Hing Hay Park (Seattle)

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Looking roughly northwest from Hing Hay Park

Hing Hay Park (traditional Chinese: 慶喜公園; simplified Chinese: 庆喜公园; pinyin: Qìngxǐ Gōngyuán; Jyutping: Hing3hei2 Gung1jyun2; figuratively: Park for Pleasurable Gatherings; literally: Celebrate Happiness) is a 0.3-acre (1,200 m2) public park in the Seattle Chinatown-International District of Seattle, Washington. Specifically, the park is within the Seattle Chinatown Historic District (US National Register of Historic Places, 1986). Both are both within the Seattle Chinatown International District (City Ordinance 119297). At the corner of S. King Street and Maynard Avenue S., the park has an authentic pavilion in the center, along with benches and chess tables. Placed on a diagonal in the southeast corner is a small hanging bulletin board with its own tiled roof. One side contains an outdated map of the district and the other is for community news. Its placement is according to principles of feng shui. Parallel placement would have blocked the qi from flowing into the businesses on the opposite side of the street. Tai chi classes and free music are presented in the summer. The annual Dragon Fest also centers on Hing Hay Park.

The pavilion and furniture were donated by the then Mayor of Taipei after a visit to Seattle in the early '70s. He met with then King County Council member Ruby Chow, who explained to him that the city had purchased and torn down the condemned buildings on the land, proposing a park instead, but it needed to be as care free as possible because the city could not afford on going maintenance costs. After discussions with Ruby Chow, the mayor of Taipei offered to donate the brickwork, pavilion and bulletin board from his own private funds. He even sent over a crew of trained workers to aid in its construction.

Using funds from a voter passed parks levy, the city Parks Department purchased the former post office site on the west side. The new section will almost double Hing Hay's current size. The new design includes seating, landscaping and a welcoming gateway that doubles as a performance space. The Friends of Hing Hay Park, formed in 2012, meets regularly to work with the internationally known design team. Coordinates: 47°35′54.8″N 122°19′31.3″W / 47.598556°N 122.325361°W / 47.598556; -122.325361

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