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South Park Plaza


Seattle Parks and Recreation



A Green Gathering Place

Project Details


South Park, Seattle, WA, USA


.83 acres


Civil Engineering, Entitlement

The South Park Plaza provides a place for the culturally diverse neighborhood of South Park, Seattle, to play, gather and hold community events. Central to this 0.83-acre park is the lower plaza area that is surfaced with a combination of concrete and natural turf designed to athletic field standards and equipped with both event lighting and power. Permanent plaza seating includes concrete seat walls with intricate tile design and bistro-style tables and chairs. Backdropping the plaza stage are elevated 7-ft tall bold colored metal letters of the neighborhood name with detailed cut metal face. An upper entry plaza provides a gateway into the park, additional event seating or space for smaller group gatherings with similar artistic elements as the lower plaza. Solar powered covered tables with electric outlets provide outdoor opportunities for off-grid electronic use and device charging. For everyday use, the park includes a playground and natural turf field with greenspace throughout. Low impact stormwater dispersion was utilized to manage onsite stormwater to maximize use of this inner-city park. Frontage improvements include new curb and gutter, sidewalk, a landscaped conveyance swale for onsite and offsite drainage. Sandblasted within the concrete of the lower plaza is the Lushootseed word ‘Legwalb’ for oxbow (literally abandoned) which this site once included prior to dredging of the present-day Duwamish Waterway for commercial transport. The park is tied together by a sinuous “oxbow” path surfaced with concrete and an oyster shell finish with interpretive signs throughout. The path will ultimately connect the public to the Duwamish in a future phase. The overall design incorporates community input with cultural elements of Indigenous peoples and Latin-America to foster a place of connection to the past and present. Construction is scheduled to start in the beginning of 2024 and be completed in the summer.


Ethos Civil was selected as the prime consultant based on our permitting and soils-environmental expertise and successfully navigated both of these project elements and obtained permits well in advance of bidding. Proactive coordination with various permitting agencies avoided costly water, sewer and street improvements to keep the project within budget. Ethos Civil managed services by the landscape architect, electrical engineer, and cost estimator, provided quality management, and civil engineering site design. Despite the current bidding climate, public bids were obtained in October 2023 within budget for the base and the playground additives.

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