Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sylvester Park Gazebo Gets a Makeover

Above: General Administration (GA) workers were reluctant to identify themselves until I assured them I wasn't with Labor & Industries (L&I). GA employees Tim Brown, left, Wes Cline, in hardhat, and TJ Snoderly, on ladder, were properly roped up and made quick work of ripping off the roof of Sylvester Park's gazebo. Thanks guys!

by Janine Gates

The gazebo at Sylvester Park in downtown Olympia is finally getting the makeover it sorely needs - a new roof. Workers began ripping off the old cedar shakes at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The roof was last replaced about 20 years ago, says Jim Erskine, communications representative for the state General Administration (GA). The cost for the project is about $8,000, which includes labor and materials. Erskine says GA is doing the work instead of hiring a private contractor. Workers will install a new cedar shake roof that is expected to last for about 50 years.

Sylvester Park, established in 1850, is an Olympia Heritage Site. It was originally Olympia's town square, dedicated by the city's founder, Edmund Sylvester.

Above: Sylvester Park gazebo - if this roof could talk....

Where is the Whale?

Above: Kujira's post, seen here on Percival Landing in downtown Olympia. Kujira was spotted missing on Tuesday morning.

Have You Seen This Whale?

Above: Kujira enjoying a sunny summer day on Percival Landing.

by Janine Gates

Kujira the whale is missing from Percival Landing!

The beloved cedar whale carved by local artist Joe Tougas, is indeed missing, however, it was not stolen. Kujira was taken down a couple weeks ago from atop its perch on Percival Landing by city parks and recreation staff, says Stephanie Johnson, city of Olympia arts and events manager.

"A fin came off in the windstorm last month - we had planned to take it down for the Percival Landing restoration, but Mother Nature beat us to it. Johnson said that Kujira gets maintained every other year but this time, water must have gotten in through the blowhole or fin, and it has become soft in the middle.

Kujira probably doesn't mind getting out the cold wind and rain. It's currently hanging out on the second floor of The Olympia Center downtown, drying out for the first time in 29 years. It's seen better days.

Above: Kujira, whose name means "whale" in Japanese, is okay with hanging out at The Olympia Center downtown for now.

The cedar carving was donated to the city in 1981, acquired as a gift from the Patrons of South Sound Cultural Activities (POSSCA).

Kujira will soon go to Tougas' shop for repair and be placed back on Percival Landing after the landing's Phase I restoration, planned to be complete a year from this summer.

Above: Kujira, damaged and looking kind of sad, can't wait to look and feel a whole lot better.