News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Mural planned for Maple Leaf Play Area

June 22nd, 2015 · 17 Comments

This is the Maple Leaf Roosevelt Pump House, located somewhat confusingly in the Maple Leaf Reservoir Play Area, at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 82nd Street.

Seattle Public Utilities plans to have a mural painted on the long gray walls that face the play area:

SPU is working with local artist Jonathan Fischer and community member Scott K. Bishop to complete a “street-art” style mural that will wrap around the northeast corner of the building and be viewable from two sides. The mural will be created using spray paint with an anti-graffiti coating applied over the top.

The goal of the project is to brighten the building and provide park users with an artistic look and feel to the area. The design concept for the mural will include graffiti inspired and artist interpretations of butterflies, flowers, leaves, vines, trees and patterns, using bright, vibrant colors that complement the adjacent Butterfly Garden.

The utility says it’s looking for your ideas. “Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) values your input….The community is encouraged to provide SPU with feedback and ideas about the design and ask questions.”

We asked a question four days ago: “Is there an image of the design that folks can make comments about?”

We’ve heard nothing back.

We did, however, hear today from Joel, who is less than impressed. He says he’s told SPU:

It looks just fine to me as it is. Why is there any consideration being given to do this?

I also do not understand who I am speaking to or to who and all I am discussing this proposal. Just you?

This structure looks just right the way it is. It fits appropriately at its site and is subordinate to the successful landscape of that area….

To convert to painted walls will only appear as a contrived public arts project as it launches this structure into an inappropriate bold presence.

If it were a log cabin in a pleasant park environment we wouldn’t cover it with paint and pretend that we’ve improved the natural environment….

I believe a mistaken judgment is directing this decision and am urging you all to back away. This plan is a mistake. Please leave this building as it is.

The announcement says to contact Project Manager Cyndy Holtz at (206) 386-1990 or

The mural is to be painted in July.

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