs per permit, square footage listed. You can look up the rules for size and other things here:

  • Th May 11, 2015 (9:43 pm)

    Does anyone know if that horrendous turquoise box on the sidewalk, presumably housing telecommunications or electrical equipment, will remain there?

  • Neighbor May 12, 2015 (1:25 pm)

    The size of the LA Fitness light is one thing, but the fact that it’s the brightest light within a several block radius to be left on for presumably all nighttime hours is annoying. Whereas some neighborhoods get interesting and welcoming signs, West Seattle will have LA Fitness and Whole Foods – perhaps a sign of things/corporatization to come for WS.

  • fauntleroyfairy May 13, 2015 (6:01 pm)

    @ Silly Goose:
    You’re not the only one…….

  • Who Am I? May 14, 2015 (10:07 am)

    Spoke to a gentleman who is one of the construction workers for the West Seattle LA Fitness facility. He said the gym should be completed/opened in about a week (most likely no later than Monday, 05/25th).

  • Zach May 15, 2015 (4:37 pm)

    Hello, my name is Zach and I’m one of the fitness counselors at the new LA Fitness. We are opening today, Friday the 15th, at 5pm. Come see me to get a tour of the neighborhood’s beautiful new health club!

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