Replacing the no-frills brick-and-concrete Volunteer Park Amphitheater has been talked about for years. Thanks to a nonprofit championing the cause, the first design concepts are finally complete.
ORA Architects and Walker Macy Landscape Architects developed four concepts using feedback from the public and more than 30 performance organizations. All the designs include a shelter, backstage space, and bathrooms built into the structure as required by the city.
The Volunteer Park Trust is holding an open house at Miller Community Center on Wednesday to take public feedback on the designs. Construction is slated to start in 2017 with a grand opening scheduled for December 2018. The project will require approval from the parks department.
Funded by a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Grant, the concept design builds on previously completed site plan that placed the new amphitheater just north of where the current one stands
The park’s aging stage has served the park since the early ’70s. The popular venue is host to dozens of annual events — scheduled and impromptu — and serves thousands of people as a stage for dramatic performances, music, rallies, and more.
Early plans for the new site call for some re-grading around the land to create more natural seating, an expanded backstage, ADA accessible seating, and path improvements. Built in 1971, the all brick structure has long been in need of an upgrade. By building a new amphitheater, VPT hopes to create more sloped seating while placing the structure in a more discreet location, thus opening up the park’s sprawling lawn.
Members of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board will also receive a public briefing on the designs September 2nd.
CHS first reported on the replacement project in late 2014 when the VPT announced it was receiving a grant to fund the early work for creating a design for the project.
The Volunteer Park Amphitheater open house will be at Miller Community Center, August 31, 6-8 PM. RSVP here.