A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


63rd Street underpass mural to rise again

November 27th, 2012 · Comments

A neighborhood group has received nearly $17,000 from a Small and Simple grant from the Neighborhood Matching Fund to paint a new mural on both sides of the North 63rd Street underpass, beneath Aurora Avenue.

The former mural at that site was constantly tagged by graffiti, and finally painted over by the city this summer.

The underpass is currently painted gray.

The group is just getting going, and plans to solicit input from the community sometime this winter or early spring, with the goal of finding an artist and deciding on a final design by May. The group is looking for additional donations – from money to in-kind labor. The Phinney Neighborhood Association is acting as the project’s fiscal agent, meaning all donations are tax deductible.

For more information or to get on the list to help out, email Syd Phillips at N63rdStreetMural@gmail.com. The project also has its own blog.

From Phillips:

We cannot guarantee that the new mural will not get tagged like the old one, but we have a two part strategy for dealing with tags and unwanted graffiti: First, we plan to use an an anti-graffiti coating to prevent paint from sticking to the finished mural. Second, we have a 5 year maintenance plan in place to address tagging, graffiti, or other maintenance issues.

The 63rd Street Mural Steering Committee is very excited about receiving the grant and we look forward to engaging with the community and artists. We hope the new mural is loved and treasured as much as the former one.



  1. Christo says:

    Very cool! Can’t wait to see what they come up with. How cool would it be to get Banksy to show up and do it!

  2. KathrynM says:

    Can’t the original mural be restored? I really enjoyed looking at it as I passed under Aurora there? (Too many murals are being painted over and redone. This seems really redundant.)

  3. Ruby says:

    Please, let’s not. The old mural was juvenile and we’ve already got a couple others–one over on 85th and one in Fremont that are very childish. I’d love to see a couple of Morrison’s portraits or perhaps a landscape that weaves in a history of the area–still great for the kids because it’ll actually teach them something.

  4. Hinto says:

    if it’s henry i’m going to tag it myself. just kidding… but… seriously. no henry.

  5. Greenweed Observer says:

    Good luck!

    The idiot tagging fad will never end.

  6. Jon says:

    No henry and no Osgood, please. Those guys have a duopoly on Seattle murale commissions. Let’s get some more diverse murals around the city.

  7. Renka says:

    That hideous animal cartoon mural was crude and charmless. I’m glad it’s gone. Now I won’t be tempted to drive through the underpass concentrating on not catching a glimpse of that mess. Seattle has some phenomenally crummy murals. The one on 46th under Aurora is an uninspired bubblegum doodle. I hope that for $17,000 of taxpayer money, the work of a decent artist will be chosen. Frankly, with the issues we have at hand, from homelessness to pollution, I think decorating an underpass surrounded on either side by beautiful trees is a waste. We don’t need to be entertained every second.

  8. Jack says:

    Woot! Woot! Only 17K. Glad we couldn’t think of anything better to do with the money. Seattle sure has its priorities straight. Sigh.

  9. Jon says:

    I agree Jack, there are many better things to spend $17k on. But how efficient would the government be with it? It would probably just go towards the salary of another meter maid in the U District.

  10. Amy says:

    Yeah, kind of like the $95,000 of taxpayer money for the stack of fake rocks outside the new fire station. Until we as a city get our act together we are always going to be in a budget mess. There’s no sense of priority. Yeah a mural is nice if we had a ton of excess money but we don’t and there are higher priority things to spend it on.

  11. Mike Perry says:

    Glad to hear they’ll be using an anti-graffiti coating. Those who’d like to know more about it can go here:


  12. Tiktok says:

    The old mural was ugly–I always had to look twice to figure out if it had been tagged because it was such a jumbled mess even in its rarely-seen pristine state.

    The “anti-grafitti” coating will be defeated in short order. Even the best (most expensive) stuff just makes it easier for someone to spend a few hours cleaning it off.

  13. Will Van Zee says:

    Finding respected, local aerosol artists will be the key to keeping this mural and underpass tag free.

    This location would stand for a lot more if it became a spot to showcase some of Seattle’s amazing street artists rather than another “ugly mural vs. taggers” battleground.

    just my 2 cents