Longfellow Creek

LONGFELLOW CREEK HABITAT IMPROVEMENT PROJECT “The Longfellow Creek Habitat Improvement Project” is an urban creek restoration in West Seattle and is part of a larger effort to restore and protect Seattle’s creeks as backyard natural resources. The art project consists of earthworks, waterwise gardens, an overlook, a bridge and a pavilion. These are situated to allow people to discover the creek’s environment while maintaining protection of wildlife habitat. The restored watershed serves as an outdoor classroom that illuminates the wonders of the urban creek habitat. It also allows people to learn about bringing salmon back to the city, waterwise gardening and other sustainable strategies. The project is a cooperative effort of Seattle Public Utilities, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, and the Seattle Mayor’s office. “Salmon Bone Bridge”
Down by the creek, an old bridge was replaced with a new, longer one to accommodate flood stages. The “Salmon Bone Bridge” brings the underwater experience of fish to land. The forms abstractly refer to the skeletal structure of a fish. The decking is recycled cedar timbers arranged in a herringbone pattern. Stream improvements include the restoration of fish spawning habitat, timber step-ups that enable the fish to swim upstream, and lunkers that allow the fish to rest. “Dragonfly Garden”
Situated on a hillside above the creek and along a neighborhood street, The “Dragonfly Garden” provides a dramatic entry to the Longfellow Creek watershed. A pavilion in the middle of the garden appears ready to take flight—offering vistas of the watershed’s rolling topography. The wings are traced both in steel overhead and in the garden/earthworks that surround the pavilion. A vibrantly colored, textured mosaic of drought-tolerant plants inspires streamside PROJECT CREDITS:
Lorna Jordan, Design Leader for Outdoor Rooms
In association with URS Corp, Hough Beck & Baird, The Portico Group, Winterbottom Design, Stenn Design, MKA Engineering, & RL Boggess A project of the Seattle Arts Commission with Seattle Public Utilities, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and the Seattle Mayor’s Office

Art Master Plan

As part of Seattle’s Millennium Project and Urban Creeks Legacy, this Arts Master Plan for 5 acres includes a creek restoration to provide improved fish passage, drainage, and habitat. It also offers a sequence of outdoor rooms that allows people to discover the creek environment while protecting wildlife habitat. Both the “Salmon Bone Bridge” and “Dragonfly Garden” are inspired by the species that inhabit the site and illuminate the wonders of the watershed.

“Salmon Bone Bridge” study model

This is a study model of the “Salmon Bone Bridge” which is composed of steel and wood. Bringing the underwater experience to land, the forms of the bridge abstractly refer to the skeletal structure of a fish. The bridge decking is composed of recycled cedar timbers placed in a herringbone pattern. As part of Seattle’s Millennium Project and Urban Creeks Legacy, this 5-acre creek restoration provides improved fish passage, drainage, and habitat. It also offers a sequence of outdoor rooms that allows people to discover the creek environment while protecting wildlife habitat. Both the “Salmon Bone Bridge” and “Dragonfly Garden” are inspired by the species that inhabit the site and illuminate the wonders of the watershed.

“Dragonfly Pavilion” elevation

This is a section of the “Dragonfly Garden” which consists of a pavilion, earthworks, and planting beds. Situated on a hillside, The “Dragonfly Garden” is the entry to the Longfellow Creek watershed. A pavilion inspired by this ancient insect appears to fly through a grove of trees and offers vistas of the watershed’s rolling topography. Wing-shaped earthworks and gardens offer a mosaic of drought tolerant plants. As part of Seattle’s Millennium Project and Urban Creeks Legacy, this 5-acre creek restoration provides improved fish passage, drainage, and habitat. It also offers a sequence of outdoor rooms that allows people to discover the creek environment while protecting wildlife habitat. Both the “Salmon Bone Bridge” and “Dragonfly Garden” are inspired by the species that inhabit the site and illuminate the wonders of the watershed.

“Salmon Bone Bridge”

This is an exterior view of the “Salmon Bone Bridge” which is composed of steel and wood. Bringing the underwater experience to land, the forms of the bridge abstractly refer to the skeletal structure of a fish. The bridge decking is composed of recycled cedar timbers placed in a herringbone pattern. As part of Seattle’s Millennium Project and Urban Creeks Legacy, this 5-acre creek restoration provides improved fish passage, drainage, and habitat. It also offers a sequence of outdoor rooms that allows people to discover the creek environment while protecting wildlife habitat. Both the “Salmon Bone Bridge” and “Dragonfly Garden” are inspired by the species that inhabit the site and illuminate the wonders of the watershed.

“Dragonfly Garden” plan

This is an illustrative plan of the “Dragonfly Garden” which consists of a pavilion, earthworks, and planting beds. Situated on a hillside, The “Dragonfly Garden” is the entry to the Longfellow Creek watershed. A pavilion inspired by this ancient insect appears to fly through a grove of trees and offers vistas of the watershed’s rolling topography. Wing-shaped earthworks and gardens offer a mosaic of droughttolerant plants. As part of Seattle’s Millennium Project and Urban Creeks Legacy, this 5-acre creek restoration provides improved fish passage, drainage, and habitat. It also offers a sequence of outdoor rooms that allows people to discover the creek environment while protecting wildlife habitat. Both the “Salmon Bone Bridge” and “Dragonfly Garden” are inspired by the species that inhabit the site and illuminate the wonders of the watershed.

Longfellow Creek restoration

“The Longfellow Creek Habitat Improvement Project” is an urban creek restoration in West Seattle and is part of a larger effort to restore and protect Seattle’s creeks as backyard natural resources. The art project consists of earthworks, waterwise gardens, an overlook, a bridge and a pavilion. These are situated to allow people to discover the creek’s environment while maintaining protection of wildlife habitat. The restored watershed serves as an outdoor classroom that illuminates the wonders of the urban creek habitat. It also allows people to learn about bringing salmon back to the city, waterwise gardening and other sustainable strategies. The project is a cooperative effort of Seattle Public Utilities, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, and the Seattle Mayor’s office.

The oxblood-colored, iridescent dragonfly hovers above a terrazzo floor that mimics the shape of the insect, with the head forming a gracious seating area. The 40’ wingspan is extended on the ground plane by a pair of expansive gardens. Their planting plan mimics the stained-glass veining of the dragonfly’s wings.

Featuring drought- tolerant plants, the planting scheme provides an example of water wise gardening practices. The site slopes away towards Longfellow Creek, so that the Dragonfly provides a viewpoint towards this natural resource that winds its way south to Westwood Village.