My God! It's full of stars!
Dan, I knew the old City Hall, I worked in the old City Hall, and you sir are wrong about the old City Hall. It was horrible on the inside and out, and all I can say is good riddance. With that said, I arrived after they had demolished the fountain, so I can't comment on that particular fixture, but the rest of it was nausea inducing.
Now I would agree that the new building is a bit more than we needed, and I hate Prince Prospero's chamber on the 4th avenue side, but for the city employees who have to work there, it is a big improvment.
I guess the two much larger fountains that came with the new city hall, the more elaborate fountain on the 4th ave side, and the one that runs out of the building toward 4th ave, don't count?
A fountain in the middle of a parking lot, behind one of the ugliest and least site-appropriate buildings ever inflicted on this city. Rumored to have been a recycled architectural plan from some lousy development (designed for a flat site, no less) in Texas. Great example.
Say what you will about Paul Schell, but he could distinguish good architecture and urban design from bad.
You kind of neglected that fountain as well, ya know. It took 41 years for that fountain to become 'kind of interesting'? 41 years isn't even close to historical or anything. Do you actually care? I honestly would like to know. It sounds more like City Council bitching rather than, um, you being serious.
You know the demolition of a building that was just 40 years old.... I have to wonder what it is with our desire to blow up buildings that really are not that old? Seriously, why do we build stuff that is so damn ugly you cannot stand to look at it and we destroy it before we even pay for it? (Kingdome as an example)
There used to be a time when buildings were built to last for generations, in particular public structures. Yeah the old City Hall was ugly as hell but my question is why did they build something that damn ugly in the first place?
So Dan, you know that thing where the really butch asshole jock in high school who goes around picking on nerds and calling everyone queer turns out to be a total closet butt pirate?
Do you ever think maybe your whole thing where you constantly accuse everyone of hypocrisy is kind of like that? Like you're just totally overcompensating for what you perceive to be your own biggest failure by projecting it off onto everyone around you?
I'm still a little wary of the the Du Pen fountain being a skatepark. Seaskate was pretty cramped for a skatepark and if Du Pen is 1/3 the size, it's going to get crowded pretty quickly. I just wish they could agree on some other spot at Seattle Center.
I e-mailed the entire council. Drago just said she voted for the site, but Conlin said, "situated between two very active buildings, the Du Pen fountain is hardly 'contemplative,'" which I appreciated, and Clark said she'd received just as many e-mails defending the fountain as demanding the skate park. None of the others has replied, but I think Conlin nailed it.
In the grand scheme of things, a city council building is much more important than a skatepark, even important enough to demolish a fountain.
And #8 is right, that location is way too small for a skatepark. Build it there and there's a good chance the skaters will wind up skating in front of/next to Key Arena and in those hallways behind the Northwest Rooms, thus becoming a major pain in the ass for anyone walking through that area. Is there not a single more out of the way location for a skatepark in the Center?
First off, why is everyone acting like the Council voted against the skate park in the Full Council? From what I understand, the Parks Committee voted FOR the skate park location. If you are calling people hypocrites, name them. (And are they hypocrites if they got on the Council after that decision was made, like in this case?)
Secondly, the Municipal Building fountain was rarely enjoyed, had limited historical value compared to the DuPen, which is used by hundreds of people every year and was created by a local Northwest artist whose work was well-liked. No one complained when the other fountain was being razed because no one cared (I don't thin your howls of protest were heard, Dan.)
People care about this one. That's what makes it different.
Some public art doesn't work. For example, a really bad piece of public art was removed when the Public Safety Building was destroyed. It was a blue, chain-link fence surrounding 9 trees in a tic-tac-doe pattern. I walked by there several times over the years not knowing it was art (I thought it was a never ending construction site). It was not-so-affectionally called "Trees in Jail". No one missed it when it was gone.
However, when the new fancy Central Library was built, it was ensured the old, funky fountain was relocated because people liked it. It sits in a prominent location on the busy 4th Avenue entrance.
Some people privately lamented the old Muni Building fountain's dismantling. However not enough to stop it or make one single, public comment to stand up for it.
Was it even the same city council?
No. It was two Councils ago when the Municipal Building project started and one Council ago when it was actually destroyed.
The Tic-Tac-Toe sculpture, aka 9 Space 9 Trees by Robert Irwin, was just installed on the University of Washington's campus, just east of the Henry Art Gallery. In its new location, it is already a popular spot for eating lunch. While perhaps it isn't as missed from its site beside the jail, the piece makes a nice contribution to the campus, suggesting that moving the fountain may not be a bad idea.
Well, that's nice. I'm glad it's in a better home.
It would also be nice if the Center had a plan to relocate the DuPen Fountain. As far as anyone can tell, it's doesn't. I'm not saying the DuPen can't be moved, I'm just saying that defending it is okay. I just don't think people should be raked across the coals for defending a piece of art.
The new site is 6,600 square feet vs. the demolished SeaSk8 at 8,910 square feet. Which is more like 3/4 the size. Not 1/3.
Maybe they can move the fountain to the space between the Space Needle and EMP on broad street where both the Space Needle and EMP folks didn't want a skatepark (a better place but I guess money talks loudest here in Seattle).
give us the 1st level of the parking lot north of the opera house you sissies
I just don't think people should be raked across the coals for defending a piece of art.
Oh, I don't know. I'd pay real money to see the people behind the Experience Music Project dragged screaming over hot coals. I mean seriously, let's turn that fucking thing into a skate park, huh? Just chop off the bottom 30 feet, countersink what's left and skate on it. At least then it would serve some useful function. Meanwhile, here's hoping city demolishes the ugly motherfucker at the earliest available opportunity. And yes, anyone who defends it should be dragged naked and screaming over a pile of smoldering mesquite until they're crispy on the outside, then force fed to Paul Allen on soda crackers.
Municipal Building pictures:
It was lovely. It's a shame no one appreciates midcentury aluminum. You'd think they would, the way they slobber over the furniture.
The new building is an atrocity and will be infinitely more embarrassing in 20 years than this was in 1980.
Dan- The municipal photo archive has images of all city construction projects through time. Here are your pictures:
So, who was the artist of that Municipal Building fountain?
PI had it right - current proposed location is a stop gap fix that wasn't well thought out, especially in light of new Center designs being considered now.
We should also consider that the city just spend hundreds of thousands of dollars re-furbishing the fountain and it will probably cost over a million to relocated it, which means they probably won't relocate it, but just warehouse it somewhere.
Excerpt from \"Say Yes To War\" by Dan Savage October 2002
\"In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we\'re going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves\"
Over 3600 American soldiers dead
Over 53,000 seriously wounded and maimed
Over 650,000 Iraqis dead
? seriously wounded and maimed
Over 2,000,000 Iraqis have fled their country
Estimated total cost (for USA) of Iraq war $2,000,000,000,000
Al Qaida is stronger than ever
I used to love to take my lunch out on the rooftop patio of the old Municipal building. And the screens in the lobby were really quite cool also.
They were salvaged, as perhaps that fountain was. Like the fountain at the old libary was, and the incredibly cool mosaic on the old City Light building was (although why City Light would have given that thing up is beyond me).
We had some cool municipal buildings in this town, but we neglected them, and then abandoned them in the quest to be "world class". That's sort of like abandoning a fountain for the latest Tragic Teen Trend, because of a crusade by an alternative weekly.
I'll say it again: I'm not against skaters, and they deserve a park. But it shouldn't be art versus skaters - not in a town full of ugly surface parking lots. The Stranger should know better.
You, Dan, should know better.
Ironically, I think DuPen did the screens you are talking about. I wonder where they are now.
Funny, years ago, I led a half-assed, one-man crusade to preserve the City Light Mural, when I found out that the building was being sold. In the course of that, I found out that all of those decorative elements that were in the Library, Muni Building, and City Light buildings were kept and either warehoused or reused. Generally speaking, anything that the city owns that was commissioned is cataloged by the office of public art (or something like that) and kept track of.
btw, The City Light Mural, which now resides in the lobby of the MOHI Auditorium, was done by an artist named jean Cory Beal who did similar murals for a state building in Olympia that was recently renovated (they kept the mural) and the old Olympic Hotel. In the case of the hotel, it may still be there in the Garden Court, covered by the stiflingly tasteful paneling that the Four Seasons put up. (Like most entities that toady to the rich, Four Seasons was awfully afraid of anything too colorful)
In a just world, that City Light Mural (entitled "That Man May Use It Freely....") should be in the lobby of the Seattle Municipal Tower, covering up some of the vast expanses of bland marble that was put there when AT&T built it. But we are so afraid of not being "cool" that we take anything even remotely kitschy and stick it out at the Mohi. That's probably what would happen to the fountain at the Center.
Aw Dan, the Muni Building fountain was hideous. It was also waterless for years because it would leak into the parking garage beneath the plaza. I do miss that surface parking lot, though.
As it turn out, Seattle isn't the only place with skate park issues. This was the lead story in yesterday's The Morning Call of Allentown, PA.
Jeeez...let the kidz have a freakin' place to play!
In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).