Deane's Children's Park
5500 Island Crest Way
Deane's Children's Park, also known as "Dragon Park", was developed by the Mercer Island Preschool Association through volunteer labor and donated funds and materials. Deane's Park contains a variety of playground equipment for children ages 3 through 9, a covered picnic shelter area and walking trails.
A new dragon for Deane's Children's Park (2013)!
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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.
Update posted October 21, 2013: A great video and story from a news station in Montana, on Kenton Pies the artist building our new Dragon.
Update Posted October 30, 2013: News story about the new Dragon on KOMO News.
The new dragon will be a mottled green with acid wash-tinted coloring and realistic scales. It will be 45 feet long and 6-1/2 feet high. Pies is building the frame in four pieces with an assistant, Derek Von Heeder, in Plains, Montana. The dragon will be trucked over in a few large pieces and then 'clipped' together before the concrete works begins on site.
Oh by the way, for those nostalgics amongst you, the old dragon will not completely disappear. Parks and Recreation intends to place 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, We have posted a photo of the artist with a scale model of the dragon and will add photographs as it is being built.
Driving Directions: From East or Westbound I-90, take the Island Crest Way Exit #7
Follow Island Crest Way toward the south end of the Island, after Island Park Elementary School on the right turn into Island Crest Park and Deane's Children's Park is to the right before the tennis courts.
Below is a photo from a historic Sunset Magazine Article (1966).
Click here to read the article and see more photos.
Click here to read the Seattle Times article (1966).