Marginal Way Skatepark Celebrates 15 Years of Dedication to Skateboarding

zorchedrealm
Zorched Realm. Photo by Olga Aguilar

On September 8th, 2019, the Marginal Way Skatepark 15 year celebration was epic with skateboarding, friends, bbq, music and lights at night. What could be better at a DIY?

Happy 15th Birthday Marginal Way. Photo by Olga Aguilar

DIY concrete in Seattle was born again when locals Tim Demmon, Shawn Bishop and Dan Barnett took it into their own hands to scope out a location and start a project in 2004. 

Brice Niebuhr. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Marginal Way’s birth, like many great things, started out of strife and necessity. The Ballard Bowl in Seattle was getting torn down and the Seattle Center Skatepark was slated for demolition. Basically, these were the only two free public worthy areas to skateboard in Seattle.  

Marginal Way 15 Year Anniversary. Photo by Olga Aguilar

What better place than a bridge located in the industrial Sodo district of Seattle where homeless slept in cars, illicit activity took place and the underside of a bridge was scorched from a previous meth lab vehicle fire?

Andrew Hopdoog. Photo by Olga Aguilar

MW was born on the cross streets of Marginal Way and Hanford, a perfect place, located in the heart of the city just slightly south of downtown.

Dave Cole. Photo by Olga Aguilar

With train tracks on one side, and across the street the gated ports of Seattle and a lone commercial business on the opposite side, it was a desolate area and excellent destination for a DIY. 

Jason Singler. Photo by Olga Aguilar

The 15 year anniversary boasted a completely new centerpiece feature in the south section. The new area changed from a large bank that separated areas to being a destroyed Berlin Wall, which now allowed passage into many areas not possible previously. It also added an epic roller type hip into the parks design. 

MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar

The concrete finish along with transitions and designs have aged like fine wine at Marginal Way and, in 2019, the Seattle DIY is better than ever.  

Chris Burt. Photo by Olga Aguilar

MW has the most epic diverse lighting system of any DIY that I’ve ever seen. Laid out on the underside of the bridge with conduit, all the halogen lights were replaced with LED and are wired to run off of a single generator onsite that can be fired up anytime in the shed with a little bit of gasoline. 

MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar

From the simple bank to wall, curb and small parking lot features, MW has grown into an amazing park with four connected stand alone sections, a pool, two storage sheds, one event shed, transitional catwalks, sonic tube supported areas (to make decks on taller transitions) and pavers next to the tracks. A current bbq build out is in progress and the large platform deck by the pool has enough room for a band to perform during events. 

MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar

The skatepark boasts of, most likely, one of the smallest fully functional and made to skateboard mosaic tile cradles in existence. With the use of a 4-wheel plank one can flow seamlessly in-between areas at a consistent rate of high velocity. 

Adam Ruthless. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Many have supported and visited over the years, and part of the beauty is seeing so many people putting in years of work and the torch being passed consistently to newly inspired generations of passionate committed dedicated builders, caretakers and patrons. 

Xavier Dettwiler. Photo by Olga Aguilar

The diversity of transitions, the features and the variety of the original layout works and is challenging by any standard. A skateboard only park, built, paid for and maintained by Seattle skateboarders. 

MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Early in the 15 year birthday skate jam, one of the groms took a hard hit and an ambulance was required. After the ordeal, we were informed that he was okay and the skating raged on!

Xavier Dettwiler. Photo by Olga Aguilar

In conclusion, I’d like to give a shout out to Tim Demmon, still holding down the skatepark all these years, and to all the builders since day one.

Brice Niebuhr. Photo by Olga Aguilar

A special shout out to Brice Niebuhr who took on an amazing leadership building position the past years creating the pool masterpiece and many other additions to the park.

Good Touch. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Props to the skaterock bands that performed on the anniversary, including locals Zorched Realm, Stabber, Good Touch, Seawlfz, and Banjo Kyle V, and DJ Metal Mark.  

Schroeder Bomb. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Portlanders TLM and Schroeder Bomb also came through to help make the party rage.

TLM. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Thanks to every band over the years that has played at MW or played at fundraising shows for the park.

MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Thanks to everyone that helped emcee the raffles, worked libations stations and helped with food, preparations and park cleaning. Respect to you! 

Jay Meer and his mural in tribute to Marginal Way’s 15 Years. Photo by Olga Aguilar

The night before the event, I painted a 15 year MW anniversary piece. Red flames were going around the lower section of artwork and a thunderstorm of biblical proportions turned the sky dark, lightning streaked across the sky branching out multiple times and booming rolling thunder cracked with the strength of earthquakes moving mountains. 

John Wier. Photo by Olga Aguilar

It was in these moments that some said Monk was speaking to us, letting us know he was looking down from the cosmos and sending claps of approval for the past 15 years and the establishment of a dedicated Seattle DIY. 

Jason Singler. Photo by Olga Aguilar

I had to stop painting and waited for a break in the torrential downpour to run to my truck to grab some blues and went to work on the top balancing out the lower red with equal amounts of blue, adding lighting bolts all around that sparked fire in the minds of Seattle’s core Skate Army soldiers.  

Edgar. Photo by Olga Aguilar

A silhouette figure emerged on the side riding a skateboard holding up a shovel and guitar with lightning bolt connections towards the sky instigating infinite inspiration through the energy created in the vortex under the 99 bridge. 

Xavier Dettwiler. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Much love to everyone that has helped out over the years and continues to help out organizing and building, and at events and thanks to the people that pitch in to make it a better place. 

Luke Tweed. Photo by Olga Aguilar

Marginal Way Skatepark has had generations of rippers over the last 15 years and will continue its metamorphosis over the next 15. 

Happy birthday MW! Photo by Olga Aguilar

Cheers to all the years! Keep the Fire burning in your hearts and on your board! 

Keep the fire burning. Photo by Olga Aguilar

– Words by Jay Meer

– Photos by Olga Aguilar

MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar
Schroeder Bomb. Photo by Olga Aguilar
Zorched Realm. Photo by Olga Aguilar
MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar
MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar
TLM. Photo by Olga Aguilar
Schroeder Bomb. Photo by Olga Aguilar
MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar
Schroeder Bomb. Photo by Olga Aguilar
Good Touch. Photo by Olga Aguilar
Schroeder Bomb. Photo by Olga Aguilar
MW 15. Photo by Olga Aguilar

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