Tag Archives: skateboarding

“Skateable art” inspires questions, concerns

Jefferson Park neighbors and local skaters had plenty of questions and concerns at a meeting Monday night sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation regarding the proposed “skateable art” installation at the Park. Discussion, after the presentation of the project, became intense and occasionally heated. The seats at the Jefferson Community Center were not packed, but most attendees to the meeting had something to say.

Pam Kliment, a planner from Parks and Recreation, opened the meeting by stating that three sites for the skate sculpture had been tentatively chosen in Jefferson Park. Red Bull energy drinks, the sponsor of the project, hope to “have the project in the ground” no
later than August. Kliment added, “Red Bull has dealt honorably with the Parks Department.”

Ryan Barth, identifying himself as a “cheerperson” for local skateboarding activities and by the Parks Department as a representative of the Seattle Sports Advisory Council, praised the city’s “great skateboarding culture.” He mentioned that Red Bull had decided on Jefferson Park after an inquiry into putting the sculpture at Myrtle Edwards Park “didn’t work out,” in large part because of the park’s neighbors.

Bob Snyder, Marketing Manager for Red Bull in Seattle, took the floor. He gave his word that Red Bull was “not here just to advertise our brand,” and the purpose of his company is “to give people and ideas wings.” He said Seattle has been chosen for the skate sculpture out of seven cities originally considered.

Metal artist C.J. Rench showed a short presentation of his previous projects, giving an idea of what the completed sculpture will look like. He mentioned that he’s working in collaboration with Torey Pudwill, a prominent professional street skater, to work on the artistic and skateable aspects of the sculpture at once.

After a short announcement from a man who entered the meeting to say a Pontiac in the parking lot had had its window smashed, Kliment opened the floor to questions and comments.

Frederica Merrell of the Jefferson Park Alliance spoke out against the three proposed sites, saying all three are in heavily-trafficked areas and might also interfere with irrigation. She proposed placing the skate sculpture at Lafayette Avenue South or on the west side of the reservoir at 16th Avenue South. She encouraged Red Bull and the Parks Department to “go back to the site discussion.” She also mentioned that the existing art pieces in the park are attracting graffiti and tagging, so that would be a concern for any new art piece.

Mira Latoszek, also of the Jefferson Park Alliance, wanted to make sure that the skate sculpture would not interfere with the general layout and “flow” of the park: “We worked in the spirit of the Olmsteds [when designing the Park].”

Other discussions involved the level or levels of skating ability the sculpture would require, and whether the piece would attract crime or graffiti/tagging issues. Ryan Barth spoke in favor of installing a graffiti wall that would allow graffiti artists and taggers to express themselves within the limits of the wall, although Merrell seemed skeptical of this idea.

The parties present agreed to meet later in the week to review a map of the park and discuss alternate sites to the three proposed so far.

See the 24-page presentation for the project, including information on the artist and the planned schedule, here.

This map shows the possible locations selected by Red Bull and Seattle Parks for a skateable art piece in Jefferson Park.
This map shows the possible locations selected by Red Bull and Seattle Parks for a skateable art piece in Jefferson Park.

Community invited to discuss Jefferson Park skateable art

Soon there could be an additional place to skate at Jefferson Park besides this skate park. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
All are invited to a public meeting on Monday, July 15, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Jefferson Community Center to discuss a proposed skateable art installation at Jefferson Park. The meeting is intended to brief the neighborhood on the history of the project and get feedback on the current work and proposed locations in the park. Artist CJ Rench will be there to discuss his thoughts on the project.

Red Bull recently approached Seattle Parks and Recreation with a proposal to, according to Seattle Parks, “invest in the community by commissioning an artist to design and fabricate a unique skateable art piece.” Originally, the proposed location was at Myrtle Edwards Park on the Seattle waterfront, but after a recent public meeting and other comments, Parks decided to look into other possible locations for the skateable art. Jefferson Park is well suited for the project because it is large, well-used, has parking available, and has a beautiful view of the city.

Three potential sites at Jefferson Park will be discussed at the July 15 meeting. According to Seattle Parks, the project is the first of its kind permanent art installation for skateboarding. For more information, see the website or contact Pamela Kliment of Seattle Parks and Recreation, 206.684.7556, or pamela.kliment@seattle.gov.

Jefferson Community Center is located at 3801 Beacon Ave. S.

Tony Hawk brings Birdhouse Left Coast Tour to Jefferson Park Skatepark

Big news for Beacon Hill skateboarders: Tony Hawk and his Birdhouse Crew are coming to the Hill for a demo of world-class skating on Thursday, July 26 as part of the Birdhouse Left Coast Tour. The event will be at 4 p.m. at the Jefferson Park Skate Park (3801 Beacon Ave. S., in Jefferson Park behind the driving range).

Here’s a preview of the tour:

And here’s a recap of the first three days of the tour so far:

The tour is presented by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD game, which makes its debut on the Xbox Live Arcade today. So if you can’t wait until the 26th for some skateboarding action, you can keep yourself busy with the game.

Jefferson Park Skatepark open for skating

The fences at the Jefferson Park Skatepark came down yesterday. Photo by Joel Lee (thanks!).

The fences came down yesterday at the Jefferson Park Skatepark — it’s now fully open to skate! According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, “The new park features the deepest bowl in Seattle, with shallower bowls alongside, a hexagonal elevated dish, great street features and lighting. The skatepark also features one of the best views of Seattle.”

The park was designed by Grindline Skateparks Inc., in collaboration with The Berger Partnership and with input from several community meetings. It was funded by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy which contributed $1,000,000. SubPop Records contributed an additional $10,000.

The Jefferson Park Skatepark is located at 3801 Beacon Ave. S., behind the Jefferson Community Center.

Also of interest to Beacon Hill skaters is the Benefit Park Skatedot, which is currently in the design phase.

In December, Joel Lee wrote "The Jefferson Skate Park is not officially open but dozens of skateboarders can none the less be seen utilizing the space on the weekends. The 11' bowl towards the back of the park is killer and must be one of the larger public bowls in Seattle." Now the park is officially open. Photo by Joel Lee.