August 3, 2006
Universal Nonlinear Design’s Jerry Garcia presents a Powerpoint presentation of the Denny Park Restoration project, followed by conversation and a reception. Garcia’s presentation will tour through the history of the site and the regrading of Denny Hill, and present his proposal for recovering the site and reanimating the park.
In “Make Believe,” an installation in Western Bridge’s summer exhibition, “Boys and Flowers,” UND principal Jerry Garcia presents a visionary proposal for Seattle’s first public park. Denny Park, currently subsisting in an underused, overgrown state next to one of the city’s most overcrowded arterials. Denny Park once stood atop a hill, 60 feet above its current elevation, a dramatic stretch of pastoral trails and spectacular views. It reached its currect state due to the Denny Regrade a massive project undertaken in the first decades of the 20th century. A total of some 5,500,000 cubic yards of earth were sluiced or excavated to completely remove a major hill. The UND proposal raises the central section of the park to its original elevation, and reconstructs the park’s original topography and paths. The result is a historical fragment bluntly overlaid onto the contemporary reality of the site.
Current development in the neighborhood has caused the city’s parks department to recognize a shortage of park space in the Denny Regrade. UND’s proposal would allow construction of recreational facilities inside its structure, potentially adding a swimming pool, basketball court, and the like to the neighborhood while preserving open parkland.
Reviewing the Denny Park Project in The Stranger, Jen Graves writes, “The project’s power is that its theatricality is equal to its utility, its deceit equal to its truthfulness. It solves the park’s practical problems while endowing Seattle with an unparalleled urban earthwork of art. It inspires, and is the product of, investigative zeal. It exercises the imagination, the memory, and the body.”
“Make Believe” is on view as part of “Boys and Flowers” through August 12.