“Tim Marsden hands a section of Stefan Gruber’s artwork “Both Worlds” to an assistant. De-installation of artwork and dismantling of the red wall next to Cal Anderson Park continues over the next several weeks.” — (Images: Jennifer Babuca)
UPDATE 4/6/2015: See?!? :)
Piece by piece, Broadway’s Red Wall is finally coming down, we wrote last October. The comedown continues — and is picking up pace.
The giant wall surrounding the five-acre Capitol Hill Station site home to a well-regarded collection of public art projects is starting to be prepared for removal as construction on the light rail facility wraps up in preparation for a start of service in early 2016. Here is an update on one section of art recently removed from STart on Broadway’s Jennifer Babuca:
It’s a beautiful spring Thursday on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Tim Marsden of Sound Transit stands in the basket of a scissor lift, efficiently working an electrical screwdriver as artist Stefan Gruber looks on. Starting on this sunny Thursday, the attached pieces of artwork and signage are being removed from the section of wall that faces Cal Anderson Park.
As the twittersphere contemplates their #tbt posts, I’m having a bit of a Throwback Thursday moment myself. Looking at the last works of art to grace the wall, I can’t help but think back on the many projects that this site has hosted, even before the wall existed. Lead Artist and Curator D.K. Pan created an overarching theme of examining love, loss and the nature of change that he summed up with the words “time is memory.” My memory is certainly teaming: here stood the beloved Café Vivace, dressed in Webster Crowell’s parasols; over here was our very first art intervention, at those row of houses where Kay Rood’s home stood; and what was in that restaurant over there again? Oh, that’s right – neon signs by Ingrid Lahti! So much has changed, and yet part of me feels like it’s always been this way. Once the wall comes down and the station is open, I’m sure it will feel even more so, and our collective memories of this place will give way to the new normal.
Sound Transit says the construction wall will be totally removed by late summer. Meanwhile, the agency has said it now expects to announce housing and commercial developers for the property surrounding Capitol Hill Station in April.
The 24-foot by 120-foot self-portrait-with-owls mural that has dominated most of the East John street stretch of the red wall since 2010 — designed by local street artist Baso Fibonacci and painted by Zach Rochstad and Japhy Witte — will have to come down with the removal of the wall.
“I have no idea what I would do with 100 pieces of plywood,” said Fibonacci after CHS asked him what he was going to do with his work. According to the artist, the paneling wasn’t primed before the mural was painted and is “falling apart.” He did say that he will try and snag a few panels for himself before they disappear from the premises.
Though the art-covered wall will be gone, Capitol Hill Station will have plenty of interesting things to look at as the subway station integrates works by Capitol Hill artist Ellen Forney and a massive “Jet Kiss” sculpture by artist Mike Ross.
The project to construct Capitol Hill Station and the $1.8 billion U-Link extension remains on track to come in about 15% below budget, a pace Sound Transit has been touting since last year. Long term ridership projections are strong — by 2030, the station on Broadway between Denny and John is expected to serve 14,000 daily boardings.