Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Freeway Park Seattle

This park lives up to the hype. It is successful enough that it was hard to imagine a freeway underneath. One of the true tests it passed was when the kids both commented that it looked like a canyon with rocks and a stream. I try to listen to the kids response and I try to tease out their reactions. They are not unbiased reactions by any means, because they sit across from me at the dinner table every night and listen to my endless blathering of architecture, landscape, social and environmental issues. It was interesting when we first walked into the park and saw the benches with the wooden dividers. It wasn't until a little bit further into the park that we saw a very uncomfortable person trying to sleep between the dividers. It was like sleeping on the floor board in the back of a vehicle. It was then that I realized they were sleeping lumps for those inclined to camp. I didn't feel it was dignified to take a picture of the person sleeping on the bench.

I never felt my safety threatened. However, I try to be a little more cautious when I have my children present. We were snooping through the nooks and crannies of the park when I turned a corner and was face to face with someone that was camping and in the act of administering drugs or insulin. I'm not sure I would know the difference.

However, overall the park was plenty friendly and safe feeling. It was almost natural feeling in a very built sense. Plant material and water capture the spirit of nature. The concrete mountain stream was a piece of art framed within nature and hovering over a freeway. I'm glad I went.

The kids give a little sense of the scale. It was amazing where the kids could actually climb unrestricted. They could jump up on walls that had huge drops on the other side.

I see these rock doves nesting and I remember my lectures in Architecture History. Prof. Weinel liked to remind us that there were many more users than just humans.