Vandals Damage Sculptures At Burien Town Square Park; Reward Offered For Information

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Michael Lafreniere, Director of Burien Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services reported Tuesday (July 14th) that three out of four of the “plinth” sculptures installed in Burien’s new Town Square Park just last month were vandalized and damaged over this past weekend.

These are the smaller, more whimsical metallic sculptures that are scattered around the park and mounted on cement pedestals.

Below are before and after photos:

BEFORE (“Hikers“):


BEFORE (“Bike“):


Elements of the sculptures appear to have been broken or sawed off.

The design, fabrication and installation of the sculptures had cost $30,000.

Burien Parks is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the persons responsible for this crime, and cash rewards of up to $1,000 are paid for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers immediately at (206) 343-2020 or toll free at 1-800-CRIME-13 and give the tip to police without giving his/her name.

This is the second act of vandalism in a Burien park within the last two weeks – as we reported previously, on June 28th vandals tagged the brand new picnic shelter at Seahurst Park.

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17 Responses to “Vandals Damage Sculptures At Burien Town Square Park; Reward Offered For Information”
  1. Jack says:

    We need to put up camera’s around downtown and the new park and ride like Federal Way has, i am sure that is going to deter any future vandalism and any other crime.

  2. Bonnie says:

    Can we not have anything nice in Burien without the vandalism? When the new bus station went up and the sculptures went up in the park, I said to my husband “I wonder how long this will last before it gets destroyed or tagged”. We do need cameras!!!!

  3. Leah says:

    one of my advisor/instructors at the art institute of seattle was the artist who did all the glass for the new burien metro p&r. i’m really proud of her & her work – i’ll be upset if anyone mars that up.

    as for the sculptures in the park… that’s shameless. i’m an artist myself. having a piece of art in public is like having one of your children sitting out there in the public. if anyone hurt or vandalized anything i put out into the public i would be devestated. imagine how the artists feel.

  4. Peter says:

    It’s a shame, but only a matter of time. Burien’s doing its best to put a new face on, but it will remain ghetto. Sorry, but that’s reality for this area. I wish it wasn’t. You can put lipstick on a pig…..

  5. Rebecca says:

    Bad form! I agree with the suggestion to install cameras.

  6. DD says:

    Not that I condone what they did but the statues are ugly and I hate looking at them

    • Leo says:

      so, i hate tothink when you see someone on the street you think is ugly…move on and get out of our town LOSER!

  7. Jay says:

    Yes, this is what many of us would expect for Burien. Someone knows who did this and we don’t need more cameras watching everything we do. It’s time to get back to basics. Our law Enforcement need to get out of their cars and start walking and talking to the citizens of Burien. Get to know the people of the area. As neighbors we should be watching over one another and not being afraid to poke your head out to see what is going on out side. It is a shame to see this destruction, but I believe from this negative outcome… a possitive one will arise.

  8. Christine says:

    Until the community can control our existing issues, I don’t think we should be annexing more area. I moved here last year because Burien has become a great place to live.

    It isn’t surprising that we have these problems though. Our police won’t even respond to home burglar alarms! It is against the rules to even have one that can be heard from the outside of your home without paying for private security to respond to them.

    What sort of message is this sending to the local criminals? Our police just don’t care to protect us or our stuff is what is sounds like to me….not much incentive to keep the criminals out.

    • Maxine says:

      It is my understanding that policy regarding home burglar alarms was instituted by the Burien City Council, so please don’t blame the police for that. What I’ve been told is that in the contractual agreement with the Sheriff’s Office for our police services, the Council decided to not have our police officers respond to alarms to save the City some money. Therefore this is a policy established by the Council and simply implemented by the police, not something the police decided to do. I highly recommend that you email the Burien Councilmembers and let them know how you feel about the policy of not responding to home burglar alarms. Here’s their email address [email protected]

  9. brooke says:

    whether it be art, a picnic area, a park bench, or a memorial stone; there is no place for vandalism; it is a shame. it is a poor demonstration of one’s self.

    i’m not sure if cameras would do much other than to drive the vandals to an unmonitored area. really, they are just a band-aid solution.

    we, as a community, need to find the underlying reasons for the vandalism. it might be a little judgmental, but i’m taking a wild guess that most vandals are in their teens to early twenties. has burien given enough for their youth to be occupied? have community members embraced enough youth?

    i like “jays” comment about law enforcement. but the reality is that burien isn’t the law enforcements neighborhood; it is ours. we need to take back our neighborhood.

    the easiest way to do this is simply be present. take a walk, talk to people, say hi to the kids skating boarding and hanging around [after all, they are burien’s biggest asset], participate is community activities, mentor a community kid, etc.

    i could go on and on about how we can make this a better neighborhood for us all, but the reality is that we have to want the change. we have to want change enough to have to do something for it. if you want change, you have to make change. nothing will change if you sit on your couch and merely hope that your car doesn’t get broken into.

    • Maxine says:

      I think when more people are actually living in the Town Square condos it will likely reduce the vandalism problems because there will be people around all the time to call the police if they see anything amiss. The police simply cannot be in all places at all times and cameras are only part of a solution. As others have noted, all of us need to get involved in do what we can.

  10. Leo says:

    i totally agree we need camera’s put up in the town square. my only question is what did u think was gonna happen when a nice and beautiful town gets notice ? the punks come out and do there thing… crap maybe cameras up in all burien is not a bad idea, crap i love this town and we don’t need some thugs destroying it….we need to police our town!

  11. Tcb says:

    Peter says:
    July 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm
    It’s a shame, but only a matter of time. Burien’s doing its best to put a new face on, but it will remain ghetto. Sorry, but that’s reality for this area. I wish it wasn’t. You can put lipstick on a pig…..

    Why is this area “Ghetto”? Is it that you’re a bigot against the average income person being lower than up north or is it because you’re a bigot because the area is diverse? I think you need to understand that your “reality” is not REALITY.

  12. Mark says:

    Several things to be said:

    The Sheriffs Compound is right across the street from the site of the vandalism … not a dig, just ironic; they certainly have enough going on to keep their hands full versus the staffing level. I do think it would be a VERY good idea to consider a ‘beat cop’ scenario for the downtown in general but it would not be cost effective use of the officers involved for what Burien is will to pay for.

    That brings up a retro segue…how did we get art and the acreage to put it on in the first place?

    The vaunted City Council with seeming delusions of grandeur and a penchant for spending we might say. For all of the foolishness in “our downtown core” i.e. 152nd/153rd starting with the epoxy grouted brick crosswalks for big bucks which were then mostly ripped out to create a Fonzi/ Happy Days movie set out of 152nd complete with passé’ and dangerous diagonal parking, faux cast-iron look-alike aluminum street fixtures (with sodium-vapor lamps, no less! ) and folly of follies, an arch over the east approach from 1st Ave. that is generally unreadable ( even the Council could not bring themselves to put it up in lights!)

    And in general about the whole of the “development” : who in their right mind would pay $750,000 to sit in the middle of THAT !!?( now knocked down to only half-a-million !)

    …It’s best and most useful feature is the new fire hall and Emergency./Disaster Response center.

    If from the beginning of Incorporation we would have had a much more well considered plan for the benefit of this Community as a WHOLE and reached by consensus it could have been quire wonderful, but instead, we seem to have let a bunch of people with NO apparent common sense take over and they shortsightedly continue to serve only themselves.

    Indeed the Vandalism is a Community problem, and not so much about individuals involved, otherwise we would already know who they were and who there families are and so forth.
    There is not much community here in Burien anymore; it has become quite cliquish and isolated by ‘neighborhoods’ and income levels, not very cosmopolitan.
    Ask yourself this, what can we do in our Community to muster cohesion and inclusiveness and how can you help to accomplish this. Be an ambassador for yor community everyday; be nosy,.. get to know your neighbors… bake ‘em a cake ! mow their lawn! Shake their hand !

  13. b-town_fan says:

    You do not need cameras – you need the best vandalism deterrent — people. Vandals do their thing in areas that are isolated. They are way less likely to vandalize if they think there is risk that they will be caught by someone else. If the condos fill up and the businesses open there will be way more people around that area to see and call the cops when that kind of thing is happening.. What was dumb was for the art to be installed in the area while it is still so isolated. The thing is, like those condos or not, they’re there to stay. The best thing that can happen now is for them to fill up. The worst thing would be for them to stay vacant.

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