VIDEO: Adah Cruzen’s gift will fund a new ‘Welcome to West Seattle’ sign; your vote is needed to choose between 2 designs

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,, (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.

35 Replies to "VIDEO: Adah Cruzen's gift will fund a new 'Welcome to West Seattle' sign; your vote is needed to choose between 2 designs"

  • Lou July 25, 2018 (2:30 pm)

    Thank you Adah and Earl!

  • Tricia July 25, 2018 (3:03 pm)

    Both are nice options, and thanks for seeking input from the public.

  • miws July 25, 2018 (3:24 pm)

    Yes, thanks to the Cruzens!This was a tough call. I *really* like the look and colors of “B”, but, as beautiful as it is, it’s “just a sign”.  I voted for “A” because, much like the original sign including a depiction of the high bridge, this one has the depiction of the mountains (The Brothers?) that are visible from spots throughout West Seattle.——-Mike

  • Paul Morton July 25, 2018 (3:29 pm)

    Thank you Adah and Earl for your continued generosity and investment in our community.

  • Jethro Marx July 25, 2018 (3:53 pm)

    I love the sentiment of a welcome sign as much as the next West Seattlite, but neither of these options are rendered in such a manner as to overcome my voting apathy. They’re a bit clip-arty, and could we use some novel materials? Driftwood from the sound, perhaps, or rammed earth like the Lowman sewer park installed recently? Maybe Nucor could bring some raw steel into the mix.  Options A and B would each sit at ease in front of some drab yet angular new condo if “West Seattle” were replaced with “Forgestone” or “Ridgeloft XJ42” or some such gobbledegook.

    • WSB July 25, 2018 (3:57 pm)

      There will be steel/metal involved. From Nucor? Don’t know. I just added to the story Adah Cruzen’s comment about saying there would be steel/metal involved to avoid rot from the soggy slope at roadside.

    • Lucy B. July 25, 2018 (6:12 pm)

      I agree with you Jethro. I wish there was another option. I love everything else about this, just not the replacement signs.

  • AIDM July 25, 2018 (4:05 pm)

    Thanks for the donation! Great community building with the voting process and it will be good to have a sign in place. Bring back the overpass B-day signs as well!

  • Paul July 25, 2018 (4:14 pm)

    Hi Tracy, Just a note to let you know the link implied in the orange box doesn’t go to the chamber website. It just pops the photos open in a child window.  Also, can you correct Prentice Designs to be Prentice Design (singular). Many thanks, Paul Prentice. 

    • WSB July 25, 2018 (4:29 pm)

      That’s exactly how the Chamber provided the graphic in the news release as sent right before the event – note the “in this fashion” verbiage preceding it, which like the rest of the news release is a direct quote. (Blue block if you are viewing on desktop/laptop/tablet.) The link is in other places in the story (and if anyone has trouble finding it, start at the chamber’s main page, which is Meantime, I have removed the errant “s” from the copy I added after the news release, as that was simply my error. Thank you! – TR

  • Chandler S Spears July 25, 2018 (5:09 pm)

    Both are beautiful signs, But the silhouette of the Olympic mountains on sign A sold me, it’s so nice that our beautiful neighborhood will be getting a fresh update :)

  • ScubaFrog July 25, 2018 (5:26 pm)

    Philanthropy’s fantastic, but I don’t think someone should force 1 of 2 options on all of West Seattle.  MORE OPTIONS!

  • +! July 25, 2018 (5:48 pm)

    Can we get a new welcome sign for Delridge? Took me years to notice we even had one by the ramp from the bridge to Delridge Way. It says “Welcone to Delridge: half the calories of regular West Seattle.” Ha! What does that even mean? Seems kind of like a negative thing…

    • WSB July 25, 2018 (6:38 pm)

      I think that was somebody’s joke. Didn’t know it was still up.

      • 1000amys July 25, 2018 (6:57 pm)

        In real life, the Delridge sign says, “Home of Longfellow Creek.” Last time I went by the joke sign had been removed. I personally thought it was hilarious, but realize it wasn’t exactly positive. 

    • Michael Taylor-Judd July 26, 2018 (2:48 pm)

      There’s plenty of talk right now about how the light rail station to be built in North Delridge should be designed as a real welcome and gateway into the Delridge neighborhoods.

  • Alice July 25, 2018 (8:25 pm)

    The very first thing I officially voted on was the community voting on the sculpture for that hill. I think I was 12 or so.

  • Azimuth July 25, 2018 (9:27 pm)

    I think the pedestrian overpass would be a great spot for an overhead sign, something that arches across the length of the bridge, with West Seattle design elements.  Kind of like the Santa Monica sign but without the neon.

  • Dale July 25, 2018 (10:32 pm)

    Thank you for donation but does the West Seattle chamber really need $100,000 too do the project?  Left over money could be used for something else great   Just my opinion. 

    • WSB July 25, 2018 (10:49 pm)

      Note that it’s not just for the sign but also for sustainable maintenance for the gateway area. Mr. Cruzen worked on that way into his golden years (that’s why we have the photo in the story of him with Walking on Logs in the background). Some other very dedicated volunteers tried to keep it up too but there just wasn’t enough community help/interest. Some backstory from way back in 2010:

  • erin98126 July 26, 2018 (2:59 am)

    I’m bummed with those two choices, too. The typeface is boring and the colors are odd. I don’t think these signs represent West Seattle. IMO

    • B.W. July 26, 2018 (10:25 am)

      I agree with you. The options seem very generic. They are not very representative of West Seattle. 

      • Out for a walk July 27, 2018 (11:15 pm)

        I agree too.  I feel these two options neither represent the essense of West Seattle. I appreciate the effort but feel we should have some more dynamic. The Olympics are great but overall both signs are drab in my humble opinion. 

  • Elle July 26, 2018 (6:24 am)

    How wonderful…thank you! I personally like option A best. 

  • Lorrie July 26, 2018 (7:04 am)

    The Cruzens are generous West Seattleites!It is a shame that the lovely welcome sign is immediately followed by a jungle of weeds, rubbish and vegetation mess all the way up the hill.  Does anybody else even notice this anymore?

  • Cid July 26, 2018 (7:56 am)

    Appreciate the Cruzens’ generosity for this sign and the mural restorations! Also a shout out to the Chamber of Commerce for the beautiful hanging baskets in the junction every year. BTW what ever happened re: the stolen Log Dancer ?

    • Lynn Dennis July 26, 2018 (1:17 pm)

      I agree that the hanging baskets in the Junction are beautiful.  They are a result of the Adopt-A-Basket project by the West Seattle Junction Assn with Lora Swift at the helm.  If you look on each pole you will see the plaque as designated by the donor.  My husband loved the one I donated in celebration  of our anniversary.   It is the gift that keeps giving.  Everyone should join in.

  • Alkiobserver July 26, 2018 (9:31 am)

    Love it. Thanks so much to the Cruzens for their generosity and the Chamber for making it happen. Number one is my choice. 

  • Sue Luke July 26, 2018 (11:02 am)

    The Cruzens are incredibly generous! We need more folks like them! (Yes, I know he has passed.)

  • Sue July 26, 2018 (11:06 am)

    The Cruzens are incredibly generous! Thanks so much for your donations both to the city and to the senior center!

  • Olivia July 26, 2018 (11:19 am)

    Thank you so much for your kind donation!! <3

  • sam-c July 26, 2018 (12:23 pm)

    Thank you so much for your donation, and thank you for the opportunity to vote on the sign !!

  • Wseattlite July 27, 2018 (12:50 am)

    Thank you Cruzans, and for the opportunity to see why Leadership matters. Decisions made by committees as evidenced above tend to  die in committees. Carry on, and thanks again. 

  • OP July 30, 2018 (6:31 pm)

    Very much appreciate the generous gift! But $100K to design, build and install a sign? Good lord. For that money, you’d think we could get a sign that’s more creative, eye catching and, well, cool like WS.

    • WSB July 30, 2018 (6:48 pm)

      As mentioned: The gift also includes funding for “sustainable maintenance” of the area, work long done by volunteers including Mr. Cruzen (see WSB photo included in story) well into his golden years.

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