Call Detail
City of Seattle: Lower Mapes Creek Art Project

Contact Email:
Call Type: Unspecified
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Unspecified
Entry Deadline: 5/18/12
Application Closed
Media Images:16

The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks), seeks an artist or artist team to develop site-integrated artwork for the Lower Mapes Creek Restoration project. The artwork will be located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood in Seattle. The project area includes 52nd Avenue South, between Rainier Avenue South and South Henderson Street into Beer Sheva Park. SPU will be restoring lower Mapes Creek to an open stream channel in Beer Sheva Park to improve habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon rearing in Lake Washington. The artist will work with SPU and its consultants to develop an artwork that will be located in the project area, constructed within the schedule of the creek restoration.

SPU is restoring lower Mapes Creek, which historically ran through Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood and drained to Lake Washington. SPU is restoring the creek to an open stream channel in Beer Sheva Park to improve rearing habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon in Lake Washington. SPU is also building a new pipeline to convey combined sewage to the King County Henderson Pump Station.

This project includes (Please see “View Site Details” link at the top of the page to view project map)
• A diversion structure and dedicated pipeline that will carry Mapes Creek flow from South Fisher Plaza to South Henderson Street along the 52nd Avenue South right-of-way and along South Henderson Street into Beer Sheva Park.
• A headwall structure where the pipe carrying Mapes Creek flow discharges into a new channel in the park.
• A new channel from the Mapes Creek pipe outlet to Lake Washington.
• A pedestrian bridge across the new channel and a path.
• A diversion structure and new combined sewer pipe from Rainier Ave South to South Henderson along the 52nd Avenue South right-of-way and along South Henderson to the King County Henderson Pump Station.
• Landscaping, plaza, path and street restoration.

Key Design Elements
The pipelines and diversion structures will be located in the 52nd Avenue South, South Henderson and Seward Park Avenue South rights-of-way. Along 52nd Avenue South, the south portion (between Rainier Avenue South and South Fisher Plaza) is paved with a curb on the west side and gravel shoulder on the east side. The gravel shoulder is used for truck parking. Pavement ends at South Fisher Plaza and becomes an asphalt path on an elevated berm to a plaza with artwork at South Henderson Street. The berm is vegetated primarily with grass and trees and includes lights. Between 52nd Avenue South and Seward Avenue South, the pipelines will be in the right-of-way, between the existing sidewalk and the property line for Lake Washington Apartments. The SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) installed landscape improvements including trees and fences. These improvements will be removed during construction and restored in coordination with SEED, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and SPU.

The combined sewer pipeline ends at the King County Henderson Pump Station. The Mapes Creek pipeline will continue underneath Seward Park Avenue South, and emerge at the head of a new channel in Beer Sheva Park. The channel and pipe outlet/headwall structure will be designed with Seattle Parks and Recreation’s input. The channel will be curved as needed to meet the habitat design criteria, minimize the number of trees that must be removed to allow channel construction, and to blend with the park setting.

The existing plaza, with artwork developed by SEED and other community members several years ago, will need to be modified by SPU. SPU will work with SEED to address artwork impacts and associated restoration.

SPU goals for this project
52nd Avenue South CSO Reduction and Lower Mapes Creek Restoration project will:
o Improve the function of the Lake Washington shoreline ecosystem as it relates to habitat for juvenile salmonids and other wildlife.
o Provide a dedicated pipe for Mapes Creek from Fisher Plaza to Beer Sheva Park so that creek flow can be returned to Lake Washington’s shoreline.
o Return Mapes Creek flow to Lake Washington near its historic location at Beer Sheva Park.
o Allow for the channel to provide sediment and more natural shoreline and habitat for fish and other wildlife.
o Provide low gradient channel slope due to the topography.
o Provide a pedestrian bridge across the channel to retain the physical connection of the two areas of Beer Sheva Park.
o Include landscaping and other features that will meet Parks & Recreation’s standards.
o Blend with the many features of Beer Sheva Park. Installed artwork should be integrated with the park so that it does not affect the park’s use or view corridors or take up additional land.
o Work towards achieving regulatory compliance by reducing combined sewer overflows into Lake Washington.
o Include project elements that are underground, except for an above-ground electrical panel and at-grade maintenance hole covers.
o Provide in-kind restoration of streets, paths, light standards and other features affected by construction.
o Restore the plaza and artwork at the north end of the 52nd Avenue South walkway in coordination with SEED.

The South Henderson Street right-of-way restoration will be coordinated with SDOT and SEED, which expects to a street use permit from SDOT for use of the right-of-way.

The project is currently in design through early 2013 and construction is expected to begin in mid 2013. Project completion is expected in 2015. The artist will work with SPU and its consultants to develop an artwork that will be constructed within the project schedule.

Additional background for the Lower Mapes Creek Restoration Project can be found at:

The neighborhood
Located approximately 10 miles southeast of Downtown Seattle, the Rainier Beach community is considered the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Seattle. Rainier Beach includes a range of natural and built landscapes. Nestled between southern Beacon Hill and Lake Washington, Rainier Beach has rivulets, creeks, ravines, hills, parks and open spaces, walking trails, businesses, residences of differing densities, and civic institutions.

The project area includes low income single family and multi-family housing. Nearby to the west are Rainier Beach High School, South Shore Middle School, Rainier Beach Community Center, Dunlap School and the Rainier Beach Branch Library.

SEED is a non-profit community development corporation that strives to improve the quality of life through its housing and economic development programs in southeast Seattle. SEED, through SEEDArts, uses art to build community and partnerships through its various visual and performing arts programs and facilities including its Public & Youth Residency program. SEEDArts created a public art walk in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, highlighting the more than 10 installations located in the area and produces the annual event, Art Walk Rainier Beach, in September.

Beer Sheva Park
Once known as Atlantic City Park, the site was renamed in honor of Seattle's sister city in Israel, Beer Sheva, in 1978. Just east of Rainier Beach High School, this tiny one-tenth of an acre lakefront park features a children's play area, picnic tables, pathways and a Works Progress Administration (WPA) era restroom.

When C.D. Hillman platted the area in 1905 and called it the "Atlantic City Addition," there was a log cabin located about 100 feet from the corner of the park that was believed by local residents to be the birthplace of Princess Angeline, Chief Seattle's daughter.

As the area grew, it became the terminus of the trolley line "all the way" from Washington Street in downtown Seattle. The trolley operated from 1889 to 1936. When first built it was the longest interurban line in the state. The trolley in turn encouraged economic development along the line.

The dedicated park land was almost lost when realtors neglected to record the plat in 1905. When they finally did file a plat, it did not include the park land. Fortunately, a lawsuit by buyers of lots in the plat went to the state Supreme Court, which affirmed in 1907 that the park land had been dedicated to the public.

A lively boathouse rented boats, served refreshments and provided free dressing rooms. The opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal lowered the level of the lake by nine feet in 1917. The boathouse was demolished, and a tennis court, picnic stove and play equipment took its place.

During the Depression in 1940, the WPA built a new cobblestone comfort station, a new picnic shelter and a stone drinking fountain.

In 1942 the Rainier Beach Men's Club bought the waterfront property south of South Henderson Street and gave it to Parks and Recreation. In cooperation with the Engineering Department (now SDOT), several street ends were developed into Atlantic City boat ramps.

Adjacent to Beer Sheva Park is the Atlantic City Gardens, managed by Seattle Tilth.

The selected artist or artist team will work with SPU, Parks, project consultants and community members to develop a site-integrated artwork that reinforces concepts related to the restored functions of Mapes Creek. The artwork is to be installed in one of two possible artwork locations: 1) in proximity of or adjacent to the creek restoration project area located in Beer Sheva Park; or 2) along the 52nd Avenue South right-of-way, between South Fisher Plaza and the Lake Washington Apartments’ plaza at South Henderson Street. The artist is expected to develop an artwork that will have a strong presence and responds to the selected site’s design and patterns of use.

The artist will consider an artwork that addresses habitat restoration and stormwater management as it relates to SPU’s work, and as appropriate also reflects community, setting and natural elements of an urban creek that will enhance the visitor’s experience with the creek channel in Beer Sheva Park or the 52nd Avenue South pedestrian walkway. The artist or artist team will be encouraged to include a variety of diverse media in the artwork. The artist will design, fabricate and install the artwork on a timeline that parallels work on the pipeline and creek restoration.

The call is open to established professional artists residing and eligible to work in the United States. Artists whose work addresses environmental issues are especially encouraged to apply. Artists may apply as a team of no more than two. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs encourages diversity in its collection. Artists whose work is well-represented in the city’s collection are eligible to apply, but the artist selection panel will consider artistic diversity as one factor in the selection process. Students are not eligible to apply.

The total budget for the artwork is $200,000. The selected artist will receive a design contract for $30,000 to develop site-integrated artwork. If the design proposal is accepted, the artist will receive a subsequent contract for $170,000 to fabricate and install the artwork.

11 p.m. (PDT), Friday, May 18, 2012.

• Letter of interest (not to exceed 2,000 characters). Please read the prompt in CaFÉ before uploading your letter of interest. If you are applying as a team, the letter should clearly describe the contribution of each collaborator.
• Résumé
• Three references
• Up to 16 images.
• Image Identification List (not to exceed 500 characters for each image). If you are applying as a team, the image identification should list the name of the artist for each image submitted. Do not omit the Image Identification List or your application will be incomplete.

The artist will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:
• Quality of concept, design and craftsmanship of past works.
• Visual and technical sophistication.
• Creativity of approach.
• The ability to produce durable outdoor art.
• A proven ability to coordinate and collaborate with project managers, design professionals and community stakeholders.
• Demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget.

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks. References provided as part of this application will be contacted prior to artist interviews.

The selection process will take place in two parts. During the first round, a panel of arts professionals, client representatives and community members will review the applicants’ images, qualifications and other materials. The panelists will identify up to four finalists to interview at a second panel meeting two to three weeks later. The panel will select one artist or artist team to be awarded the commission.

Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by e-mail by end of June 2012. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs reserves the right not to select any of the applicants.

Please contact Jason Huff, Public Art Project Manager, at (206) 684-7278 or

For assistance with the CaFE online application process, contact CaFE tech support at (888) 562-7232 or, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
Print this Page    View Legal Agreement