There has been much talk and very little action about putting the lot emptied in preparation for construction of Capitol Hill’s light rail station into motion so it is more than just, well, an empty lot. This weekend, you’ll finally see some action. Lots of it
Artist Dan Corson begins drilling thousands of holes — 3,500, to be exact — as he creates a 65′ x 125′ garden of fiberglass reeds, varying in height from 2′ to 8′ in an undulating field. “At night a laser light show will play over the field, moving up and down and through the reeds, in a slow-moving constantly changing spectacle,” Sound Transit art program manager Barbara Luecke tells CHS. “We hope it becomes a surprise destination and stop for Capitol Hill goers, before or after dinner and drinks.”
You can see the design diagram of the ‘undulating field’ on this post and the attached video is of a project Corson worked on in Florida to give you an idea of what we’re going to see on Broadway starting on Halloween.
After the holes are drilled this weekend, reed installation starts Monday. Lighting tests follow with a formal opening on Halloween. Luecke says the current plan is for the installation to stay up through November 9th but that Sound Transit is working to keep the art in place a bit longer. “A longer run will be at the discretion of the Capitol Hill tunnel construction contractor who takes over the site then,” Luecke explained. “Station construction is about to begin!”
Luecke also apologized for not announcing the project sooner but said there were a lot of technical issues to solve to make the installation happen.
If you’d like to help, Luecke is looking for volunteers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or — if you are really into getting involved and helping out, drop CHS a line and we’ll help you get in touch with Barbara via phone.
I stopped by Saturday afternoon and got to meet Corson and talk with Luecke about the project. They’re close to done with drilling holes. Next steps will be preparing and painting the rods then planting them in the asphalt.
Luecke said that, while it may be true that Sound Transit has been slow to activate the lot during its empty period before construction, she has been working hard to make this project happen. To give you a sense of the kinds of barriers somebody planning community art projects for an agency like Sound Transit faces, Luecke said this installation was almost scuttled at the last minute Friday night because of concerns the drilled holes might impact the ‘integrity’ of the asphalt during the construction phases. Calmer heads prevailed and the work is underway.
Corson said the planted rods will be yellow with orange tips and the installation will be lit by green laser light at night. They’re still working out plans for the Halloween unveiling but he said curious neighbors have already been dropping by to find out what he was up to in the long-empty lot.
Corson said they’ll need help painting the rods so if you’d like to get involved, send Luecke a mail through the link above.
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