Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Council scraps plans to replace Seattle Center fountain with skate park

Seattle Times art critic

The Seattle City Council changed course Tuesday afternoon and rescinded a proposal to tear out the "Fountain of Creation" at Seattle Center in order to build a skateboard park.

"The fountain is off the table," Council President Nick Licata said. The plan had been scheduled for a vote by the council next Monday. The popular water feature and bronze sculptures were commissioned for the Century 21 World's Fair and created in 1962 by the late Seattle sculptor Everett DuPen.

The proposal to replace the fountain with a skateboard park became public last week when the council's Parks, Education, Libraries and Labor committee made the recommendation. It was then discussed at a council briefing on Monday. Licata says plans shifted when it became clear the proposal had little support.

"The art community and those interested in a place that appeals to children and the disabled made their concerns known, and the council respected them," Licata said.

Now the committee, headed by Councilmember David Della, is drafting new legislation that favors another site at Second Avenue and Thomas Street. Della's chief of staff, David Namura, stressed that Della "was not particularly hot on [the fountain] site and it wasn't a politically expedient site."

Instead, he said, the committee had understood from Seattle Center staff that the DuPen site was "the best route to go and that they had worked with the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and the DuPen family," Namura said. "I'm not sure where that broke down."

Seattle Center Deputy Director David Heurtel said he couldn't comment until he had consulted staff.

Della never intended to pit the arts community against the skateboarders, Namura said. "It was an alternative, but at the end of the day ... he respects the concerns."

Sheila Farr:

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company


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