Asphalt Chunks Cleared From B/ IAS Space For Wild Strawberry Festival

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The vacant lot at 5th SW and SW 150th has been transformed many times in the past few years, from a one-time shopping area (you can still see “Bartell’s Parking” painted on the cement) to a staging area for the new Town Square development, to an amazing, temporary art park, the Burien Interim Art Space (B/ IAS).

Despite having its artwork removed last fall (read our coverage here), one element that stayed behind were chunks of asphalt that looked like they were the aftermath of giant underground moles. Some folks liked it, some thought it posed a danger to pedestrians, and some thought it looked “trashy.”

Early Wednesday morning (June 2), Burien’s Public Works staff held a training exercise where workers removed the asphalt and transformed the space into a cleaner area for the upcoming Wild Strawberry Festival, which will be held June 19-20 (more info here) at Town Square.

During the festival, the site that once held sculptures, fire, and gardens (and chunks of asphalt) will play host to a giant inflatable village, trapeze artists, a skate competition, and more.

For more information on the fest go to

In the meantime, here are some photos of the cleanup taken by Michael Brunk:

These chunks of asphalt are no longer at the B/ IAS site.

Burien Public Works conducted a training exercise where workers removed them.

The vacant lot is being readied for the Wild Strawberry Festival, which will be held June 19-20.

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14 Responses to “Asphalt Chunks Cleared From B/ IAS Space For Wild Strawberry Festival”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    Thank you Public Works for removing this eyesore! I hope though, that we didn’t have to pay union overtime to have this done as it was a “training exercise”.

  2. TcB says:

    I was a contributor for the BIAS site for one of the art installations for audio but I never really thought the asphalt piles looked that great… so it’s good that they’ve been removed. Waiting for the next step.

  3. Rob says:

    I never thought of the asphalt as being an eyesore. I always thought of it as an artistic representation of Urban Blight. It always made the art look like it exploded out of the parking lot. Oh well.

    • Samantha says:

      Looked more like a mess… Fine line between “art” and just plain dumb. How about we don’t pick up garbage at your house for 4 weeks and call it “art”? 😉

      There’s some Urban Blight for ya. 🙂

      • Rainycity says:

        I love that idea, no dump run for a month, any chance you could clear it with my neighbors first?

  4. 3TreeCellars says:

    Thank God it’s gone.

  5. Theresa says:

    Finally! If there’s no $ to put anything there, just leave it bare. So much $ was spent to beautify Burien, then they go and dump a bunch of crap in the middle of it. I can’t tell you how many out of town guests I have to explain this to. For the time being, you should make it a parking lot for the library since there is never a place to park there, (another planning diaster).

    • Really? says:

      Instead of trucking it away, we should of painted the asphalt chunks blue, then painted a path around it. Instant shoreline access owned by all !!!!

    • Pauline says:

      I never have trouble parking at the library/city hall, and I’ve been there on various days and at various hours. There’s usually 8 to 10 spaces available in the lower level of the parking structure, accessible from 4th Ave SW, unless there’s a special event or a contentious topic at a City meeting. There’s usually enough people coming and going that I feel safe parking down there. In fact, I love parking on the lower level when I’m there — my car stays dry in the winter and cool in the summer. I have noticed that some library employees park in the upper lot which is contrary to what I learned when working retail — employees should take the less convenient spots and leave the best parking spots for customers.

  6. Ernie and Vera says:

    Ooohh it would be so nice if Burien could buy this area, make it “park-like” and into an actual “town center” …..then the Farmer’s market and every other event could be held there instead of in the street….

    • Jack says:

      I second, third and fourth that thought!! It has been sooo ugly! And I absolutely love art, but haven’t related to that “art” at all. Guess I like the real stuff too much…

    • Pauline says:

      As I recall from the many public meetings I went to before Town Square was built, it was designed with the intention of closing that section of street for Farmers Market and other festivals, connecting the park with the residential and other commercial areas. Works great, as far as I’m concerned. Why would the City buy back land it sold to the developer to build a park when it already has the park right next to the library? In these tough economic times, nothing’s going to happen very quickly, but eventually something will be built on that piece of property. It’s just really tough right now. Look at all the unfinished projects in other cities — that parking structure in downtown Kent, for instance… what’s it got, pillars and one floor, or something like that?

  7. Julie says:

    Let’s rebulid Meal Makers! We can call it blight again, too!

    • TcB says:

      Meal Makers. Meal Makers. Meal Makers. Enough! Here are some restaurants that are in the same category (short order). Huckleberry Square. Denny’s. K.C’s. Flap Jacks. And that’s just off the top of my head. Go and gather therein and be fruitful.

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