Seattle Center Skatepark Opening

The Seattle Center Skatepark is finally opening today, a year and a half after the old park (opposite the EMP) was demolished to make way for the Gates Foundation. The long interim has been filled with siting concerns and city council squabbles—at one point the replacement park was to displace DuPen Fountain. But the Skateboard Park Advisory Committee persisted, and a new location was found. (A World’s Fair pavilion by Paul Thiry was razed to make room.) The bulk of the $2.1 million budget came from the sale of the old land; and the state threw in $800,000 as well. At 10,000 square feet, the new park is about 25 percent larger than the old. Its design, by local firm Weinstein A|U and VBZ/New Line Skateparks, is also much more modern. Skateable streetscape features combine with architectural elements like a vertical glass wall that’s fully skateable! Equally impressive are the laminated glass panels along the park’s south boundary. Designers bought used skateboards on eBay, studied their contours, scratch works, and indentations, then digitized those images onto the glass. They’re not only aesthetically pleasing, but provide a safety and sound barrier between the park and Thomas Street. Among those attending today’s grand opening (with music!) will be city council members, Ryan Barth and other leaders of the skateboarding community, and members of Skate Like a Girl. BRITT THORSON

Sat., July 11, 11 a.m., 2009

 
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