Community Council: Don’t name Capitol Hill park after Perugia

The aftermath of the Seattle Parks Department’s decisions to name Capitol Hill’s new park at Summit and John for Seattle’s sister city of Perugia and, then, to quickly un-name it have moved into the letter writing phase. First, Perugia’s mayor Wladimiro Boccali sent off this message to Seattle’s new mayor:

You can read the rest here .

Meanwhile, the Capitol Hill Community Council is also speaking up on the matter. We received a copy of a letter the organization’s open space committee has sent to Seattle Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher, strategic adviser Paula Hoff and the three-member Parks naming committee:

Dear Mr. Gallagher, Ms. Hoff, and the Parks Naming Committee,
While we understand that naming the John and Summit project “Perugia Park” could be the first step towards healing the relationship between Perugia and Seattle, we’ve heard from a number of community members who have expressed the desire to see a name that honors the history of this particular park site and how it came to be.  The members of Unpaving Paradise, the Open Space Committee of the Capitol Hill Community Council, would like to express our desire for John and Summit Park to be named after a person or place with meaning and a connection to the Capitol Hill community. 
You may be aware that Unpaving Paradise has been involved in the planning and fundraising for this park for the past two years. Through countless hours and the work of many hands, we were able to secure the $150,000 needed to build the park and P-Patch as it was envisioned by the community. We hope you can see why we have concerns about a name that appears to overlook the tremendous efforts put forth by the community to create this public space.
Our first choice for a name for John and Summit Park is Paradise Park, after Unpaving Paradise and the community members of this group that have worked to make this park and P-Patch a reality. Our second choice is Summit Park, after Summit Avenue and the park’s placement on Capitol Hill. Our third is I-5 Shores Park, after the park’s proximity to the freeway and the nickname for that area of the neighborhood. 
We would like you to know that we have already reached out to the Seattle-Perugia Sister City Association with the hope of working with them on the next park to come to Capitol Hill.  We have the sincerest hope that this collaboration can be a fruitful one, so much so that when this next park is named “Perugia Park”, it will have the same deep meaning to the community as Unpaving Paradise does.
We hope you keep these suggestions in mind as you move forward in the naming process. We also hope that members of Unpaving Paradise and of the Parks Naming Committee will have the opportunity to meet sometime soon to discuss this project in person. 


Thank you,
Unpaving Paradise 

I-5 Shores? We like that.

Parks officials have said the naming decision has been tabled until later this spring. Construction is planned to begin on the new green space in March. We reported last week that favorable economic conditions might mean the park will be completed ahead of schedule .

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11 thoughts on “Community Council: Don’t name Capitol Hill park after Perugia

  1. I don’t like the Italian connection, but, the names proposed in the letter are not much better.

    I – 5 Whatcha is too flip and silly.

    Summit Park after the street, wow, shows a lot of original thought.

    Paradise for a tiny corner … makes it a joke again.

    Nice community name, nice community concept, something really C. Hill – we can do better.

    Now, Cal Anderson DOES resonate, doesn’t it … good model for other public spaces.

  2. I like Summit Park or I-5 Shores Park, but I have a feeling it’s going to end up being Perugia Park. The Parks people seemed to make a point of saying that they were just delaying the decision until the trial wasn’t so fresh in everyone’s minds, I don’t think they said anything about re-evaluating their decision.

  3. Please not Perugia Park. Think of the trauma this would cause Amanda Knox’s family from now through forever. The city of Perugia, in our memories, will always be linked with the Amanda Knox story whether she is guilty or innocent.

  4. If you do have name suggestions, we’d like to hear them. Unpaving Paradise didn’t get any suggestions except Paradise Park (after the name of the group), and there were a dearth of them on CHS Blog as well. We’re hoping to meet with the Parks Naming Committee, so if you have a good name suggestion, we’d be happy to mention it to them. (unpaving.paradise(at)

  5. You may be alone, almost, in feeling that is OK.

    And talk about banal, really, who cares. This sister/brother city thing is a bit of ceremony for city hall, not much else.

    How about a sister city in eastern Washington, like Spokane?

  6. Comrade Rab. – there were about a dozen names on this blog.

    And I submit Summit Pocket park …. is this all I do?

  7. ‘we’d like to hear them….’

    OK Comrade Bunny: “Paradiso Baci Park”

    Lil nod to UnpavingParadise and a big nod to our sister city and its famous chocolates.

    …Paradise Kisses…

  8. I like “Five Shores” better than I-5 Shores, the ambiguity lends more interest than directly naming the (unpaved) park after thousands of miles of pavement.