Bronze nameplates set into concrete at intersections.
Have you ever looked down while walking through the town center and wondered whose names are tucked into the concrete and why? These names are the original street names in Mercer Island’s town center! Early settlers named the streets on Mercer Island with their children’s names. In 1930, King County removed the names from downtown and replaced them with a number system. The original street names are inlaid in bronze at the intersections as a reminder of the historic identity of the district.
Artist: T. Ellen Sollod
Medium: Bronze Plate set into concrete
Sollod is a maker of large-scale public art. Through her work, she aims to engage her audience in awareness. Her art is inspired by social, political, historical and environmental conditions and is site-specific: “My public work is often informed by hidden histories, a community's aspirations or its ecology.”
In 1994, the City created an Art Plan for the redevelopment of the Island’s town center and commissioned Sollod to create art elements woven throughout the town center that reflect its historic origins and embody a sense of local pride in the Island’s unique character. The Street Name Inlays are a part of this Downtown Streetscape Project.
Intersection corners, from 77th Ave SE & SE 32nd St and 78th Ave SE & SE 32nd St, north to SE 27th St.
Other Sollod works that are a part of the Downtown Streetscape Project:
Downtown Streetscape – Tree Grates – 1994, lining SE 27th St, 77th Ave SE, and 78th Ave SE between SE 27th St and SE 32nd St.
Downtown Streetscape – Milk Bottles – 1994, 78th Ave SE, west side just north of SE 32nd St.
Downtown Streetscape – Horseshoe – 1994, 78th Ave SE, east side, north of SE 30th St.
Downtown Streetscape – Gateway Ribbons – 1994, 78th Ave SE at SE 27th St and SE 32nd St.
Downtown Streetscape – History of Transport/Conveyance by Time – 1994, SE 27th St, south side, west of 77th Ave SE.
Downtown Streetscape – (In)visible Histories – 1994, 77th Ave SE, west side, north of SE 29th St.