Well-Known Community Sculpture to be Moved Off-Site for Restoration by Pratt Fine Arts Center During Redevelopment of Former MidTown Site and Returned Upon Completion
Seattle, WA, November 15, 2017 – Local developer Lake Union Partners (LUP) (www.lakeunionpatners.com) along with the James W. Washington, Jr. & Janie Rogella Washington Foundation today announced plans to restore the historic ‘The Fountain of Triumph’ sculpture located at the former MidTown site in Seattle’s Central District.
Created by late renowned local sculptor, painter and writer James Washington, Jr., ‘The Fountain of Triumph’ sculpture was commissioned for the 23rd & Union site in the late 1990s by former property owners The Bangasser Family, and was designed as a community meeting place and focal point for bringing unity to the ever-changing neighborhood.
“We’re so pleased that Lake Union Partners is helping to restore and return this meaningful sculpture to its original location,” said Rev. Dr. LaVerne C. Hall, Foundation Board President. “The Bangasser Family, including Foundation Board member Margaret Bangasser Delaney, showed great forethought commissioning this piece—and we’re thrilled it will be returning it to its former glory.”
“Since its first installation, the ‘Fountain of Triumph’ sculpture still brings significant meaning to the neighborhood,” said Patrick Foley, partner at LUP. “We’re so pleased it will return to ia prominent location on the property following the redevelopment of Midtown with Africatown and Capitol Hill Housing. We are thankful to the Foundation for working with us to ensure its safe removal and restoration.”
Restoration of Meaningful Sculpture
Meant to underscore the beauty and message of struggle and determination, Washington wrote of the sculpture, “Life is the truest cycle that ever will be. A symbol of this is the salmon’s return from the sea. As the salmon starts back on its physical trend to complete the cycle where life began, so it is with blacks of the racial trend on the American scene who have struggled like the salmon to reach his or her pinnacle of life and the free spirit again.”
He continued, “This is the goal of the African-American women and men: To pass on to their offspring the energy in their body and recycle their physical remains in Mother Earth to be used again.”
Seattle-based Pratt Fine Arts Center, a non-profit arts resource center focused on providing education, instruction, community programs and professionally-equipped art-making facilities, will lead repair and restoration of the sculpture while it is relocated by Fabrication Specialties to the Foundation property at 1816 26th Ave.
Celebrated Sculptor and Purposeful Foundation
As one of the most celebrated sculptors from the Northwest, James Washington received much acclaim for his sculptures during his long life—with his work still featured in well-known locations through Seattle, including Mt. Zion Church, The Washington State Convention Center, and The Sheraton.
Established in 1997, the James & Janie Washington Foundation was mandated by James and Janie with the purpose of preserving the art, writing and lifetime works of Washington and to share their vision through the preservation, interpretation and showing of his works and studio, the family’s garden’s and home.
Additionally, the Foundation was created to encourage others by providing a setting whether they can grow beyond the book – spiritually and artistically – and to share their talents with a larger audience. Currently working to redefine its mission, the Foundation invites support through in-kind or financial contributions.
Historic Partnership for Redevelopment
Earlier this year, the Africatown Community Land Trust (Africatown), Forterra and local developer Lake Union Partners (LUP) announced a historic partnership for inclusive redevelopment of the southeast corner 23rd & East Union (Midtown) block.
Lake Union Partners, which closed on purchase of the full City block from MidTown LP for $23.25 million, sold 20 percent of the block to local land conservancy non-profit Forterra, which served as the interim purchaser on behalf of Africatown. Africatown has sinced partnered with local affordable housing developer Capitol Hill Housing, and in early October completed the transaction on their purchase of 20 percent of the block.
Lake Union Partners intends to develop between 400-420 apartment homes on their portion of the site, including approximately 125 affordable housing units allocated for households earning between $40,000 and $65,000 per year or 60% to 85% of area-median income (AMI).
The affordable housing will be built as part of both the City of Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program and the Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program (MFTE). There are also plans for approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of ground-level commercial retail and restaurant space.
Additionally, Africatown/Capitol Hill Housing will develop 120-135 apartment homes affordable to individuals with income as low as $26,880 or 40% AMI. The building will also include about 3,100 sq. ft. of ground-level retail. Combined, roughly 50% of the housing on the full-block will be affordable to people earning between 40-85% of area median income.
The full-block project will include capacity for approximately 515,000 sq. ft. of developable building area including ground-level retail, a large community plaza, the ‘Fountain of Triumph’ sculpture and six stories of apartment housing.
Redevelopment of the site is consistent with the vision of the 23rd Avenue Action Plan and the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislative re-zone for the Central District along 23rd Avenue.
About Lake Union Partners
Seattle-based Lake Union Partners is an urban real estate company specializing in residential mixed-use and commercial projects in Seattle. As a team of creative and experienced developers, the company is focused on building projects with design integrity and sensitivity to local neighborhoods. Learn more at www.lakeunionpartners.com.