RFP Released To Restore Tsutakawa Fountain Inside Burien Library

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The Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce is reporting that a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) has been released for a project that would re-locate the historic George Tsutakawa fountain to the interior of Burien’s new library.

The fountain was removed from the outside of the building last June due to concerns of damage from children who were crawling in and around it.

The original installation of “Rain Fountain No.2,” made of stainless steel, 6′, was in 1972 at the (old) Burien Library on 4th Ave SW (now the new, temporary Community Center), in an inner, protected courtyard.

Since its removal last year, the iconic fountain has been in storage.

“As it happens the contractors and our facilities folks are coming out next week to make final decisions about the process,” said Burien Library Manager Marilee Cogswell. “So we should see some movement very soon. The fountain will be installed inside the Burien Library.”

Last June, the iconic George Tsutakawa fountain was removed from outside Burien's new library.

According to the RFP, project proposals are being requested by May 17 at 2pm for:

“…the demolition of existing interior wall and floor surfaces, installation of stainless steel fountain liner with stainless steel railing, new cementitious backing board under new ceramic tile, new gypsum board wall surfacing material, joint sealers, new floor material to match the existing material, new pedestrian traffic coating in a storage room, and mechanical and electrical systems.

The project will be substantially completed in 90 calendar days after the notice to proceed. Final completion will not be later than 45 days after substantial completion.”

Here’s some info on Tsutakawa from the website Art Market Online:

George Tsutakawa dedicated his life to art and the freedom of expression that it granted him. Tsutakawa worked in a number of media, including paint, bronze, and clay. Born in Seattle in 1910, Tsutakawa went to live with his maternal grandmother in Japan from 1917 to 1927. Upon Tsutakawa’s return to Seattle, he began to study art and help with the family import/export business. His time spent in Japan as a child – especially the traditional tea ceremonies performed by his uncle – inform his work, as did the beauty of the Pacific Northwest region and the art of the Northwest Masters. Tsutakawa attended the University of Washington, and received his MFA in 1950.

In 1960 the City of Seattle commissioned George Tsutakawa to create Fountain of Wisdom, for the Seattle Library; this project was the first art commission by the city of Seattle since 1908. Between 1960 and 1990, the artist designed and created over 60 fountains throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan. He exhibited extensively throughout Japan, the United States and Canada beginning in the 1950’s. Tsutakawa was awarded many honors throughout his career including the Order of Rising Sun Award, fourth class, from the Emperor of Japan.

To read the full story and find out more about the RFP, click here.

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7 Responses to “RFP Released To Restore Tsutakawa Fountain Inside Burien Library”
  1. warrenb says:

    I’m happy the fountain is being returned, its an important part of Buriens cultural and historical history. But why does this important story have to be reported by the Oregon Daily Journal? Surly our local media should have been on top of the removal, storage, and return from day one. The BTB covered thr removal, and then promptly forgot it. Only the constant questioning, ( nagging? ), of your readers compelled you to cover it at all. Maybe you would have cared if, Mr. Tsutakawa’s family had bought ad space?

    • warrenb –

      We’ve been trying to cover this story since we first reported on it. The fact of the matter is that this news is the FIRST we’ve heard since the fountain went into storage last year – and I was as shocked as you were that the DJC in Oregon reported it first (KCLS didn’t send us any info – we found this story ourselves).

      Sheesh…when we get news we try to post it promptly, and it has nothing to do with buying ad space.

      Please cut us some slack dude…we’re trying!

  2. Chris says:

    Wow, that’s where it went. I was wondering this whole time what happened to it. Glad it is safe, as I thought maybe someone stole it or vandilized it.

    I have fond memories of seeing that very fountain in the courtyard of the old library, when I was a kid. I thought it was really neat.

    Glad they have a plan for it.

  3. Coverofnight says:

    I hope we get a competitive bid by having it re-installed using NON-UNION contractors.

  4. Chris says:

    Wow, way to union bash, even though this article has nothing to do with unions and is about a piece of art.


  5. Wow Coverofnight- mean spirited much? Or are you just opposed to jobs that provide living wages and decent benefits on “principle?”

  6. Rob says:

    Cover of Night… Seriously??? Geez what a dunderhead.

    Proud member of Local 751

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