In a neighborhood as art-heavy as Fremont, it was only a matter of time before the Fremont Rocket was accompanied by other galactic themed installations*.
In the summer of 2012, ‘Saturn’ was just a 5-story business building––the Saturn building––right across the street from the Fremont Rocket, but where’s the Fremont fun in that? A year later, voila, the Saturn building gets its very own planet: or at least a 12-foot-diameter fiberglass replica, complete with planetary rings.
During its construction, one local businesswoman said, “this is how Fremont entertains itself.” Which sums up the neighborhood nicely. Because like so much of Fremont’s public art, Saturn’s origin story seems to be the result of a couple of why nots, what ifs and a can do attitude. (As well as getting approval from city council, among other things.)
This quirky open-minded attitude is evident in a quote I read from a Seattle Times article written in 2013 that interviewed Brian Reagan, the developer who came up with the idea to put the planet on his building. His quote states: “the Center of the Universe needs a gravitational pull. People near the planet will feel the radiation of good vibes.” ….Which, again, sums up the way locals perpetuate and embody the creative, unique vibe of Fremont.
*As stated in the Seattle Times article I mentioned, savvy locals will be quick to point out the planetary looking orbs outside of FedEx, but Brian Regan said that “those planets are from another galaxy, not our own.” (haha.)
Saturn vs. Saturn
A little bit more about Fremont’s Saturn
*Its rings are made of solar panels, surprisingly powerful solar panels, capable of collecting 2,600 watts of power. (Enough to power several of the building’s office spaces.)
* Apparently these rings are/can be illuminated at night, though I don’t recall ever seeing them lit up. Then again I tend to turn into a couch potato after 8pm, so that could explain why.
*It is intentionally positioned to overhang the building so you can see it when you look up from the sidewalk below. And if you frame your camera just right, you can get the Fremont Rocket and Saturn hovering above, all in one shot.
More on Fremont:
NOTE: I really enjoyed the images included in the “New Planet Added to ‘Center of Universe’ article by Joshua Trujillo. The photos show the construction and installation of the planet, as well as a close up of the solar panel rings.
Thompson, Lynn. “Saturn to Find New Home in Fremont.” The Seattle Times, 15 Mar. 2013, pp. B1–B1. Newsbank, infoweb-newsbank-com.ezproxy.spl.org/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&t=pubname%3ASTIW%21Seattle%2BTimes%252C%2BThe%2B%2528WA%2529&sort=YMD_date%3AD&fld-nav-0=YMD_date&val-nav-0=1995%20-%202019&fld-base-0=alltext&maxresults=20&val-base-0=fremont%20rocket&docref=news/14510DE2DF6BEE18.
Trujillo , Joshua. “New Planet Added to ‘Center of Universe’.” Seattle’s Big Blog, Seattle Pi, 29 Aug. 2013, 10:21, blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/2013/08/29/new-planet-added-to-center-of-universe/.
“Saturn Overview.” NASA, NASA, 15 Feb. 2021, solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/saturn/overview/.