City City Council Voted to Rip Out a Fountain
posted by July 27 at 8:49 AMon
I’ve been searching for photos of Seattle’s old municipal building—our old city hall, which was torn down in 2003, just at the moment that it was becoming kind of interesting, architecturally speaking. Built in 1962, our old municipal building had a sort of Marcus-Welby/Police-Woman-esque charm. But we tore it down to make way for a much grander City Hall.
And guess what the city council voted to destroy along with the old municipal building? Why, a fountain. It sat just in the plaza just outside the doors on the 5th Avenue side of the municipal building. I used to walk past it every day on my to work. I thought it was pretty cool, this old fountain. It featured a large rectangular monolith sitting in a small pool—picture a green, mod version of the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. A pattern of squares covered both sides of the gently curving, 12 foot-tall monolith. And there were benches around the fountain—you know, benches where a person could sit in quiet contemplation.
So when it came to building a new city hall, the Seattle city council voted to destroy a fountain, trash a work of art, and deprive us all of a place of quiet contemplation. Because this particular work of art got in the way of building a gaudy new civic palace where the members of the City Council would work. But when it comes to building a new skatepark—which the city has promised to do for years—the city council is suddenly concerned about preserving fountains and neglected pieces of public art and places of quiet contemplation.
Does anyone have pictures of the old municipal building? And the fountain on the 5th Avenue side? I’d love to post ‘em.