Piers 62 and 63


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Address: 1951 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA
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About the Park

Pier 62 and 63 is the former site of the annual Summer Nights at the Pier concert series, at which performances were punctuated by the sound of passing trains and trolleys, and docking and departing ferries. Although occasionally hosting other special events, for most of the rest of the year the pier provides a place to stroll out over the water to view Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains to the west, and the Seattle skyline to the east. The Piers are aged and deteriorating, and can no longer bear the load of heavy weights.

Titled Piers 62/63, the wire mesh fencing around the pier’s perimeter was created by a team of architects, artist, and historian. The project was completed in 1991. The fence includes “a series of questions which, when seen against the backdrop of the city, quietly urge the viewer to examine the complex social and political relationship that make up a city. The questions, painted in red on a dense chain-link perimeter handrail fence, appear and disappear depending on the viewer’s position and the conditions of light, sky, and water.

“The questions read: WHO SALUTES LONGEST? WHO PRAYS LOUDEST? WHO IS FREE TO CHOOSE? WHO FOLLOWS ORDERS? WHO DIES FIRST? WHO LAUGHS LAST? WHO IS HOUSED? WHO IS HEALED? WHO IS BORN TO LOSE? WHO MAKES HISTORY? WHO IS BOUGHT AND SOLD? WHAT DISAPPEARS? WHAT REMAINS? WHO “DECID” ES? WHO DOES THE CRIME? WHO DOES THE TIME? WHO IS BEYOND THE LAW? WHO SPEAKS? WHO IS SILENT? WHO CONTROLS WHO?” (From A Field Guide to Seattle’s Public Art, Diane Shamash and Steven Huss editors, 1991.)