2:13 PM: After 22 years, it’s time for a refresh for the “Welcome to West Seattle” sign along the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. Philanthropist Adah Cruzen is donating money for a new one – and to help maintain the area around it – and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has just announced it has two options for you to vote on. They were just unveiled at a media briefing at Chamber headquarters; we’ll add video when back at HQ (3:47 pm – here it is):
Here’s the news release:
For more than two decades, the “Welcome to West Seattle” sign along the Fauntleroy Expressway has served as a beacon for newcomers and long-timers alike. Today, the sign continues to greet thousands of motorists and transit riders every day, but its original wooden structure is threatened, and the surrounding hillside provides a continual landscaping challenge.
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is deeply grateful to longtime Alki resident Adah Rhodes Cruzen for a gift of $100,000 designated for the installation of a new “Welcome to West Seattle” sign and a sustainable maintenance plan. Adah made the donation on behalf of the estate of her late husband, Earl Cruzen, who died Jan. 23, 2017, at the age of 96.
(Earl Cruzen, 2009 WSB photo)
Earl is recognized for bringing three groups together, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Junction Merchants Association and the West Seattle Trusteed Properties, as the Junction Development Committee. The “Welcome to West Seattle” sign, installed in September 1996, is one of the many legacy projects Earl and this group completed.
The first step for the new project was to create the Welcome to West Seattle Sign Committee (WWS Sign Committee). It is composed of these chamber members:
Tim Andes of Waypoint Sign Company
Paul Prentice, of Prentice Designs Inc.
Hamilton Gardiner of Holmquist and Gardiner PLLC
Gary Potter of Potter Construction
Pete Spalding of Verity Credit Union
Shannon Felix of Avalon Glassworks
Lynn Dennis, CEO of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce
The Board of Directors of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce feels strongly that the committee should gather input from the West Seattle community on the design selection.
The WWS Sign Committee has identified two options, and the chamber is reaching out to the community for its feedback. On the chamber website and via other promotion, the chamber will gather votes in this fashion:
After a 10-day period for gathering community input that ends on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, the WWS Sign Committee will make the final selection and a Request for Proposals for fabrication and installation will go out to the business community.
If you are interested in applying to fabricate and install the sign, please contact Lynn Dennis, firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 932-5685.
Dennis says, “After you take a moment to read the obituary and eulogy for Earl Cruzen on the website of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, I know you will agree that the new “Welcome to West Seattle” is another sign that Earl is still here. Be sure to tip your hat to Earl as you drive by.”
Voting is already open on the Chamber website.
3:48 PM: A few more notes from the brief Chamber announcement, which you can watch above in its entirety: Adah Cruzen added that she wants everyone to know the new sign will be made from steel, so the water in the slope along the road doesn’t rot it like the current one. The Chamber says the new sign should be in place by year’s end. The firms involved with the committee in designing the two options are Prentice Design and Waypoint Sign Company, both with A, the latter with B.