When private and affordable housing codevelopments occur at MidTown Center, there won’t be much left that’s recognizable to longtime residents living near 23rd and Union in Seattle’s Central District.

What will return is the Fountain of Triumph sculpture created by James Washington, Jr., which was commissioned by former MidTown Center owners the Bangasser family in the late 1990s.

Washington was a longtime resident in the Central District, who curated a series of shows at Mt. Zion Baptist Church between 1948 and 1961, as well as at the Washington State Convention Center. The painter and sculptor died in 2000.

The Fountain of Triumph depicts salmon returning from the sea to their spawning ground, and at the time of its installation there was water flowing. The fountain is now dry and has a rocky base that wasn’t part of the original art piece.

Lake Union Partners purchased the 2.4-acre MidTown Center site from the Bangasser family for $23.5 million back in May.

LUP principal told Central District residents during an October community update on the redevelopment that the Fountain of Triumph would be preserved and remain a feature of the new development.

The development company joined the James W. Washington, Jr. & Janie Rogella Washington Foundation in announcing more on those restoration plans on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The foundation was created by Washington and his wife, Janie, in 1997 as a nonprofit focused on preserving the art, writing and lifetime works of the Seattle artist, while also encouraging the works of others.

“We're so pleased that Lake Union Partners is helping to restore and return this meaningful sculpture to its original location," said foundation board president Rev. Dr. LaVerne C. Hall in a news release. “The Bangasser Family, including Foundation Board member Margaret Bangasser Delaney, showed great forethought commissioning this piece—and we’re thrilled it will be returning it to its former glory.”

The nonprofit Pratt Fine Arts Center will lead the repair and restoration work for the sculpture, which is being relocated to the foundation at 1816 26th Ave., by Fabrication Specialties.

“Since its first installation, the ‘Fountain of Triumph’ sculpture still brings significant meaning to the neighborhood,” said Foley in the news release. “We’re so pleased it will return to a prominent location on the property following the redevelopment of Midtown with Africatown and Capitol Hill Housing.”

Africatown Plaza LLLP, a partnership with Africatown Community Land Trust and CHH, closed on the purchase of 20 percent of MidTown Center on Oct. 6, and is planning to create around 120 affordable housing units there.

Lake Union Partners shared with the community that the Fountain of Triumph could be relocated to public space on the corner of 24th Avenue and East Union Street, where a new interactive fountain would be available for children to play in.