West Seattle, Washington
… as of about quarter past 6 tonight, she is indeed. 11 PM UPDATE – More below, including the first-ever WSB video clips:
It was a short but glorious rededication, before a hearteningly sized crowd, serenaded by patriotic favorites from the West Seattle Big Band, regaled with blessedly short (the sound system wasn’t projecting very well) speeches by Mayor Nickels and Councilmember Rasmussen. But just before the gala unveiling — came the reveiling, or should we say the preveiling — thanks to Dan for these pre-ceremony photos:
Tonight’s ceremony managed to mix joy and solemnity without ever striking the wrong note: the joy of the recast statue’s unveiling, the solemnity of the 9/11 anniversary. The mayor led the crowd in a moment of silence, and noted the presence of more than a few Seattle police and firefighters — including a city fireboat’s spray of salute offshore — as well as Boy Scouts on hand in honor of the fact that the original statue was a gift from their organization more than half a century ago. Maybe we’re just mushy at heart, but when the mayor read from the Declaration of Independence, we got all teary. It was just one of those nights … another crystal-clear sky and blazing September sun, just like the original 9/11, but this time, the focus lingered on who had arrived, rather than who had gone.
ADDENDUM: The video camera we purchased from the proceeds of WSB Pledge Day two weeks ago arrived via FedEx barely an hour before our crew headed for Alki tonight. We promise future endeavors will be of much better quality, but despite its amateurishness we want to share some of tonight’s video anyway — bear with us — first the unveiling and the mayor’s Declaration reading; check back for a couple more …
Next clip features Jen VanOrnum talking to our videographer about the Alki Elementary kids’ art project shown off at Lady Liberty’s base tonight:
Last addition — Bob Bollen sent a few pix (thank you!!!!) — first an excellent closeup of the guest dignitaries; then, the beautiful offshore sight during the dedication:
Jo Ofsthus from “Bring Miss Liberty Home NOW!” says the recast statue is being installed right now, in advance of tonight’s event. Congratulations to her group for achieving its goal, even asÃ‚Â “whatÃ‚Â happens with the statue NEXT?”Ã‚Â remains up for discussion and decision. Jo says it’s essential for everyone interested in what happens next to be at the 7 pm Thursday meeting @ Alki Bathhouse — in the comment section following this post last Friday, she wrote that the agendaÃ‚Â is expected toÃ‚Â include:
-Holly Santos from Northwest Programs for the Arts with details on moneys raised/spent/remaining.
-Past history of statue and its sentimental value to the community/city.
-Future plans for the new plaza
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an important meeting and a chance to make your voice heard.
Two big events for everyone who cares about this half-century-oldÃ‚Â West SeattleÃ‚Â icon — 6 pm tonight; 7 pm Thursday.Ã‚Â Be there. 12:30 PM UPDATE: Jo shared with us a letter she was asked to write by West Seattle’s State Rep. Joe McDermott last month. It includes history, background information, and thoughts about the statue’s future:Read More
6 pm tonight, the new statue (below) will be unveiled on the old base, with Mayor Nickels, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the West Seattle Big Band, and many others on hand. This won’t be the end of the saga; a new pedestal and plaza for Ms. Liberty are still on the drawing board, and the Alki Bathhouse meeting @ 7 pm Thursday will dig into that. But first, let’s recap the intense past few months that brought us to this day (after years of lead-up):
EXACTLY TWO MONTHS AGO: The first public meeting called by Paul and Libby Carr to explain their new committee and the renewed push for a plaza. A few dozen people gathered by the statue base in the blazingly hot evening sun; one man wondered wistfully if at least a flag could be placed at the statue base in time for 9/11 — hope he will be able to watch the ceremony tonight!
ONE WEEK AFTER THAT: The Carrs and their team (and their new logo) appeared before the Alki Community Council. So did Parks Department point person Pamela Kliment, who announced the Bathhouse meeting that’s finally coming up this Thursday.
THE FOLLOWING WEEK: In a WS Herald letter to the editor, former Alki fixture Cindi Laws declares the statue “deserves to be set free.”
A FEW DAYS LATER: The “Bring Miss Liberty Home NOW!” faction goes public.
NOW ON TO EARLY AUGUST: The Carrs intensified their support for bringing the recast statue to the Bathhouse while the plaza plan (architect-provided art at right) proceeded.
TWO DAYS LATER: They announced the city had agreed to do just that.
FIVE DAYS AFTER THAT: Parks Department leaders announced the statue would arrive on 9/11.
AUGUST 12-SEPTEMBER 4: Things got very quiet. We routinely nagged various city folks for details of the 9/11 “homecoming,” but none were available. Finally a week ago, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen’s team sent word that the statue would be placed on the old base, rather than in the Bathhouse, and that the city would chip in new $ for the plaza project.
LAST FRIDAY: We found out more about tonight’s ceremony — the West Seattle Big Band announced its participation and (in the comments on this post) other participants were revealed.
LATER THAT DAY: The “new” statue got a test run on the “old” base, and a WSB reader sent us the photographic proof.
LAST SUNDAY: The Carrs announced the plaza group has its official nonprofit sponsor.
TONIGHT: Finally, the “where’s the statue?” signs can come down. 6 pm.
Seattle Statue of Liberty CommitteeÃ¢â‚¬â€Phase II is happy to report we finally have our sponsoring 501(c)(3) organization, Urban Sparks. Urban Sparks began here in Seattle when they saw the need for community groups to have a Fiscal Sponsor. They have sponsored several other local groups doing local parks projects.
We can now begin, in earnest, to complete the Alki Statue of Liberty Project by accepting donations. Our thanks particularly to Pam Kliment of the Seattle Parks Department, who suggested this organization to us recently.
Paul says they’ll have more information up on their sealady.org website later this week. Meantime, if anyone spots Lady Liberty making the big move before for Tuesday night — we would love to get another photo like this one.
Just arrived in the inbox (thanks again to Councilmember Tom Rasmussen’s team): The official press release about Tuesday night (an eventÃ‚Â first mentioned hereÃ‚Â four weeks ago). Full text ahead.Ã‚Â Read More
Jim Edwards from the West Seattle Big Band says the WSBB has been asked to play at the Alki Statue of Liberty homecoming event Tuesday night. We last saw (and heard) them here in WS two months ago at the Hi-Yu Concert in the Park, where they shared a bill with Hizzoner, as will be the case on 9/11 at Alki. Jim says the band will start playing @ 5:30; the rest of the event kicks off @ 6.
As we reported last night, the recast Alki Statue of Liberty will debut at the beach next Tuesday night, and city leaders say they’re bringing word of more $ for a new plaza to surround the statue — but the Alki couple that surfaced the latest plaza plan this summer, Paul and Libby Carr, say their group is in what we might describe as Liberty limbo.
In the comment thread following last night’s post, we wondered aloud why the Carr group hadn’t even updated its relatively new sealady.org website with developments such as the 9/11 event announcement. Paul Carr e-mailed us late today to explain:Read More
Just in from the office of West Seattle resident City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen: When the recast Statue of Liberty returns home to Alki one week from tonight (as first reported here last month), it will not be going into the Bathhouse, but rather onto the old pedestal, temporarily. The event will happen at 6 pm Tuesday (9/11) and will be hosted by Mayor Nickels and Councilmember Rasmussen. Rasmussen aide Brian Hawksford tells WSB, “The statue will be temporarily placed upon the original pedestal until the new plaza pedestal is constructed in early 2008. There will be an announcement of additional new city money for the new plaza/pedestal project.”
Alki Community Council president and city Parks Board vice chair Jackie Ramels tells WSB that acting Deputy Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams announced at tonight’s Parks Board meeting that the recast Statue of Liberty will be moved to the Alki Bathhouse next month, on an extremely meaningful date for the statue’s history … 9/11.
Following up on the weekend bulletin about a new plan to move the recast Statue of Liberty into the Alki Bathhouse, we checked today with Pamela Kliment, the city Parks Department’s project manager. She says the exact timetable for this interim move depends on what she finds out from the foundry that’s housing the statue; she also says the September 13th public meeting about the statue’s future is still on, because “since that location [the Bathhouse] is temporary, there is more work to do.” We also have heard from the staff of Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (a WS resident), who’s working on helping make this happen, and they too await more information before a date can be set for the statue’s Bathhouse arrival.
At the computer briefly between Blue Angels and the rest of Saturday afternoon fun — we want to make sure everyone saw the “breaking news” posted by Paul Carr this morning in the comments on this thread (and comments from the leader of the Bring Miss Liberty Home Now group as well): Paul says the city will move the recast statue to the Alki Bathhouse “shortly.” No further info on what “shortly” means, he says; we won’t be able to check with city sources till Monday (unless any of our city-affiliated lurkers care to e-mail us with details).
Just in from Paul Carr, who with wife Libby Carr is heading up the group that is picking up the stalled proposal to build a plaza for the recast Alki Statue of Liberty. His unedited e-mail responding to recent comments, questions, and criticisms, as well as some questions of his own, and the latest on their committee’s efforts, all after the click:Read More
Since our update yesterday featuring the new flyer from the group that thinks it will take too long to embark on a new round of fundraising for what they call the “fancy-schmancy” plaza … here’s what else has happened:
First — That group has set up an e-mail address — firstname.lastname@example.org — as mentioned in the comments below yesterday’s update. No website yet, but then again, we haven’t seen the pro-plaza group’s promised site at sealady.org go live yet either.
Second — Matt Hutchins, one of the architects that has donated his time to the plaza project and appeared at the recent meetings about it, e-mailed us some answers/clarifications to points that have been brought up by plaza opponents/doubters. Click ahead to read the complete text of what he wants to say (he also promises to answer questions here as well).
To summarize where the Alki Statue of Liberty situation stood before today:
-New statue done.
–Plaza project in limbo.
–Organizers of new pro-plaza group held two meetings and addressed the Alki Community Council.
–City Parks Department has final say and plans public meeting September 13th.
And now: The “Bring Miss Liberty Home NOW!” faction goes public. MONDAY EVENING UPDATE: The flyer previously linked here has been pulled because the groupÃ‚Â is working onÃ‚Â a new one that they are making sure does not mislead anyone into thinking it’s an official Parks Department document.
We’ve been waiting for one of the local papers to finally pick up on the Alki Statue of Liberty situation; today, the Times finally does, in a choppy article that doesn’t quite capture the heart of what’s happening now, but at least has pix of the new statue. (If you missed it, earlier this month we reported the latest twists and turns, after the July 11 pro-plaza group meeting and after the Alki Community Council meeting last Thursday). Two more Liberty notes: In this week’s WS Herald, Cindi Laws — best remembered for her time on the monorail board — has a lively letter-to-the-editor about the statue; also, we’re still waiting for the Carrs’ sealady.org website to go up (they said at the ACC meeting that it would be up last weekend).
Three meetings in less than two weeks, including the Alki Community Council last night, and now we know there won’t be a decision any sooner than fall about whether the Alki Statue of Liberty — removed for recasting exactly one year ago today — will return to its old base, or to a new plaza like this (all architects’ art here):
Both the couple leading a drive to restart the plaza project, Libby & Paul Carr, and the city Parks Department project manager for the statue, Pamela Kliment, are in difficult positions, to say the least. They all spoke at last night’s ACC meeting, but since it was just one item on a busy agenda, there wasn’t a ton of Q/A time. What’s difficult: For the Carrs, the fact they and their volunteer assistants are working hard on something completely unofficial, since the final say lies with the Parks Department; for Parks, the fact they have to be the “reality check” on a volunteer effort that inarguably is full of enthusiasm, vision, inspiration, and hope — Kliment noted that for one, it’s “distressing” that the statue spot is empty, after one full year, and for two, the situation is larger than the statue itself. Which the Carrs likely would not dispute, as they have a larger vision as well — they hope a grand new home for this “Little Sister of Liberty” could spark a nationwide revitalization project for the many other similar statues that have fallen into disrepair in the half-century since the Boy Scouts donated them. So for now, the Carrs and their group — which is not yet officially certified as a nonprofit — will continue their work, including a new logo they debuted last night (shown below; copyrighted by local artist Phil Jones) that they plan to put on fundraising items such as T-shirts and posters; and the Parks Department will look ahead to a public meeting announced last night, 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 13, location TBD (Kliment said she’s hoping for the Bathhouse but it’s got a “temporary hold” for that night).
One year ago tomorrow, the old Alki Statue of Liberty was taken down and trucked away. Tonight at the monthly Alki Community Council meeting, it’s a third round of discussion about what could, should, and might happen next. (This follows two meetings in the past 8 days organized by community members Libby and Paul Carr, who are trying to re-start the project to build a plaza around the recast statue; here’s our report on the first meeting; a WSB reader’s observations from the second one is in the comments here.) Parks Department rep Pamela Kliment, who’s collecting public comment on all this, tells us she’ll be at this meeting after having to skip the last one; so will the Carrs. It’s an important debate about a West Seattle icon; get in on it by going tonight (7 pm, Alki Community Center) or by e-mailing Kliment (click here).
You have another chance tonight to hear organizers make their case for keeping the recast Alki Statue of Liberty on hold till a “plaza” and new base can be built for it. We reported on their meeting last Wednesday; they say the gathering tonight by the old statue base, 7 pm, will be similar, and they’re planning to be at the Alki Community Council meeting this Thursday as well. Here’s an updated architect rendering of what the plaza would look like (more here):
And here again is the e-mail address for the Parks Department (which has the final say) person who’s on the project — write to let ’em know what you think.
More than two dozen heat-braving souls just wrapped up the first of two meetings led by an earnest Alki couple, Libby and Paul Carr, who are trying to salvage the stalled Alki Statue of Liberty plaza project. Ultimately, the final say on the future of this West Seattle icon rests elsewhere …Read More
Tomorrow (Wednesday) night, at the height of the heat, you can multitask by cooling off at Alki and joining in a meeting outside the Bathhouse, to help determine the future of the statue that might otherwise soon earn a nickname like “Liberty in Limbo.” Seems the replacement for the old one (Northwest Programs for the Arts photo at left) is done but fundraising for the “plaza” to surround the new one is not, so a community meeting is being called to discuss, among other things, whether to just install the new one and be done with it sooner, or carry on with the “plaza” project and see the installment happen later. Read the meeting organizers’ explanation, in their own words, after the click:Read More