Seattle Parks and Recreation has given the green light to an Uptown Alliance plan to add five stones to Counterbalance Park to honor Raj Shah, who helped finance the park. The plan, which has been revised since it was first proposed, has been opposed by several neighbors who worry the addition will spoil the minimalist artistic integrity of the park.
“Counterbalance Park is in danger of having its elegant, zen-inspired design be spoiled,” explained Flora Ninelles, a dissenting member of the Uptown Alliance Parks Committee, in an earlier story on Queen Anne View. The park was designed by landscape architect Bob Murase, who passed away in 2005.
Today, a Seattle Parks spokeswoman confirmed the stones will be added to the park assuming the Uptown Alliance meets several conditions, including paying for the installation and the insurance. “The Alliance is working to meet all these conditions, and as soon as they do the work will proceed,” Seattle Parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter told Queen Anne View. “Parks will bring the boardwalk back to its original condition.”
The plan is to add three smaller stones in the central part of the park and two larger vertical stones (pictured above) in the northwest corner. (Photo provided by Seattle Parks.)
“Although realizing that not all community members are in agreement on this, Seattle Parks has decided to approve the addition of the stones to Counterbalance Park,” explains Christopher Williams, acting superintendent of Seattle Parks, in a letter sent to a concerned resident last week. “Placement and details for the stones’ installation were reviewed by Seattle Parks landscape architects. Seattle Parks staff members have taken into account the aesthetics of the current park design, and the needs and wishes of a segment of the community closely involved with the history of the park.”
Seattle Parks does not have an estimate when the work will begin. We’ve reached out to Uptown Alliance for more details.