Kimberly Robinson
Cutting the ribbon for the dedication of the Knowing the Spring Courtyard at the Seattle Chinese Garden were from left Conrad Lee, Deputy Mayor of Bellevue, Jonathan Geiger, President of the Seattle Chinese Garden, Mayor Mike McGinn, Vice Mayor Ling Yueming of Chongqing, Congressman Jim McDermott, Dr, Gary Oertli SSCC, and Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE

SLIDESHOW: Knowing the Spring Courtyard dedicated at Seattle Chinese Garden

First major component of the project is now complete

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The dedication ceremony for the Knowing the Spring Courtyard, the first completed major component of the Seattle Chinese Garden (SCG) in West Seattle, took place May 15 primarily under a tent due to the persistent rain, that finally gave way following introductions, and speeches by the gathered dignitaries so visitors could explore the new structure and witness a traditional chinese lion dance and some martial arts demonstrations.

The event saw an estimated 200 people come to the site to hear those responsible for making the garden possible and others for whom the project has meant so much speak about the courtyard and the larger garden it will eventually be part of.

The Master of Ceremonies was Dr. Gary Oertli, President of South Seattle Community College who along with Dr. Mark Wen the Commercial Strategy Manager for the Port of Seattle welcomed the guests and performed introductions. Dignitaries attending included, Jonathan Geiger, the President of the Seattle Chinese Garden, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Vice Mayor Ling Yeuming of the Municipality of Chongqing, Congressman Jim McDermott, Consul General Gao Zhansheng from San Francisco, Attorney General Rob McKenna, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw and Stella Chien.

The project began in the early 1980's when a delegation was sent to Chongqing, in China to create a sister city relationship. Out of that eventually grew the idea to build a Sichuan style Chinese Garden in Seattle. Thus far close to $8 million has been raised for its construction.

This first component was constructed by artisans and engineers from China over the last two years. When complete the full garden will comprise 12 buildings and will be one of the largest Chinese gardens outside of China. The next building on the list is the Floating Cloud Pavilion which will be a four-story tower.

Many of the elements for the courtyard were fabricated in Chongqing, shipped here and assembled. A ten year timeline for completion is expected.

The SCG will include an education center and a banquet hall with special event seating for up to 200 people.

You can learn more about the Seattle Chinese Garden at their website http://www.seattlechinesegarden.org/

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