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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

June 25, 2009 at 2:37 PM

A room with a view at Ballard Corners Park

ballardcornerspark062309m.jpgJune 23, 10:28 a.m. [View larger] [Sketch location]
While the weeds have been growing in the big empty lot where the old Denny’s used to be, a group of neighbors a few streets north have been busy turning a pocket of land into a fabulous new park. It’s the Ballard Corners Park at 17th Avenue NW between NW 62nd and NW 63rd Street.
There used to be a house right here where I sat to draw. But these are not the couches left behind. Despite the comfy look, the entire living room is actually made out of concrete! It is meant to recognize that there was a house here before, said Rebecca Carr, 41, a member of the park’s steering committee.
For about four years, neighbors like Rebecca, who works as a business analyst for an insurance company and has two kids, have raised $450,000 to build the park on land that was purchased by the city. Rebecca points out that with all the new condos going up in the area, people don’t have big yards anymore but there’s still a need for green space and places for kids to play. Since it opened in May, Ballard Corners Park has already become a gathering place for old and young. “I had no idea there were so many kids in the neighborhood,” she said.
The concrete couches, though, are not without criticism: “The park is much nicer to look at, photograph and talk about than it is to play or sit in,” someone wrote on the park’s blog.
UPDATE: Some readers have emailed to point out that I didn’t mention the artist who created the concrete living room. I overlooked that while doing my research. It was not intentional. The name of the artist is Nathan Arnold.

Comments | Topics: Ballard

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