This park in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is named after Tashkent, Uzbekistan. First dedicated in 1974, it has stood since then as a symbol of friendship and goodwill between people whose governments have not always been on the best terms.
In 1973, Tashkent and Seattle established the first-ever U.S.-Soviet sister city relationship. This vibrant relationship included a huge variety of collaborations; the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association lists 49 different exchanges and projects throughout its long history. This relationship continued to be maintained throughout the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympics, when many other U.S.-Soviet sister city relationships came to an end.
In the center of the park is a statue, called Semurg (“Bird of Happiness”), by the Uzbek artist Jacob Shapiro. It was a gift from the city of Tashkent to the citizens of Seattle in 1988.
Wes Uhlman, who served as the mayor of Seattle from 1969 to 1978, said, “Governments may not always get along, but people do. I felt very strongly that we ought to get the people together and forget the government.”
There is, of course, a corresponding park in Tashkent, which is named after Seattle.
Know Before You Go
The park is public and open to everyone. It is 0.4 miles from the Capitol Hill metro stop.