Why did Seattle turn manhole covers into works of art?

Mar 23, 2012

"We, in our 20’s and 30’s, took over the city from the old men who were sitting in the Rainier Club playing dominoes all day."

There are thousands of manhole covers on the streets of Seattle. Some of them, 115 to be exact, are official works of art. Artists are commissioned by the city to create them. It’s one of those little quirks that set the city apart.

Why the city decided to decorate these "personnel hatch covers," as the city now refers to them, harks back to a time when the city was full of creative energy and lots of city activists were looking for ways to improve the quality of urban life.

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