Patrick Robinson
The top beam above the Ceremonial Gate of the Knowing the Spring Courtyard in the Seattle Chinese Garden was placed on Aug. 31 shortly after 5 pm.

Seattle Chinese Garden "topping out" ceremony at an 'auspicious time'

Project set to be complete by middle of November


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The Seattle Chinese Garden, now under construction just north of South Seattle Community College, held a "topping out" ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 31 amid fireworks and applause in which the top beam above the Ceremonial Gate for the Knowing the Spring Courtyard was placed.


All 21 of the chinese artisans, here to work on the project were in attendance as well as group of Garden board members and friends of the project. The artisans were welcomed on Aug. 22 in a special event the West Seattle Herald covered here.

Courtyard Project Director Yangming Chu said the date and time were in line with Chinese tradition. "When you have weddings or ceremonies you have to pick an auspicious date so they looked at the calendar, today's the best day, one of the best days for raising the beam. Also the particular hour is important so between 5 and 7 they looked at the traditional calendar and this is a good time to raise the beam."

When Chu gave the word to go ahead the workmen set off fireworks (for which they got a special permit), "to frighten off evil spirits" just as the beam was put in place.

The courtyard is only part of what is overall a 30 million dollar project that has been 20 years in the making. This element of the overall garden is set to be finished by mid-November and the artisans will return to China a week later. Once complete a soft opening will be held with a larger grand opening event to be scheduled for next spring.

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