History of the Deane's Children's Park Dragon
Deane's Children's Park Received a New Dragon Play Structure!
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October 29, 2013
The 50-foot, six ton dragon played on by generations of island children was created in 1965 by artist, Kenton Pies. Numerous coats of paint have brightened the dragon's fading color through the decades, but the paint was peeling away and the dragon had fallen into disrepair. The Parks and Recreation Department contacted the artist, who is now 81 years old and living in Montana, to ask about repairing the dragon. The artist said that he could build a bigger and better dragon that would be around for generations of island children to enjoy. The total cost of the dragon is $60,000, which includes installation. At the request of the Mercer Island Arts Council, the City Council approved this amount to be paid out of the 1% For The Arts fund. An agreement was struck. The Dragon is now complete.
The new dragon is a mottled green with acid wash-tinted coloring and realistic scales. It is 45 feet long and 6-1/2 feet high. Pies built the frame in four pieces with an assistant, Derek Von Heeder, in Plains, Montana. The dragon was trucked over in a few large pieces and then 'clipped' together before the concrete work was on site.
Oh by the way, for those nostalgics amongst you, the old dragon did not completely disappear. Parks and Recreation placed the dragon's head in some bushes nearby so that it appears to be peeking out at the fun!.
Scroll down the page to see historical articles and photos that appeared in the Seattle Times and Sunset Magazine when the original dragon was installed in 1965.
Kenton Pies and assistant making dragon head.
Kenton Pies' assistant adding wire mesh to dragon.
Dragon head ready to ship.
Kenton Pies with miniature replica of dragon structure
Photo from a historic Sunset Magazine Article (1966).
Deane's Children's Park Grand Re-Opening
Click here to read the Sunset Magazine Article (1966) and see more photos.
Click here to read the Seattle Times article (1966).