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Hidden Seattle: Olympic Sculpture Park.

April 9, 2009

At first glance, the Olympic Sculpture Park in downtown Seattle looks like a child’s pop-up book. 

Photo by Aiden Duffy.

Eagle, the 1971 sculpture by Alexander Calder, frames the Space Needle

Dotted across the nine-acre park are dozens of sculptures, some towering over the landscape and some so unobtrusive as to be lost unless you know what you’re looking for. The first two pieces I noticed were the Eagle, a tall, red, steel edifice that dominates the center of the park, and Typewriter Eraser, Scale X, which stands down the hill near Elliott Avenue. Sculpted by Alexander Calder in 1971, Eagle’s curves and points stand out in stark relief against the more organic backdrop of the Olympic Mountains to the west. Eraser, fabricated in 1999 by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, gives the impression of perpetual motion, with the brush on the top appearing to fly back from the eraser’s forward movement.        

“Typewriter Eraser is my favorite,” said Joseph Redman, a local businessman out for a morning walk. “It just seems so vibrant and exciting.”

The park is divided into four distinct precincts, each of which reflects a landscape found in the Pacific Northwest. The Valley represents the evergreen forests for which this state is so well-known. The flora in this precinct are mostly tall evergreen trees, along with flowering bushes, ferns and other assorted plants associated with the Northwest lowlands.    

Photo by Aiden Duffy.

World-renowned artist Richard Serra’s Wake stands near the entrance to the Olympic Sculpture Park.



Read more at: 

hidden Seattle: Olympic Sculpture Park


I wrote about a visit to the Sculpture Park in 2007. See more photos here: Day Trip to Seattle.

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