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Adam Kubys Gabions
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Adam Kuby's Gabions

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The city isn't opening many new parks during these budget-crunched times. A noteworthy exception, however, is the freshly renovated and renamed Thomas C. Wales Park, though it isn't a cheerful place for kids to frolic on swings or splash in the wading pool. Instead, it's a memorial to the federal prosecutor who was murdered in his nearby Queen Anne home--a place to sit and reflect, to take in the view from Dexter Avenue down to Lake Union. Once a city-owned gravel pit, the 1.3-acre bowl now features gentle terraces, gravel paths, and well-positioned benches, all designed by SiteWorkshop Landscape Architects. At the center of the basin, artist Adam Kuby has created five raised rings--river stones held inside a metal mesh (called gabions). Up high on stilts, these discs are mysterious at first, but their smooth metal legs provide a clue: Predators won't be able to climb them to harm the birds and bats hoped to nest there. Below, a boggy trough will attract insects and other edible critters. From the barren old pit, new life shall rise. The $750,000 makeover was funded by our Pro Parks Levy a decade ago. Meanwhile, the FBI investigation into Wales' unsolved slaying has been going on almost that long. BRIAN MILLER

Price: Free

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