Second new Capitol Hill park named for our Italian sister city – UPDATE

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:

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.

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.

Original Post:
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 :


 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:

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

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 .

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14 thoughts on “Second new Capitol Hill park named for our Italian sister city – UPDATE

  1. No. They didn’t. In light of this, not naming the park after the community group (Unpaving Paradise) that did raise half the construction budget for John and Summit seems awfully rude.

  2. Trying to find logic in this sort of thing will not work.

    Slang for the park will be ________________________________ , and that will be the real name.

    Italian sister city – ha ha – lived here for years and this is the first time I have ever heard this major news … must mean a lot when the sister city thing is buried in the basement at city hall.

    Rude to the max to not say thanks to the community.

  3. That it’s named Perugia? I’m familiar with the whole Amanda Knox case and I had no idea it even took place in Perugia. That’s the last thing the name reminds me of.

  4. The last thing I want in my neighborhood that I have to see daily is a reminder of that messed up city and their messed up criminal investigation. I guess it will help keep Amanda Knox’s name alive and foist it off on generations to come. Just a dumb move all around for all involved.

    Stupid excuse for keeping it too.

    Screw Perugia and screw being its sister city, if anything it owes us an apology for how it treated one of our own, who no matter what she IS guilty of, I am convinced, did not murder and rape her roommate. And that idiot prosecutor can go to hell.

    Better watch out this comment will get you sued.

  5. Wow, Hammerstad is a great example of denial. So what if it had been in the “works” for years? That doesn’t change the fact that it is a bad decision. Amanda Knox was the first thing I thought of when I read the article. I wonder how much it will cost the city when the name sign is repeatedly defaced which I expect will be the natural outcome.

  6. Um…why didn’t anybody bother to tell the community this? Or ask them if they wanted this particular park named after Perugia?

  7. Nickname – On Appeal Park.
    or Justice Denied Park.
    or-What Really Happened Park.
    or-Murder Memory Park.
    or-Ode to Italian Justice Park.

    The more I think about this – it is a bummer and getting me agitated … why do we as a community have to live with such maladroit crap from city bureaux?


    Think on it while getting buzzed for the New Year on the Eve!!!

    Have Fun folks, tomorrow night, cheers, Mike

  8. How can the incoporeal name of park be “in the works for several years”? What, do they have a whole two signs from 2005 laying around that say “Perugia Park”? Is there a single page invoice somewhere for the web guy to add it to the Parks website?

    Yes Hammerstad the timing is “really unfortunate” so pick another one of the 14 available sister city names and put this one on the back burner for a few more years. “Shihanoukville Gardens” has a nice ring to it, no?

  9. Well, the Parks Department got the initials right:

    P, for Paradise Park
    S.H. for Shannon Harpes Memorial Park

    The naming process for these parks (and others around the town) remains odd. It doesn’t make any effort to celebrate the parks’ neighborhoods or to respond to local interest or even to acknowledge the work of local people in financing and building the park. Our Parks Superintendent, who moved to Seattle only recently, has the full authority to make these decisions. Only the City Council can change them. So we can create our own local names for the parks and use them, right?

  10. Hi everyone,
    I am president of the Seattle-Perugia Sister City Association. We’ve been trying for some time to create a sister city park dedicated to the friendship between the people of the two cities. It’s unfortunate that the tragic Knox-Kercher case now defines Perugia for many people, overshadowing the many artistic, educational and political exchanges we’ve had over many years. The case should not define Perugia any more than the murder of police officers here should define Seattle. That may be too much to hope short term, but my goal will be to help the Knox family here individually but also working to make certain this tragedy does not destroy our sister city friendships.
    Mike James

  11. Nice Mike. Nice. You are the PR guy, right?


    To the point, from the community. Start over.

    Horrible thinking that some healing would begin. Wait a generation or two.

    Another Mike, with better hair.