Capitol Hill rejects Sound Transit's warplane décor
Capitol Hill rejects Sound Transit's warplane décor
by Janice Van Cleve - Special to the SGN

The 43rd District Democrats voted to reject the proposal by Sound Transit to put warplanes in the Link Light Rail station proposed for Capitol Hill. By unanimous vote, the body passed the following resolution:

Whereas Seattle is blessed with a large, dynamic, and diverse arts community of its own, and

Whereas Sound Transit should use our local taxes to hire locally wherever possible, and

Whereas Capitol Hill is a major hub of artistic activity including Cornish, Gage, performing arts theaters, and film festivals, and

Whereas Capitol Hill is the home base for many of Seattle's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered organizations, and Whereas Seattle is a major center of the world wide peace movement,

Therefore, be it resolved that there are many more culturally sensitive themes for public art in Sound Transit's Capitol Hill station instead of warplanes, and that Sound Transit is encouraged to hire local talent to design the art for the station.

On April 3, Sound Transit held a community meeting at Seattle Central Community College to unveil their plans for the station on Capitol Hill at Broadway and John. There was some discussion about the traffic impact, small business relocation, and neighborhood mitigation issues and what was going to be the fate of the empty block after construction is complete.

The biggest outcry, however, was over the artwork that Sound Transit proposed to hang in the station. They hired an out-of-town artist instead of tapping the large and richly diverse artistic community we have here. The artist confessed that he had never been to Seattle. He was totally clueless about Capitol Hill, its history, its people, or its culture. His proposal was to hang sections of warplanes crashing into each other in the station. The 100 or so people at the meeting immediately protested. Every speaker who objected to implements of war imposed on our Hill received unanimous applause from the rest of the crowd. The harried project manager tried desperately to change the subject but showed no interest in being open to what this neighborhood wanted.

Now the 43rd District - which includes downtown, Capitol Hill, U District, Wallingford, Greenlake, Fremont and Ravenna - has spoken. Will Sound Transit listen?