City Hall Park is located in downtown Bellevue (WA) and hosts an impressive public art collection. Here are some ridiculous art interpretations prepared by the fools at MetroDemic to help you see this collection in a whole new way!
It’s a little-known fact, but the Bellevue Entertainment and Film Commission made an aggressive bid for the Meydenbauer Center to serve as the filming location for ABC’s Dancing with the Stars when the show premiered back in 2005.
It looked like Bellevue had the contract nailed, but ABC decided that the convenience of filming in Los Angeles outweighed the elegance of ballroom dancing in GoreTex while balancing non-fat vanilla lattes.
As a consolation prize, the studio presented the City of Bellevue with this beautiful statue of a dancing woman. The phrase “Guan Yin” is Taiwanese for better luck next time.
The True Story
The actual inscription on the Guan Lin sculpture in Bellevue’s City Hall Park reads: This statue of Guan Yin is a gift from Bellevue’s Sister City, Hualien, Taiwan, R.O.C., expressing its sympathy to the people of Bellevue regarding the events of September 11, 2001. In the Buddhist tradition, Guan Yin represents mercy and compassion.
This menacing pair of beasts was part of the negotiation to get Microsoft to expand aggressively into downtown Bellevue from their traditional Redmond roots. As part of the deal, the City of Bellevue agreed to prevent Apple from developing offices within the city and to ban the use of iPhones by all city employees.
The Guardian Lions stand as a monument to commemorate this landmark deal. Notice that under one paw you’ll find a crushed apple that symbolizes Microsoft’s strategy moving forward.
The Root (AKA: Giant Silver Stump Thingy)
Artist: Dan Corson
Sponsored by Geico Homeowner’s Insurance division, this amazing cast of a fallen tree with roots exposed is a casual reminder to pacific northwest residents that you should probably make sure your insurance policies are up to date. It doesn’t matter if it’s cast from wood or from shiny silver like this fine piece of art. If it falls on your house, you’re going to be living at the local motel for the next month!
Of course, if that tree falls on your neighbor’s house, you just need to bring over an apology note and a plate of cookies once they get back from their extended motel stay.
Longboat Reed Rookery (AKA: The Rainbow Spaghetti Boat)
Artist: Dan Corson
In one of the more awkward moments in Bellevue history, original occupants William Meydenbauer and Aaron Mercer got completely blitzed late one night in the 1860’s and ended up making an irrevocable bet over a game of poker. The two men agreed on a wager that the loser of this hand would be have to live out the rest of their days on the uninhabited wasteland of an island that stood between Seattle and Bellevue.
Meydenbauer won with an unprecedented four-of-a-kind over his opponent’s full house. The entire brothell broke out in laughter at the concept of “Mercer Island”, confident that a place like that would never attract any kind of money. Young Aaron was sent away in shame on a boat that was brightly painted by the those in attendance to live out his exile on the island.
This sculpture represents that boat that Aaron Mercer took across Lake Washington and is a reminder to all that gambling is a slippery slope!
DUI Test Walkway
The US Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that it was an unnecessary risk to have people suspected of drunk driving walk the white line on a road as part of a sobriety test. Too many people over the years had stumbled into the road and been struck by cars.
As part of the Bellevue City Hall construction, an innovative new DUI test was developed in partnership with the Bellevue Police. If you look right in front of city Hall, you’ll notice a narrow path over a pool that is a more kind and gentle approach to assessing intoxication. Suspects are simply asked to traverse the pool both ways. If they don’t fall in, they aren’t arrested. The ACLU has proclaimed this as a landmark innovation in the protection of stupid people.
There has been a downside to the DUI walkway… Several city employees have been observed falling into the tank on their way back from “long lunches”. A new lawsuit is underway by those employees claiming they were given a DUI test without consent. Sometimes you just can’t win.