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Seven Hills? One Capitol Hill park gets its ‘official’ name

Mithun’s ‘conceptual model’ of the park. The ‘Seven Hills’ art element is represented by the brown lumps

One of Capitol Hill’s two new parks finally has a name. The green space soon to be built at 16th and Howell will be known as Seven Hills Park to reflect an art element envisioned for the park. The art — part of park designer Mithun’s plan — would depict the ‘original’ seven hills of Seattle. Here’s a Wikipedia list of every other city in the world claiming to be built on seven hills. As we noted before, you can blame Rome.

Last we heard, the art element still wasn’t covered in the funds available to build the park. Guess that changed. Or we might be looking for another name for the park soon.

Last month was the deadline for community members to submit ideas to name two Capitol Hill parks under development. No word yet on the Summit/John park’s official name. In choosing the Seven Hills moniker, the parks department passed over an opportunity to honor Capitol Hill community leaders or historical figures. CHS offered up a list of worthy candidates here.

Once a parking lot, soon a park

The good folks at the Howell Collective got early word on the new name and have posted the the parks department press release. According to the release, the Seven Hills idea was submitted by first graders at St. Joe’s. Too bad those kids haven’t met Purple Mark.

Seven Hills Park

Parks acquired the Capitol Hill site at the northeast corner of E Howell St. and 16th Ave. E in 2007 with funding from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy and King County Conservation Futures tax revenues. The approved plan consists of an open lawn in the middle bordered by a collective garden to the north and a crushed rock plaza and a pathway lined with trees to the south. Other elements include a garden walk, steps, a plaza and benches, barbeque, a picnic table, and an art element.

The art element, “Seven Hills of Seattle,” designed by Mithun Landscape Architects, includes a grouping of seven boulders for creative play and seating that represent the seven hills of Seattle, called out in an early effort by early 20th century civic boosters to liken Seattle to Rome. (The hills are First Hill, Second Hill [Central Area ridge], Denny Hill [now the Denny Regrade and Belltown], Capitol Hill, Yesler or Profanity Hill [actually part of First Hill], Beacon Hill, and Queen Anne Hill. Some accounts include Magnolia Bluff, Sunset Hill, Duwamish Head, and West Seattle Hill.

Parks received more than 50 suggestions for a name for this park, and the Naming Committee settled on Seven Hills Park, suggested by first grade students at nearby St. Joseph’s school after the artwork in the park that represents Seattle’s seven hills.

Construction on the site, also funded by the Pro Parks Levy, is scheduled to be completed by spring 2010.

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10 thoughts on “Seven Hills? One Capitol Hill park gets its ‘official’ name

  1. Happy to hear that 16th and Howell has a name now…so when do we get to find out about John and Summit? I’m still rooting for Paradise Park :)

  2. personally i’d just be happy to know when groundbreaking will be taking place on the john/summit park. didn’t it get its funding first? yet i haven’t heard anything more about it in, seems like, a year now.

    i’m happy to have helped out financially but how about some updates on the progress/status?

  3. The truth is public spaces and things, buildings and bridges and roads, often, yes, often, reflect the common folk usage and the name means shit.

    Pardon my blunt language, but, have need of coffee. And I had too many covers and almost smothered sleeping last night. So …

    Ref: the two bridges trans Lake Washington – one was the new bridge and the other the old bridge for 50 years.

    Then they became the I-90 bridge and the 520 bridge reflecting highway numbering.

    BOTH have names, the 520 is the Rosellini bridge, reflecting an ex gov., quite elderly now, but still alive.

    The OTHER is named??? — Justin will give you a fine prize left over from Hoopla, the food was all eaten, if you know. (CANNOT GOOGLE)

    Cheers, Mike


    Sounds like a movie title from the 1950ies with some hunky guy and his slave women, filmed in D grade everything in Italy. Never released in America, too raunchy to pass censors. BIG hit in Italy and the communist bloc countries. Seven Hills has sold millions of videos in Japan on its re-release just a few years ago.

    Seven Hills is silly copy cat looking back to the 1850ies …. Seattle has not been seven hills since water cannon and massive sluicing days of yore, but then, Park Naming is an art few can claim. Certainly not the Parks Company part of the city infra.

  5. Ok, this must be part of some huge practical joke by the designer to actually get the city to create 7 huge pieces of dog $hit as a public art project. Given the ridiculous design of this park, that’s the only use it’ll see. So, perhaps it’s fitting.

  6. Correct in the name – this Murrow was a DOT Director and related to the famed radio news person – Edward R. Murrow.

    Do you want a prize? Or just to be known as a trivia expert of the highest grade … cheers.


  7. For me the lumps look like dead pigs waiting to be scraped, gutted and taken to the meat cutter at the locker plant …

    Yum, pork for the winter ….

    But then, after dinner I might be less food focused …

  8. The “Seven Hills” naming illustrates Seattle gov’ts dedication to the insipid, the meaningless, its preference for an infantilized view of the public and its comment, its fondness for fatuous boosterism. Those inert objects represent cocooned Seattle citizens in the attitude preferred by City Hall.

    It’s a finger poked in the eye of the Hill.