Objectstories Westcourtgate

Placemaking Through Art

The West Court, which opened to students in 1994, features a basketball play area flanked by two portico gate entrances. Each gate is adorned with a ceramic tile frieze, created by former Northwest School ceramics faculty Karla Leiberman and three classes of Upper School students. The tiles are themed "Unity in Diversity," reflecting our global student body. Professional tiler Don Fife donated his time to help seal the friezes to protect them from the elements.

Architect Carolyn Geise, worked with Karla to help create an aesthetically pleasing space, and the resulting West Court satisfied Geise's overall vision: to give students a playground that was truly theirs but also fit into the landscape of the immediate neighborhood. According to an article published by the Daily Journal of Commerce in April 1994, the school’s Capitol Hill neighbors agreed, saying “the open space has turned into a living part of the local street scape.”