Bridge views and bridging communities

By Kae Saeteurn
September 16, 2016

It’s a place that can give you awesome sights, sounds, and…feels. The sky, clouds, sunsets. The stadiums, skyscrapers, and glimpses of the Port of Seattle. The passing of vehicles on the street behind you; cars whirring by on I-5 and I-90. Even the famous mermaid sitting in the distance atop the Starbucks headquarters—squint hard enough and you’ll see it there.

This place is tall, green, and made of steel, and it boasts gorgeous views such as Alki Beach, Kerry Park, and the Space Needle. This place is the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Bridge.

Dr. Jose Rizal

Dr. Jose Rizal

Cruise down South Dearborn Street on your way to or past Goodwill, and you’ll definitely see it. Even better, travel across the bridge on 12th Avenue South from Beacon Hill to Chinatown-International District. Walk, bike, or bus across it, giving you the chance to get the maximum sights, sounds, and views it has to offer.

Beyond its views, however, is its name. What’s in a name? A lot of honor and significance in this case. Built in 1912 and originally called the 12th Avenue South Bridge, it was renamed in 1974.

This place is tall, green, and made of steel, and it boasts gorgeous views such as Alki Beach, Kerry Park, and the Space Needle. This place is the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Bridge.

For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Jose P. Rizal is a hero. From the Filipino community to the larger Asian Pacific Islander (API) community, Rizal is a symbol of strength, courage, and identity. He was a Filipino patriot and novelist who became a key figure in political reform movements under Spanish colonization in the 1880s and ‘90s through his leadership and inspirational writings.

Moreover, while Rizal had no particular connection to Seattle, renaming the bridge and building the Dr. Jose Rizal Park (adjacent to the bridge) occurred after several years of efforts to secure a way to honor Rizal and the Filipino community. The bridge and park are nods to the Filipino community and their historical and present-day contributions, in particular, to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Also pretty cool to note is that this bridge connects Beacon Hill and Chinatown-ID, two historical API neighborhoods.

Whether it’s your first time or hundredth time checking out the bridge, be ready for what it has to offer. The bridge is amazing in size, structure, color, and views, but it’s even more significant because of its name.

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Sweeping views from the Jose Rizal Bridge.