UPDATE 3:52 PM:
Just got off the phone with Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad . She tells us that the Amanda Knox case was not a factor in the decision and that naming a park for Perugia was “in the works for several years.”
“The timing is really unfortunate but naming the park after Perugia doesn’t have anyting to do with the court case,” Hammerstad said.
Hammerstad said the name was approved unanimously by the naming committee by request of the Perugia Sister City Association. There is a statement about the Knox trial on the association’s Web site :
This tragedy has affected so many lives and families. While we hope for an eventual outcome that everyone will accept as fair and just, we should not confuse this unfortunate and painful incident with the long and robust Sister City relationship between Seattle and Perugia. That friendship and mutual respect continues, as does the life of our ancient sister city.
Read again our own take on the real Perugia: http://crosscut.com/2007/11/14/history/9073/
Parks said that the name for the Seven Hills Park at 16th and Howell was suggested by a student at St. Joe’s elementary school.
Hammerstad said there are currently no plans to rename the park.
“It’s not uncommon for us to name parks after sister cities,” Hammerstad said.
UPDATE 3:15 PM:
It was just pointed out to us that the Perugia choice is probably going to be a little, um, distracting. Perugia, in addition to being a Seattle ‘sister city,’ is also where Meredith Kercher was murdered setting off the entire Amanda Knox circus. Call out to Parks — waiting for their reply.
Unfortunately, it’s not going to be Cinque Terre park. Or I-5 Shores Park. City of Seattle’s Parks and Rec department today announced the name for the second greenspace about to be constructed on Capitol Hill. First, there was 16th and Howell’s Seven Hills Park . Now, neighbors, we give you Perugia Park :
PARKS SUPERINTENDENT NAMES NEW PARK ON CAPITOL HILL
Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tim Gallagher has named a new park on Capitol Hill — Perugia Park. It is named in honor of our Sister City relationship with the Italian city of Perugia.
The Park Naming Committee unanimously recommended to the Superintendent that the park be named in honor of our longstanding relationship Perugia. Centrally located in the middle of Italy’s “boot” and north of Rome, Perugia became a Sister City to Seattle in 1991. It is the capital of the region of Umbria, and its major exports are chocolate and other food products. Perugia has a Seattle Sister City park named Orca Park, which features “Sister Orca,” a sculpture created by Seattle artist Marvin Oliver and dedicated in July 2008.
Perugia Park is located at the northeast corner of E John Street and Summit Avenue E. The .22-acre park was acquired in 2007 with funding from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy and a matching grant from the King County Conservation Futures Tax. This space on the western slope of Capitol Hill will be developed into a neighborhood park and P-Patch. Construction is projected to begin in the spring. Development funds will come from both the Pro Parks Levy and the P-Patch Program.
There are six other parks that bear the name of Seattle’s Sister Cities. They are: Beer Sheva Park (Israel), Bergen Place (Norway), Kobe Terrace (Japan), Nantes Park (France), Daejeon Park (Korea) and Tashkent Park (Uzbekistan). Seattle has Sister City relationships with 21 cities. For more information about the Sister City program, visit: www.seattle.gov/oir/sistercities/
The Park Naming Committee is comprised of one representative of the Board of Park Commissioners, one representative of the Seattle City Councilmember who chairs the committee dealing with parks issues, and one representative of the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. For more information about the park naming process, please contact Paula Hoff, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 206-615-0368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We admit, we didn’t have many great ideas for the Summit at John project but there were a few worthy candidates to be honored . Oh well. Hopefully those Perugians are thankful.
We previously reported that the park’s groundbreaking is set of March .