Contact: Calandra Childers,
SAM Public Relations
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM’S OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK CELEBRATES FIVE YEARS
5th Birthday Party, Saturday, January 21, 11 am–3 pm
SEATTLE, January 12, 2012 – Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park marks its five year birthday on January 21 with a free community celebration at the park’s PACCAR Pavilion beginning at 11 am. The 9-acre park transformed an industrial brownfield into an internationally acclaimed green space for art and people. The free park, operated by the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), has seen approximately 2.5 million residents and visitors since it opened on January 20, 2007. The park has garnered over 20 design, architecture, urban planning and environmental awards over the past five years, making it one of Seattle’s most celebrated landmarks.
January 21st Birthday Party
11 am–3 pm
The public is invited to celebrate this occasion with the museum on Saturday, January 21. From 11 am–3 pm in the PACCAR Pavilion SAM is providing free birthday cupcakes and caramels (provided by TASTE) and hosting a birthday art activity for kids of all ages. All events are free and open to the public. People who would like to give the museum a birthday gift are encouraged to donate $5 for 5 years to the museum’s Annual Fund, which provides funding for SAM’s artistic and education programs.
Award and Recognition Highlights
Travel + Leisure Magazine’s Design Award for best cultural space (2008)
Time Magazine’s Top Ten Best (New and Upcoming) Architectural Marvels (2007)
American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, Top Restored Beach Award
American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter, Design Awards: Architecture Honor Award
American Institute of Architects, Seattle Chapter, Design Awards: Architecture Honor Award
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Professional Awards: General Design Honor Award
American Institute of Architects, New York State Chapter, Excellence in Design Award
Cascade Land Conservancy, New Directions for Livable Communities Award
Harvard University Graduate School of Design's Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design
Museum of Modern Art, featured in the exhibition “Groundswell, Constructing the Contemporary Landscape”
Architecture Magazine, Progressive Architecture Award
World Architecture Festival 2008, Nature Category Award
Finalist for the Urban Land Institute’s Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award
The Olympic Sculpture Park transformed a major industrial site into a 9-acre park that is free and accessible to the public. In 1999 SAM entered into a partnership with the Trust for Public Land to raise funds to purchase the land. From the start, the Seattle Art Museum aimed to return the site as much as possible to a functioning ecosystem, while providing a unique setting for an outstanding collection of outdoor sculpture. The project’s lead designers, Weiss/Manfredi of New York, developed an innovative Z-shaped design that joins three parcels into a continuous landscape. This design afforded environmental recovery in multiple ways, including brownfield redevelopment, salmon habitat restoration, native plantings and sustainable treatment of stormwater runoff.
Shoreline and Salmon Restoration
Key to SAM’s original vision was restoring the shoreline to a pre-urban state and creating near-shore habitat to provide refuge and foraging to juvenile Chinook salmon migrating from the Green/Duwamish River to Puget Sound. The Olympic Sculpture Park accomplished these goals by removing rip-rap rock, which posed a barrier to both fish and people, and developing a pocket beach with native shoreline plantings. During the park’s design phase, the full extent of a weakened seawall was discovered, so the project combined seawall repair with shoreline restoration. By creating a shallow subtidal habitat bench with a kelp forest, SAM was able to both stabilize the weakened seawall and improve the salmon habitat in the Puget Sound estuary.
Native Plants Restored
Another major goal was to integrate native plants and sculptured soils to create natural drainage on the site. To that end, dense native understory vegetation now helps retain rainfall above the soil surface. Native plants are the most visible part of the restoration effort and re-establish a landscape progression from upland to shoreline.
About the Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
2901 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
The Olympic Sculpture Park is open and free to the public 365 days a year.
Park Hours–Open Daily
Opens 30 minutes prior to sunrise
Closes 30 minutes after sunset
PACCAR Pavilion Hours
Day after Labor Day–April 30
Tuesday–Sunday: 10 am–4 pm
May 1–Labor Day
Tuesday–Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
PACCAR Pavilion Garage
Pay parking is available in the PACCAR Pavilion garage. The entrance to the parking garage is on the southeast corner of the park at Broad Street and Western Avenue. Open daily from 6 am–11 pm. No overnight parking.