It’s no secret that Seattle, the “Emerald City,” is known for being green – from the environmentalism to the sheer color of the landscape. What one might not know is that grass, plants, and everything green can be found even in the most unlikely of places, including incorporated on the walls of a fire station.
Thornton Creek (2010) by Stephen Glassman, a galvanized steel-pipe artwork found at Fire Station 39 in Lake City, functions to move water off the roof to an underground cistern . The sculpture includes two raised planting beds that feature and support native Northwest grasses and creatively reveal the sustainable efforts of the building to harvest and use rainwater for some of the station’s activities.
The fire station was constructed in the Lake City neighborhood where Thornton Creek historically ran through. Much of the creek has been covered by city development over the years, and many projects to reveal and restore the creek are in progress. Glassman explains his motivation and inspiration of the creek in his work: “It seemed a perfect opportunity to create an integrated sculpture as a gesture to the future of the creek and, in turn, the community of Lake City. Thus the sculpture parallels the ecological restoration processes already in play.”
Funded with Department of Finance and Administrative Services Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy 1% for Art funds