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Center Steps Plaza

This public plaza fronting the north side of Mercer Street features outdoor artwork, public seating and a splash pad water feature. The narrow strip of property, formerly utilized as the front stoop for Teatro Zinzanni, has been renovated as a public plaza in a partnership between Seattle Center and a private developer who acquired the adjacent “Kreielsheimer Block” property from Seattle Opera.

Encircled Stream Fountain

Ned Kahn, 1995. Founder's Court between Cornish Playhouse and Exhibition Hall | Ned Kahn's vortex fountain is shaped into a granite and black anodized aluminum dish into which jets of water are released and recirculate. The water draining through an off-set drain creates a series of oscillating rhythms and patterns in the central whirlpool. "Encircled Stream evolved as a metaphor for the countless cycles of floods that have sculpted Western Washington's terrain over eons, as well as an allusion to the diverse currents of people that passed in the last few centuries over the land we now call Seattle. The stream is formed by water emerging from beneath a ring of granite blocks and flowing into a shallow dish, creating a large whirlpool. As the water drains, the vortex becomes calm and orderly until its surface is as smooth as glass. Then, intricate surface waves spiral in and out of the center of the whirlpool and the entire vortex begins slowly to oscillate, revolving around the drain. The oscillations grow with each revolution until the vortex is so unstable that it breaks away from the drain and a new vortex forms." Encircled Stream was funded by Seattle Center Levy 1% for Art, Water Department 1% for Art and construction funds.
Everett Dupen with Paul Thiry, 1962. Northside of Climate Pledge Arena (Currently under construction) | Everett DuPen's bronze and stone water garden incorporated three organic forms subtitled the Evolution of Man, the Flight of Gulls and Seaweed, surrounded by rugged rocks rising from the bottom of a large square basin. Created for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair with direction from Seattle modernist architect Paul Thiry, the fountain referenced the evolution of life and water's critical role in that process, and celebrated humans, plants and animals on land, sea and in the air. With input from the artist's family and the community, this space has been completely reimagined and redesigned while still preserving a piece of visual culture from a significant time in Seattle's history. When it reopens in 2022, the original sculptures will be restored, with the addition of an interactive splash pad-style water feature and plenty of seating surfaces to provide a place for play in warm months, and for quiet contemplation during cooler seasons. Fountain of Creation/Dupen Fountain was a gift of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair to the City of Seattle.
Video on Everett Dupen

Fountain of the Northwest

James FitzGerald, 1962. Cornish Playhouse Courtyard | Conduits carry water throughout the sculpture, which has been tapped into at multiple points to create a cloak of spraying, gushing, and cascading water around the sculpture and into the fountain basin. As with FitzGerald's other fountains, the welded bronze form of Fountains of the Northwest erodes naturally over time. The water gushing and cascading from this fountain rushes through numerous channels within the bronze. The fountain was given to the city in 1961 for the new playhouse at Seattle Center and for the 1962 World's Fair. Fountain of The Northwest was a gift to the city of Seattle by Catherine Gould Chism.

Fountain of Seseragi

Gerard Tsutakawa, 2000. Cornish Playhouse facing International Fountain | "Seseragi" is a Japanese word meaning the sound of rushing water in a shallow stream, a term aptly applied to the water running through the narrow bronze basin of the Fountain of Seseragi. The dark patinated metal of the fountain curves gently upward from its trapezoidal base forming two symmetrical arms with scalloped edges. Inside each arm, water cascades down a series of tiered ledges and creates two falls that meet in the center of a calmly rippling pool. Tsutakawa employs the symmetry and repetition of the fountain's elements to create a sense of balance and stability. With the burbling of the falling water, the fountain promotes reflection and tranquility. According to the artist: "Many of my abstract designs come from inspirations in nature such as mountains, landscapes and creatures. My interpretations are not literal or representational. I see the patterns and rhythms of the visual world and enjoy letting the viewer create their own interpretations of how they see my works. I also enjoy thematically incorporating celestial phenomena, the human spirit, and subtle humor into my sculptures." Fountain of Seseragi was a gift to the city of Seattle.

Harold S. Wright Memorial Fountain

Located in a circular pool of water that fronts the Seattle Space Needle, a series of jets spew forth water in a playful and energetic fashion, welcoming visitors to the Center with sound and splash.
WET Designs.The International Fountain is a mainstay from the World’s Fair, but was completely replaced and expanded in a $6.5 million project in 1995. As the centerpiece of the broad open space and lawn, visitors delight in it's sprays timed to music, and children can play in the fountain bowl and venture right up to the smooth silver dome. By day the fountain is a favorite lounging area and delight for young and old.
International Fountain Info

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