Visit Nantes Park in West Seattle at: 5062 SW Admiral Way
Beautifying Nantes Park
In 2006, the Alki Substation was inaugurated as Nantes Park. Over the years, the Association maintained the Park through regular community weeding events.
Beginning in 2020, to commemorate 40 years of friendship between Seattle and Nantes, SNSCA launched the Nantes Park Beautification Project, which features a paved park walkway, art installations that connect Seattle's Nantes Park and the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes, and student-submitted art tiles along the seat wall. The goal of the project was to transform Nantes Park from a small, rarely used pocket park into something that is fun, kid-friendly, and reflective of the sister city relationship with Nantes.
SNSCA thanks the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Parks and Recreation, the West Seattle Garden Tour, the City of Nantes, and the Admiral Neighborhood Association for their support actualize this exciting endeavor.
The art installation and student tiles were concluded in April 2022 in time to welcome the Nantes delegation for the 42nd (delayed 40th) anniversary celebration, originally scheduled for October 2020. The paved walkway was completed in August 2023.
Connecting to Nantes through Shared Art
Inspired by the idea of increasing the park's connection to Nantes, the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association worked with Claude Ponti, beloved and prolific French children's author and illustrator. His influence has gone beyond literature and to museums and public spaces in Nantes and internationally, notably with his exhibits at the Jardin des Plantes and the Parc de Beaujoire in Nantes.
As part of the process, we gathered input from the community. Between January and March 2021, we held five community reviews sessions to solicit feedback and posted our survey on the West Seattle Blog, our website, and the SPR website receiving 93 responses. Thanks community on the votes, comments, SPR requirements, and budget, we presented our final plans to SPR for approval in August 2021. As a result, inspiration from Claude Ponti can be seen in Nantes Park with the totémimiques art installation and the paved pathway.
Claude Ponti describes the totémimiques as a bamboo variety that experienced an accidental genetic mutation; the imitate faces on the tops help frighten away birds that may try nesting in the foliage. In Nantes, the art is made of ceramic, and in Seattle, it was made using poly plastic. Five totémimiques were installed at Nantes Park in April 2022.
Ponti's Les Totémimiques at the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes
Les Totémimiques at Nantes Park in Seattle.
As design plans for the walkway were finalized, cement drivers went on strike from November 2021 to April 2022 delaying this phase of the park beautification. In August 2023, the walkway with Ponti creature footprints was finally installed in Nantes Park.
Ponti's fantastical creatures will leave their footprints in the wet cement of our walkway.
Ponti's creatures left these prints in the walkway at Nantes Park.
Student Tile Project
Nearly a decade ago, former Seattle-Nantes President Tom Bennett wanted to beautify Nantes Park by having students design tiles to be placed along the sitting wall. This idea is finally being realized. Middle school and high school students from both the Académie de Nantes and Seattle are submitting tile designs that exemplify the connection between the two cities as they celebrate 40 years of friendship. The tile installation was completed in April 2022.