Proposals for transforming the lighting of Capitol Hill’s central Cal Anderson Park to make the space safer and friendlier to nighttime visitors were unveiled Thursday night at a community open house.
Here is a walk through the park with the elements recommended by Seattle design firm the Berger Partnership. Berger, by the way, has a lot to say about future lighting changes in the area around Cal Anderson. It is also leading the design of landscaping and lighting around the developments at Capitol Hill Station just north of the park.
Starting on the north end of the park, a visitor to a well-lit Cal Anderson would notice new “entry paving” wall lights at the park’s three northern entrance points. New globe lights would shine from the existing poles along the park’s pathways which would include base lights along the main sections of the path. Water mountain would be specially illuminated. Teletubby Hill would not.
Below water mountain, new pole lighting and base lights would illuminate the pathway along the flowing water. The park’s east and west portals would get the entryway lighting treatment. The Gatehouse at the southern end of the water feature would be illuminated — either with LED strips outlining its windows. A new Gatehouse Plaza would be created with overhead catenary lighting.
South of the Gatehouse, three more entrances would be treated with the improved lighting as would the restroom and Shelter House complex.
The southern entrances to the park will also be upgraded though there are no plans to change the sports field lighting as it appears now above Bobby Morris and the tennis/bike polo/skateboarding courts.
The proposals unveiled this week show where new lighting could be added including the addition of new lights to existing poles along the park’s pathways and at the park’s entrances. Plans do not call for adding lights to open areas or to the playground. The existing globe-style fixtures which use metal-halide bulbs would be switched out of a different globe-style fixture using LED bulbs to provide a more consistent color, easier maintenance, and more efficient performance. A study funded by the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce in 2015 (PDF) estimated the cost of adding pathway lighting at between $105,000 and $210,000 and a park-wide lighting renovation (including lighting in landscaped areas and architectural elements, would cost between $780,000 and $960,000. In addition to incorporating community feedback, any proposal would go through architectural and landmark review before sorting out funding and a construction schedule.
You can learn more about the proposals and provide feedback at seattle.gov.
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