Tilikum Place


Decorative Fountain
Historic Landmark
Address: 5th Ave. and Denny Way, Seattle, WA
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About the Park

The main attraction of this small square in the northwest corner of the central business district is a life-size statue of Chief Seattle, for whom the city was named. Wrapped in a stained copper shawl, the chief stands on a pedestal with one arm raised in symbolic greeting to the first white settlers who landed at Alki Point in 1851. Bear heads at the base of the pedestal spout streams of water into a pool.

Tilikum Place itself (the name meaning “welcome” or “greetings” in Chinook jargon) is located at the juncture of the original land claims of Denny, Boren, and Bell. The statue, sculpted by James Wehn from the only existing photo of the chief, was unveiled on Founders’ Day, November 13, 1912, by Chief Seattle’s great-great-granddaughter.

Excerpt from Enjoying Seattle’s Parks by Brandt Morgan.

Artist James Wehn also designed the seal for the City of Seattle, which includes a profile of Chief Seattle, and designed the concrete sculptures on the south-east portal of the I-90/Mount Baker Tunnel.