Marginal Way Skatepark is a Seattle landmark, and since it uses the Hwy 99 overpass as a roof you can skate it year round
“The area where Marginal Way Skatepark now thrives was an underutilized piece of public property primarily used as a transient campground and garbage dump.”
– From their 501 C(3) non-profit mission statement
In August the safe-keepers of Marginal Way Skate Park in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood had a problem that could only be solved by camping out in the concrete bowl. The ambitious youth in search of guerilla party spaces had started using the skate park as a rave destination. That’s how it goes when you try to do something positive, and by-the-book.
This 501 C(3) non-profit started by the skaters gets a bad rap because kids who should be down with the same sub-cultural principles are blowing up the spot. It’s hard enough keeping up good relations with the Dept. of Transportation and the Port of Seattle, a feat these skaters accomplish admirably, since their creation sits right up against the train tracks.
But whatever it takes is not a new concept for this bunch.
“The area where Marginal Way Skatepark now thrives was an underutilized piece of public property primarily used as a transient campground and garbage dump. With the support of the surrounding businesses and the Seattle Department of Transportation, local skaters worked to clean the area and began construction on the concrete park in October 2004,” the founders said in an official statement on their website.
The entire course was built by volunteer labor and materials bought from charitable donations. These guys pour the concrete themselves, they design the angles. You can feel the difference when you stand perched on the edge of the bowl. The height of the half-pipe curves and the drop-in points are flawless.
Skaters applaud a well-executed run by slapping their boards against the rim and the sound echos off the overpass above. It feels like “the Banks” in Brooklyn when NY skating was wrecking shop with the Supreme Team in the 90s.
Some how this spot has all the character of an off-the-grid hideaway, but it’s as legal as the skate park by Seattle Center. People bring their kids, hold taco feasts and sell bad-ass t-shirts they make themselves. It’s as real as anything in Seattle is gonna get.