Steve Shulman Memorial Meeting
John Barber Chuck Nordhoff
Tracy Bier Jeannie O’Brien
Kenny Carlson Lee Olch
Mary Charles Linda Spain
Simon Newton Robert Stanley
The meeting was opened by John Barber at 7p.m., followed by introductions.
Leschi Park Picnic Shelter
A memo dated April 19, 2021 from Shwu-jen Hwang was sent to Yousef Shulman, Paul Wilcox and Ken Benner was passed out to attendees. Shwu-jen Hwang is the Senior. Landscape Architect, Seattle Parks & Recreation Department. The memo referenced a follow-up to a March 22, 2021 meeting with Yousef, Paul and Ken regarding a possible picnic shelter honoring the memory of Steve Shulman in Leschi Park, to be located near the marina, south of the parking lot on the east side of Lakeside Avenue. John confirmed that the City is still receptive to this project.
The memo briefly outlined the City of Seattle’s potential requirements and planning process and other information needed to facilitate the building of a picnic shelter.
Highlights identified included the need for:
Developing a concept plan. (With the City of Seattle and approved by the City)
Identifying an architect (To be reviewed by the City of Seattle).
Yousef has an architect that has volunteered. (An approximate cost of $40–50k. Again, this account must be reviewed by the City).
Community Involvement and input. (Public meetings, and community groups)
The City requires 3 public meetings. We should contact the Friends of Olmsted Association because the picnic shelter location is within the Olmsted Legacy context and should be taken into consideration. It was noted that we contact Native American Tribes and organizations.
Fundraising: Grants and private funding
Possible matching funds of $100k from the City, Seattle Parks and Recreation Department.
The estimated approximate cost for the picnic shelter (as of April, 2021) could be $150,000–$200,000. Expense variables can also include
Picnic shelter size and style design
Site modification (grading, landscaping, irrigation, etc.)
Environmental impact; shoreline management
Other associated cost:
Permits. Tax, contingency, project management, public outreach, project review, inspection, MOA, record document, Operation & Management, etc.
The purpose of today’s meeting was to discuss the proposed picnic shelter. However, concerns were expressed about the viability and suitability of a picnic shelter to honor Steve Shulman. Mary Charles informed the attendees that she had talked to Steve about a gathering place that would be for everybody, possibly a picnic table that would seat 6–8 people. Personal recognition was not important to Steve, but his community was. John echoed this sentiment stating that the park has the “bones” to accommodate many events, and we should ensure that the park is of value to families, neighbors and the city to enjoy.
It was felt that the local population should be surveyed, and that for a next meeting we be deliberate and thorough in getting the word out to garner a wider, diverse population utilizing media sources such as Nextdoor. How would a picnic shelter impact the local community? More local community involvement and knowledge generates personal commitment, wider range of suggestions and advances fundraising initiatives. Additionally, many customers have expressed the desire to help. We need to gauge how many people can actually work on a project.
Comment was made that we should work fast toward a decision of how best to honor Steve, because people have short memories, and it is important that Steve’s impact on so many lives in the community and throughout the City should be honored sooner than later.
It was expressed that a picnic shelter would be a gathering place for unwanted or illegal activity, particularly in the evening. There is currently concern about the escalation of illegal activity, homeless issues, and possible gang activity (as is happening in Madrona Park) in the area. These safety concerns must be discussed with local law enforcement, particularly since Seattle Police only respond to “shots fired” calls. One comment noted that once you have a gathering place, such as a picnic shelter, you’re going to amplify problems that already exist.
Comment that we should find out what are the future plans for the Leschi Marina, such as a public access pier, that would impact park usage and the local environment.
Alternative Memorial Suggestions
Alternative physical memorial suggestions to the picnic shelter need to be identified and presented as soon as possible.
Historical information about the Leschi area was shared. There was once a cable car turn-around, a dance pavilion and a hotel/casino located in the area. There is a deep sense of place in Leschi, and some type of depiction of this history could enhance public perception of the park and the memorial.
November 3, 7–8:30pm: Shulman Memorial Meeting at Central Area Senior Center, 500 300th Ave S. Inviting other stakeholders! Everyone felt that the attendance at the next meeting of Paul, Ken, and particularly Yousef is crucial. SPD East Precinct Captain Eric Sano will attend. Thank you to John Barber for organizing tonight’s meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15p.m.