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Blue Angels above Seattle, Jet Kiss below Capitol Hill

Mike Ross and crew in 2010 after after receiving the A14 fighter jet for the future installation in Capitol Hill Station (Image: Kat Nyberg Photography with permission to CHS)

Mike Ross and crew in 2010 after after receiving the A4 fighter jet for the future installation in Capitol Hill Station (Image: Kat Nyberg Photography with permission to CHS)

The return of fighter jets above the skies of Seattle has CHS thinking about the fighter jets destined to fly together underneath Capitol Hill.

For the Blue Angels, here’s when to make sure your babies, pets, and skittish friends are in a safe place over the next few days:

2014 – I-90 Seafair and Blue Angels Closures
The annual Seafair festival begins when the pirates land the first week of July and ends with the Blue Angels flying over Lake Washington in a spectacular display of aeronautics. The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) role is to make sure drivers and pilots are safe during the annual event.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires WSDOT to close Interstate 90 while the Blue Angels perform for the safety of both drivers and pilots.

Which roads and ramps will be closed?

Interstate 90 will be closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, eastbound and westbound, mainline and express lanes, between Interstate 5 in Seattle to Island Crest Way on Mercer Island:

  • Thursday, July 31: 9:45 a.m. – noon; 1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (Practice)
  • Friday, Aug. 1:  12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Practice)
  • Saturday, Aug. 2:  12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Full show)
  • Sunday, Aug. 3:  12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Full show)

Below ground and slated to hang above the boarding platform with the opening of Capitol Hill Station in 2016, Jet Kiss by artist Mike Ross features two A-4 fighter jets deconstructed and re-assembled in a kind of frozen mid-air embrace. “This monumental sculpture is created from two decommissioned A-4 Skyhawk fighter jets,” Ross wrote of his creation.

The jet was one of a pair taken apart and reconfigured for the sculpture (Image: Kat Nyberg Photography with permission to CHS)

The jet was one of a pair taken apart and reconfigured for the sculpture (Image: Kat Nyberg Photography with permission to CHS)

jetkiss1The main structure of the sculpture was unveiled at the artist’s Oakland, California studio in 2012:

After more than two years’ work my crew and I have completed the primary fabrication stage – all the structural and skin work is finished and both planes are suspended in position. 

The only thing left to do,” he wrote in 2012, “is to paint the piece and truck it up to Seattle.”



That paint job is now done. Here’s a peek at some of the glossy pink finish you’ll see on display in 2016.

The $440,000-budgeted project, despite some of the early controversy, seems like a pretty good use for warplanes. Meanwhile, developers are lined up to build housing, retail, commercial and plaza space around the station.

UPDATE: Want to see the future home of Jet Kiss UW Station before everybody else? Sound Transit is hosting another business boosting contest for construction-troubled Annapurna Cafe:

When you eat at Annapurna Café, 1833 Broadway, you can enter to win a Sound Transit all-access tour of the University of Washington Station before it opens in 2016.

To be eligible, you must spend at least $10 at Annapurna Café and fill out an entry form at the restaurant. You can enter every time you visit. You must be at least 18 and able to walk up and down several flights of stairs and through an active construction site. No entry information will be sold to an outside party.

A drawing in mid-September will determine the winners. Win bragging rights and see the University of Washington Station take shape before it opens to everyone in 2016.

Here’s how the last Annapurna contest for a walk in the light rail tunnels went:

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mike dedrick
mike dedrick
8 years ago

I guess I am one of those “skittish” people who are bothered by the intrusive presence of the Blue Angel combat aircraft in Seattle skies. While some of my friends think they are cool and beautiful, my memories are of blown apart kids, courtesy of US F-100 jets. But you don’t have to rely on the memories of a 69 year old vet, you can see up front close and personal – just look on TV at the dead kids in Gaza, courtesy of US made F-16s.
8 years ago

I guess guys like myself who remember the Superhornets off of the Chucky V and Reagan screaming over our heads and putting the JDAM’s exactly where they were needed have a different opinion. I love the sound, it brings back horrific memories but at the same time the best and most honest experiences of my life. They are beautiful. Shining royal blue, ‘US Navy’ in big yellow letters, shredding the sky. Piloted by US Naval aviators, the finest in the world. They are combat aircraft. Flown by warriors. I’m thankful they are here. It certainly made my daily jog a ton more fun.
8 years ago

Sua Sponte

8 years ago

The sound of freedom!


[…] the street, while plans are firm for what will be underground at the light rail station when it starts service around two years from now, the process to develop […]


[…] art won’t disappear once Capitol Hill Station opens. The Jet Kiss sculpture will soon hang above the loading […]


[…] Pinkies” piece will also introduce light rail riders to Mike Ross’s “Jet Kiss”  — two disassembled fighter jets facing one another suspended from the ceiling of the belly of the station — and the common theme of large-scale […]


[…] you’d like to read more about the project, here’s a recent article with good info, as well as more renderings of the design.  Also, check out the Sound Transit page, which includes […]