Monday, July 30, 2012

Manhole Cover Art

While taking visitors sightseeing along streets I had already walked, I spotted two examples of manhole cover art. One (by Nathan Jackson and untitled) was along Alaskan Way near the Bell Street Cruise Terminal.

and the other (by Nancy Blum, titled City Light, City Bright) was outside the South Lake Union Whole Foods store.

I had already spotted art covers near Theo's Chocolate Factory in Fremont (this one by Betsy Best-Spadaro, titled Water Ring)

and by the Recovery Cafe near Denny Way.

On September 11, 2012, I came across this one at 5th and Union (I saw another one of these at 5th and Lenora on February 3, 2013)

and this one at 9th and Stewart (and on 2-20-14 at Yesler between 17th and 18th).

On September 14th, I came across this cover across from the Safeco Field Home Plate entrance. I'm not sure it's part of the same art project but it was appropriate for the location.

On September 21st, I noted this cover at 2nd and Cedar

and this one at 3rd and Clay.

On October 30, 2012, I spotted this one at 5th and James and I saw one of the same design at 9th and Pine on December 7, 2012.

On November 30, 2012, I spotted this one (titled City Grid) at 3rd and Pine, on August 28, 2013 at 1st and Pike and on April 26, 2014 at 2nd between Spring and Seneca

On Jaunary 30, 2013, I spotted these two manhole covers and a few utility covers outside the Waterfall Garden at 2nd and Main.

Walking north on 2nd, I spotted two more covers and then two more Nathan Jackson covers at 3rd and Columbia and 2nd and Seneca.

According to, there are 115 covers and
There is no list or map of where they are. The covers are stored in utility warehouses and used or moved around as needed, just like the regular manhole covers.

I wonder if they will be there when I return to these locations. So far, I have spotted about 23 of the 115 covers (I don't think the Home Plate cover is included in the 115 count); on April 26, 2014, I finally spotted two of the nine Edward Garth untitled covers (see picture below).  Nathan Jackson's Native American design seems to be the most common (I've seen 8 and I think there are 32) followed by City Light, City Bright (I've spotted 7). I've only seen three Water Ring (I don't know how many exist) and three Seattle Grid (I think there are 19 of these).

I've read that there are new hatch covers, named The Web, in the redeveloped South Lake Union area. I returned to the area on August 24, 2016 and spotted two, one at Valley and Westlake and the other at Mercer and Westlake.

On April 16, 2014, I spotted two of these Edward Garth covers on 2nd between Spring and Seneca. I had never seen this design before.

The very first art cover I spotted was in an intersection but almost every other one I have spotted has been on the sidewalk. I don't know if it's because I'm walking on the sidewalk making the ones under my feet more obvious or if the city is placing most of the covers on the sidewalk.


  1. I just spotted at least 5 of the WEB covers in south lake union area - they are a spider on its web. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks for this information - I'll be on the lookout!