Olympic Sculpture Park Photos — Cool Art, Really Cool Park

"Seattle Cloud Cover," by Teresita Fernandez, 2006, a pedestrian bridge with photographic material between layers of glass. To the left "Echo" "Echo" by James Plensa. 46 feet tall. Resin, steel, marble dust. 13,118 pounds. May, .Photo by Barbara Newhall

Jon and I started our stroll with this glimpse of the homely 2014 sculpture, “Echo,” made of resin, steel and marble dust by James Plensa. Up the stairs we were in for a treat — a pedestrian bridge with “Seattle Cloud Cover,” by Teresita Fernandez. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Can’t decide whether to take in a modern art museum or go for a walk in the city? In Seattle, you can have it both ways — at a seven-year-old sculpture park along the city’s waterfront. For those who can’t get to Seattle, maybe these Olympic Sculpture Park photos will suffice.

When the park was completed in 2007, some locals protested that it took out too much of the gritty waterfront scene — an old streetcar barn in particular. But the Olympic Sculpture Park’s planners achieved something striking in the process: a nine-acre grass and concrete space that starts at water’s edge, spans a pair of old railroad tracks, leaps over a four- lane auto thoroughfare and ends with an events pavillion sporting big windows and a danceable floor.

Designed by the New York architectural firm Weiss / Manfredi, the park is a project of the Seattle Art Museum. The cost was $85 million, most of which was covered by private donors. From the

Rocky short of Seattle waterfront. Construction of the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle included restoration of the Puget Sound beachfront. Photo by Barbara Newhall Photo by Barbara Newhall

Construction of the Sculpture Park included restoration of the Puget Sound beachfront — and these gorgous licheny rocks. Photo by Barbara Newhall

park’s lawns and sidewalks visitors can see Elliott Bay, the Olympic mountains, Mount Rainier, downtown Seattle, the Space Needle — and, of course, a collection of contemporary sculptures.

The sculptures are nice enough. The park itself — is genius. It’s a work of art. Go and spend some time there.

More photos of Teresita Fernandez’s magical glass shelter at “The Olympic Sculpture Park — An Artful Stroll on Seattle’s Waterfront.”  Elsewhere in Seattle —  “Dale Chihuly’s Glass — Fine Art, Kitsch or Both?”

A sculpture stands alongside a four-lane street in Seattle. It's "Typewriter Eraser Scale X" Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

“Typewriter Eraser Scale X” by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

A red ampersand is a detail of "Love & Loss," a sculpture in Seattle by Roy McMakin. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Detail of “Love & Loss” by Roy McMakin . Photos by Barbara Newhall

Orange metal chairs in a row at the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A visitor tries out Trimpin’s 2014 “YOU ARE HEAR.” In the background, Elliott Bay and Alexander Calder’s “Eagle.” Photo by Barbara Newhall

"Eagle," Alexander Calder. Steel painted red. 1971. 39 feet tall. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Calder’s “Eagle” up close. It’s 39 feet tall, fashioned of  steel, and painted red. 1971. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The trunk of a tree growing in the wooded area of the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A live tree growing in the park’s small woods. Photo by Barbara Newhall

silver tree sculpture, "Split," by Roxy Paine, 2003. Stainless steel, from the artist's attempts to create artificial landscapes. At Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A stainless steel tree, “Split,” by Roxy Paine, 2003. Photo by Barbara Newhall


Massiveangular steel shapes form sculpture "Stinger" by Tony Smith. Photo by Barbara Newhall

“Stinger” by Tony Smith is six feet tall and made of steel painted black. It was designed in the 1960s, and Smith’s widow had the sculpture executed in 1999, after his death. Some critics fault her for that. I say, good for her . . . Through the trees — the Space Needle. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Orange metal chairs in a row at the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Orange metal chairs echo Calder’s nearby “Eagle.” I’m counting them as sculpture. Photo by Barbara Newhall



  1. […] Olympic Sculpture Park photos at “Olympic Sculpture Park Photos — Cool art, Really Cool Park.”  There’s another cool pedestrian bridge in Austin, Texas; see it at “The Ghost of 300 […]

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