Seattle Public Utilities Mami Hara, General Manager/CEO

1996 - 2000 Projects

1999 Projects

Stream Echo/Fauntleroy Creek

Tom Jay, Stream Echo, 1999.

Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Henderson Street, West Seattle
Artist: Tom Jay
1999

Seattle Public Utilities worked with residents of West Seattle to replace a damaged storm drain culvert that was blocking fish passage, returning salmon to a restored Fauntleroy Creek. The Stream Echo artwork is a large-scale relief, adjacent to a fish ladder, which weaves through a Fauntleroy Creek viewing plaza, echoing the passage of the creek below. Artist Tom Jay included a simulated stream, text describing the relationship between salmon and humans, and images of salmon. Jay also designed and sculpted the actual fish ladder built by SPU within the creek. The return of salmon to urban creeks is an indicator of stream and environmental health. Jay encouraged school children and community members to bring small stones and submit text for the viewing plaza highlighting the importance of stream stewardship. The result is a work of art that celebrates the biodiversity of urban streams and their roles as both habitat and a classroom for all.

Water Wheel/Water Quality Lab

Deborah Mersky, Water Wheel, 1999.

800 S Stacy Street, SODO
Artist: Deborah Mersky
1999

In 1999, artist Deborah Mersky created this large artwork, consisting of glass panels cut to fit into a wall at the Seattle Public Utilities’ new Water Quality Laboratory. The panels have sandblasted images and cover the entire wall. The images include some of the very things that SPU uses to ensure clean water, including beakers and other testing equipment, as well as animals and plants that depend on clean water.

Morphauna/Woodland Park

Miles Pepper, Morphauna, 1999.

Phinney Avenue N and N 59th Street, Phinney Ridge
Artist: Miles Pepper
1999

Morphauna is a fabricated metal “moving collage of animal forms,” activated by the wind and was commissioned in part with funds originally designated to aesthetically enhance SPU’s nearby water tank. Mounted on a pole, wings and fish tails rotate in the wind. The artist designed Morphauna in homage to the neighboring Woodland Park Zoo and to respond to the community’s request for an artwork that would appeal to and be enjoyed by a variety of viewers. The sculpture is located several blocks away from an SPU water tank, the original site for an artwork that was never realized, in Upper Woodland Park, which is a popular gathering spot for the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. Public and private money was used to renovate the park in 1997, and neighbors now enjoy an enhanced play area, paths, butterfly gardens, and the kinetic Sculpture. The park was given the “Best Project” award by Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods the following year.

1998 Projects

Meadowbrook Pond Reflective Refuge

Lydia Aldredge, Kate Wade and Peggy Gaynor, Meadowbrook Pond Reflective Refuge, 1998.

35th Avenue NE and NE 110th Street, Meadowbrook
Artists Lydia Aldredge, Kate Wade and Peggy Gaynor
1998

Reflective Refuge at Meadowbrook Detention Pond in north Seattle exemplifies how the involvement of artists can enhance visitors’ and employees’ experience of a Seattle Public Utilities facility. Meadowbrook Pond is a stormwater detention pond that is a key facility in SPU’s provision of drainage services, and through the work of the artists, the pond and its surroundings have been transformed into a tranquil environment that can educate its users. The Refuge features pathways inset with mosaics as well as artist-designed bridges and structures that take one over streams and over the pond, and sound mirrors, all of which focus one’s attention on the sight and sounds of water collected from the local watershed. SPU has provided interpretive signage that describes the flora and fauna found at the site.

Signs of Life/Water Conservation Project

Lucy Goodman and Ellen Ziegler, Signs of Life, 1998.

N 73rd St and W Green Lake Drive N, Green Lake
Artists: Lucy Goodman and Ellen Ziegler
1998

Located at Green Lake wading pool, this artwork is activated by the presence of water. A series of round concrete disks, painted with sealer, renders the imagery invisible until the concrete is dampened by rain or splashed with water from the adjacent pool; water brings the image to life, reinforcing the fundamental necessity of water to life.

1997 Projects

Cornerstones/Eastlake Project

Stacy Levy, Cornerstones, 1997.

Eastlake Avenue E from E Galer Street to E Fuhrman Street, Eastlake
Artist: Stacy Levy
1997

Thirty-two cast glass and sandblasted stone sidewalk insets mark the route of a tunneled sewer line installed as part of an SPU Combined Sewer Outflow Project under Eastlake Avenue East. With support from the Eastlake Community Council and its members, artist Stacy Levy placed a series of square embedments at street corners along Eastlake Avenue East, unifying the arterial and coinciding with the sewer location. The cornerstones each depict different micro-organisms, such as protozoa, rotifers, algae, diatoms, and crustaceans found in Lake Union or on its shores, raising awareness of the urban ecology for the viewer by making “natural process and life forms visible and memorable.” Aquatic micro-organisms line the lake side with the terrestrial ones on the east side of the street. Adjacent glass insets call out the names of the cross streets and Eastlake Avenue and include a compass rose.

Dreamboats/Eastlake Project

Linda Beaumont, Stuart Keeler, Michael Machnic, Dreamboats, 1997.

Eastlake Avenue E at Boston, Lynn and Roanoke Streets, Eastlake
Artists: Linda Beaumont, Stuart Keeler, Michael Machnic
1997

Designed in conjunction with SPU’s Combined Sewer Outflow Project under Eastlake Avenue East, Dreamboats consists of three cast fiberglass canoes resting on steel armatures located on streets in the central business district of Eastlake. Each is different, with historical and cultural imagery cast into the hulls, and with a unique function assigned to each (bus shelter, bench and posting board for community notices). The canoes make reference to the local Lushootseed culture and the idea of travel by water which in turn reinforces the presence of bodies of water that topographically define Seattle and provides its resources.

1996 Projects

Froula Park Armchairs/Green Lake Reservoir

Peter Reiquam, Froula Park Armchairs, 1996.

12th Avenue NE and NE 73rd Street, Roosevelt
Artist: Peter Reiquam
1996

Two cast concrete armchairs and a table provide an informal seating and gathering area at Seattle Public Utilities’ Green Lake Reservoir property and adjacent hypochlorite facility. Since its creation in 1996, the sculpture has become a popular open-air sitting room for parents watching children play, as well as children playing house and for SPU employees to sit during breaks and lunch. With large trees, houses and rooftops as a backdrop, artist Peter Reiquam’s sculpture brings to mind the domestic tranquility of the neighborhood, families, and their community.

Gazebo/Maple Leaf Park

Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle, Gazebo, 1996.

Roosevelt Avenue NE and NE 82nd Street, Maple Leaf
Artists: Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle
1996

Located at Maple Leaf Reservoir, a Seattle Public Utilities facility, this 12-foot steel gazebo was designed by Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle. The gazebo contains images of plant and animal forms indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, highlighting and educating visitors about aspects of the natural environment for which Seattle Public Utilities has a stewardship role. The Gazebo is a quiet place to read or think, a place for parents to chat while their kids play, for SPU employees to use during lunch and breaks, and a gathering place that enhances the reservoir property.

Equality/Sturgus Park

Rolon Bert Garner and Ken Leback, Equality, 1995-1996.

Sturgus Avenue S, east of 12th Avenue S Bridge, Beacon Hill
Artists: Rolon Bert Garner and Ken Leback
1995-1996

Equality is the vision of Rolon Bert Garner and Ken Leback, featured on a viewpoint on Sturgus Avenue South on the northeastern edge of Beacon Hill. The work was the result of a partnership between Washington State Department of Transportation and the City, attempting to create art at sites along the Interstate 90 corridor, in conjunction with related infrastructure improvements that included the relocation of water mains (SPU facilities) in proximity of the project. The artists developed an artwork that represented the changes that occur when humans make contact with the land, so the site progresses from planted areas evocative of the wild to a more built environment depicted by a community of granite houses. SPU’s environmental stewardship activities address impacts the manmade places on the eco-system. Among the houses is a plaque, bearing a quotation from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.